To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate, That is The Question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by birdwrangler057, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2016
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    Hello BYC,
    Since I became a chicken owner, I have always kept my eggs on top of the fridge. I was told that keeping them on top of the refrigerator kept them fresh, they lasted longer, and that the vitamins in the eggs would be healthier. So, to refrigerate or not to refrigerate. [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you talking about hatching eggs or eggs that you eat?
     
  3. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eggs for eating.
     
  4. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't refrigerate my eggs, but I keep them on an egg skelter on my countertop. If the refrigerator generates any heat, I probably wouldn't put them there, but otherwise, I have had no problems with them being at room temperature and having any issues when it's time to use them. They're just too pretty to tuck away in a carton in the fridge! Haha
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks for clearing that up.

    When a hen lays an egg about the last thing she does is put a liquid layer on it we call bloom, though I think the technical term is cuticle. This layer is why an egg just laid looks wet but it quickly dries. This bloom allows air to pass through the shell but works really well to keep bacteria out as long as it is intact. Bloom is why a hen can lay eggs for two weeks to accumulate a clutch, then incubate them for three weeks and still get most of them to hatch. If bacteria gets inside the egg, the egg provides the perfect food for the bacteria to multiply. Incubation temperature is the perfect temperature for bacteria to multiply, refrigerator temperature is not.

    If the bloom is compromised that egg needs to be refrigerated. Refrigerator temperature will greatly reduce that bacteria from multiplying. You can remove the bloom by washing or sandpapering the shell of the egg. If an egg has a clump of poop or mud on it, the bloom is probably compromised. You can store washed eggs in the refrigerator for a long long time because of the low temperatures.

    Even in the 80’s Fahrenheit you might possibly get some development in a fertile egg so you need to store fertile eggs no warmer than the upper 70’s. It may take a long time for development to show up in that lower range. The warmer it is the faster bacteria will develop inside. The top of your refrigerator is probably the warmest place in your kitchen, maybe your entire house, because hot air rises, you generate heat in your kitchen by cooking, and the refrigerator itself produces heat. It can be a good place to germinate seeds for your garden but is probably the worst place to store eggs.

    An egg loses moisture as it is stored. The drier the air the faster it loses moisture. This moisture loss can change the texture of the egg white, making it runnier over time. This moisture loss is why an old egg is easier to peel if you boil it. This moisture loss doesn’t change the nutrient value of the eggs but it can change some properties. Inside your refrigerator is probably drier than the air outside.

    Most fresh veggies and fruit retain nutrient value better when refrigerated. I don’t know how that works for eggs but I’d think if the egg loses any nutrients over time that refrigerating would slow that loss, not speed it up. Whether stored at room temperature or refrigerated an egg retains a lot of nutrients.

    I wash and refrigerate any dirty eggs I get. These are generally the ones I eat. The clean eggs go into a basket on the kitchen counter, not on top of the fridge. These are the ones I give away to friends or relatives, though I eat some of them too. I make sure they know they have not been washed. The reason I don’t wash and store these in the refrigerator is that when you take the eggs out of the cold refrigerator into warmer air, moisture can condense on them, which can help bacteria get inside.

    I personally don’t believe there is any “significant” difference in nutrient value in eggs whether they are stored at room temperature or not, though I’d favor refrigerated eggs in that. Washed refrigerated eggs should last longer than unwashed eggs stored on a kitchen counter, but those on a kitchen counter can last for many weeks. I would not store eggs on top of a refrigerator nor would I store washed or dirty eggs outside of a refrigerator.
     
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  6. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes! ^^^ I forgot to mention that I do the same thing...if an egg is soiled or needs washing for any reason, those eggs go into the fridge. The reason I love my egg skelter so much is because it allows me to display the beauties and the oldest always gets eaten or given away first.
     
  7. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same, but i was wondering if it made a difference.
     
  8. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    huh, that is some interesting info
     

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