Unexpected Eggs in Ohio (Shelf Life??)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RavenGemini, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. RavenGemini

    RavenGemini Chirping

    Jun 16, 2014
    Ohio, for now
    Labor Day night provided a wonderful Thunderstorm, I went to check on the 4 chicks and 4 ducks first thing in the morning (as is the custom every morning) and noticed 4 beautiful eggs in the chickens hutch. Now comes the issue...... 25 weeks would have put them laying their first eggs around the first of October so I was caught a bit unprepared. To further the issue we searched around their foraging areas and found 18 more eggs. All chicken eggs (too small to be duck). Which means to me that the 'oldest' eggs have been laying around Southwest Ohio weather for roughly a week.
    Here is my question, how long can newly laid eggs stay unrefrigerated before they are not good..... I have searched quite a few books and looked around a great many threads and that one question is barely touched on or very vague.


  2. HugHess

    HugHess Chickrack Addict

    Jul 14, 2014
    Speaking from complete ignorance on the subject...I do remember one poster stating that she left hers on her kitchen counter for close to a week...
    Do you have a Roo (are they possibly fertilized)?
    I could turn EE 'green' with envy, congratulations on the early layers...
  3. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    What are your temps like? Unwashed eggs can last a long time with no refrigeration (like, weeks and weeks) if the temps aren't too high.
  4. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Ah, here is the pinch. If they were sitting on them, then they started to develop chicks. If they do not have a rooster, then they were at chicken body temperature, not Ohio temperatures.
    I would scramble them up and feed that beautiful puppy in the back ground.

    Safe is always better than sorry.
    1 person likes this.
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I never refrigerate eggs and have kept them on the counter top throughout summer here in the UK with no problems. Some I have eaten as old as 4 weeks. The important thing is not to wash them until you are ready to eat them.(unfortunately it looks from the photo like you already washed them). If you wash them, you remove the "bloom" and they will not keep so well. If you have doubts, place them in a jug of water. If they stay on the bottom they are fine, if they float they are getting beyond human consumption.
    I have cockerels, so most of my eggs are fertile and it doesn't make a difference, unless your temperatures are really high. My house has been about 20-25C all summer.

    If you crack them in a bowl and they don't look good or smell good then don't eat them. If they look and smell fine but you are still uncomfortable about eating them, then, as suggested, scramble them and feed them to your dog or the chickens, who will absolutely love them. I mix old eggs(scrambled or boiled) with a bit of their feed and natural yoghurt as a special treat once in a while and I seem to have made some very special friends in my hen house as a result. One little chap flies up onto my shoulder and twitters in my ear until I give him some!

    Congratulations on your first eggs. I'm amazed that you haven't been out there every day for the past 5 weeks looking for them though, like most of us impatient hen owners who optimistically anticipate eggs well before they are due!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    Then lock them in the coop for a few days to a week, all day/night or at least until mid to late afternoon, to home them to laying in the nests before free ranging them again.
    1 person likes this.
  7. RavenGemini

    RavenGemini Chirping

    Jun 16, 2014
    Ohio, for now
    The weather have been humid, and I do mean humid, the temps have been around 80F. We learned this morning that one of the girls is "gathering" the eggs into a pile and brooding. No roos all four are hens.
    The pup in the back has already claimed three of my girls so no eggs for her ;).
    Thanks so much for all the advice. This site is wonderful, educational and a must for everything fowl.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

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