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Safety of buried eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KDOGG331, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    So this is kind of random and I’m sorry if this isn’t the right place for it but I couldn’t find an answer for it by Googling or searching the site so I thought I would ask here.... and also sorry if this isn’t the right category, I wasn’t really sure what category it should be but it kind of relates to eggs so I put it here. But feel free to move it if necessary. It’s more about the safety of the eggs than the actual eggs or behavior so idk what that’d be.

    Anyway...

    I have found several buried eggs in the nest boxes over the last few weeks. The first two were maybe like a week or two ago and they weren’t buried very far and passed the float test so I think the must have recently accidentally gotten covered but I decided to just not risk it and chucked them in the woods. Anyway, today I found another buried egg, not very far down, but decided I better dig down and try to uncover anymore/see if there were any others. Well, I found 2 more in that nest box way down near the bottom and another one in another nest box again way down near the bottom. One felt cool/coldish like it had been there a while. The others weren’t warm or hot or anything but not cold either. Idk. Anyway, my question is, are these safe? I am assuming they are not and I think I read something a while ago to never risk it with any found eggs and not eat them or sell them or anything so that is the approach I have been taking. I think it was for free range chickens though but probably still applies to buried eggs. Anyway, I’ve been taking that approach because I’d rather be safe than sorry, especially after my horrible food poisoning incident, but at the same time, I hate to waste all these eggs. When it was just one or two it wasn’t bad but FOUR!? That’s so many to just waste. Can I feed them back to the chickens? Are they at least safe enough for them? Or maybe I could just bake them or something? Or are they not safe enough for anything and I should just chuck them?

    And I also think my nesting boxes are way too big and deep and wayyyyy too many shavings in there so I guess maybe I will have to thin some out? I just tried to make it nice and comfy and deep and padded for them haha but I guess maybe they’re spoiled and I should put less shavings in and/or check regularly so this doesn’t happen again. Maybe I could use straw? I have it REALLY deep though. I think that’s the problem. Although I never had issues before. At least not that I noticed.

    Anyway, do you think the eggs are safe for anything?
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    And I will get a couple pictures of the nest boxes.
     
  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    It's hard to know how old they are. How old of an egg would you eat? That may be a personal question. What's your weather? If you would eat an egg at room temperature in this weather then it's probably fine. Just crack it in a bowl before putting it in a pan/dish to cook, just in case. If it's bad, you will know right away.
     
  4. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    Safe for what is the important point.
    It's not unusual for a hen here to lay between 12 and 20 eggs before she sits. On a few occasions when I've 'rescued' them from an outside nest site I've let them sit on some eggs in a safer place. I have no idea how old the eggs I choose to let them sit on are. I could well pick the first egg and any other spread over the three weeks it took to lay them.
    Basically it's a random choice.
    I've taken 10's, 8's and a couple of times 12's from the confiscated pile and had 95% hatch rate when the hen has sat and hatched. On checking the eggs that have been left most I have found were not fertile.
    Logic would therefor make me believe that eggs up to and a bit past three weeks old were still viable.
    I wouldn't feel comfortable selling such eggs but I've eaten eggs I know to be a couple of weeks old and as you can see, I'm still living.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    I throw any eggs of uncertain ages out; food poisoning isn't fun! Eggs are cheap, and illness is miserable. If I wouldn't eat them I'm not feeding them to anyone else either.
    Would they be okay? Maybe. Is the float test infallible? Not nearly. Might they hatch if set, who knows, again, maybe.
    It's been too warm here to chance anything, and ambient temperatures do matter. Do you want to crack these in your kitchen? Could be pretty awful. :sick
    Mary
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    Thank you both!! This is really helpful. I am sure they are probably safe? Since I don’t think they were in there long but I don’t know because some were way at the bottom and I have like a foot of shavings in there. Maybe they would at least be safe enough for the chickens to eat?

    They’re definitely not fertile because we don’t have a rooster haha so not for hatching. I just wasn’t sure if they’d be safe for me to eat or for an animal to eat.

    And I’ve eaten older eggs, like maybe a couple weeks or whatever, cause we sometimes get a lot and don’t always eat a lot, but those were refrigerated so idk if that makes a difference. I used to eat store eggs all the time too which I know are way older than any of mine even buried ones ha

    It’s been like mid to high 80s and humid but the coop and nest boxes are cooler especially deep down in the shavings so none of the eggs felt really hot or anything.
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    Thank you Mary! These are all excellent points. I’m thinking I’ll just throw them out. We get plenty as it is and the new girls should be laying pretty soon (hopefully within a month or two) so probably best to just be safe. You are sure right about food poisoning. I had a horrible incident just last week which is the incident I was referring to. I think that was the sickest I have ever been in my entire life. It was miserable. Thankfully, I was over it within a day or so but my dad, who also got sick at the same time, took a few days. Definitely do not want a repeat of that though so I think I will chuck the eggs. And good point on all the other stuff. Don’t want to make any of the animals sick and definitely do not want to stink up the kitchen especially in this heat haha plus I guess we eat their eggs so I probably shouldn’t give them anything risky. And yeah, it’s been like 80s here so maybe that makes them unsafe too sitting in that?
     
  8. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    Thinking your nest boxes may need some fine tuning. What's the dimensions? How much shavings are you putting in?

    2x on egg safety ... If they pass the float test, scramble it up for the chickens, they'd appreciate it. You may want to check for eggs daily, that way you know it's fresh. 80s is pretty warm in my book.
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Addict

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    I think they’re like 18x18x18 and I probably have like 6-12 inches of shavings. :oops: it gets compacted down some over time but still. Sometimes I use like half a bag or even a whole one of shavings just for the nest boxes. :oops: that’s probably wayyy too much? But I wanted the girls to be comfortable. :lau :oops:

    Thank you, I think I’ll maybe at least give them to the chickens if they aren’t rotten. And yeah, I’ve been pretty bad about that but have been a lot better lately and usually don’t go more than a couple days without collecting. But even when I do collect daily, the boxes are so deep that I sometimes miss buried eggs. I am thinking maybe I need to put less in the boxes. Or something. And yeah, I think it’s probably too warm for them to be safe? But if they’re not rotten I might try giving them back to the chickens.
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    I have two to three inches of shavings, no more, in the boxes. I do sift a bit every day when gathering eggs, and don't miss any. I also find hidden nests in the barn sometimes, and throw those eggs out.
    Mary
     

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