Questionable egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dogdollar, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. dogdollar

    dogdollar Songster

    May 19, 2010
    My run has a few inches of DE-coated wood shavings in it.
    It is not unreasonable to think that a hen might lay her egg, and that it would be covered up with wood shavings as the other hens scratch, looking for bugs. question is....what if an egg I find is actually a few days old...that it's been hidden under the shavings for a day or two.....or maybe five. How do you tell an old egg, or, more specifically, a bad one? This also applies to eggs I find in the bushes.....
    I'm not an idiot.......obviously if there is a place in the bushes where there wasn't an egg yesterday, and IS's a good egg...basically my question is how do you tell if an egg is good or not?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Simpliest way is to float test it. A fresh egg will sink in water and lay mostly flat on the bottom. The more is stands the older it is by a few days. A stander can be several days old, but still fine.

    If it floats be careful.

    As an egg ages it loses moisture. This enlarges the air cell. Once it starts to rot the egg will fill with gases from the decomposing egg. This will make a floater. If enough pressure is in there it can explode and then you will have an incredible smell everywhere that will NOT go away.

    If still in question you can always crack into a bowl alone before cooking to eat.

  3. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I have been told that if you put an egg in a glass of water and it floats to the top right away, it has bacteria accumulated within the shell and should be discarded. I've read it a number of places and have always been told that my whole life by my mother and grandmother. However, last time I told someone that on BYC, I pretty much got called an idiot and told I didn't know what I was talking about.

    Hopefully someone else will post a good reply because I also would like to have an answer to the same question! [​IMG]
  4. 5acrefarmer

    5acrefarmer In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    Both of these people have the right idea. That's the way my grandma always tested any eggs she wasn't sure about.
  5. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    HHandbasket, you mom and grandma were pretty spot on as far as I know.

    If I find a clutch laid by my wayward girls I do the water test. I don't eat floaters.I also crack the sinkers and suspenders(!) in a bowl individually and smell them....bad eggs smell BAD. Occasionally eggs outside take in rain water etc. and are therefore heavy, but are rotten.

    Having followed this pattern for years, me and my family have never come to grief.


  6. PatS

    PatS Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Ditto on crack into a different bowl and sniff.
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    I've always followed the floater/sinker test, and it's not done me wrong it's always good to crack in a separate dish every time. I have a little bowl that is almost primarily used for adding an egg at a time - I crack, put in that bowl, look at it, and dump into my mixing bowl. Useful for checking for blood spots, or heaven forbid, started embryos [​IMG] My mom learned the hard way long ago when we were kids on that one!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by