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Why are some eggs rotten? Why do we refrigerate eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KatGold, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. KatGold

    KatGold Chirping

    Mar 15, 2011
    Earlier in the spring, I tried hatching some eggs under my Marans. Every single one of them exploded. They were rotten and fowl and gross beyond my wildest dreams. Those were the first rotten eggs I'd seen and clearly I got some sort of bacterial infection that ruined the whole clutch.

    Fast forward to last night...

    I cracked an egg to put in my dog's kibbles. I do that every now and then, usually when there is an egg that didn't make it to the fridge quickly like this one. In fact, I had been letting a hen out in my front yard to do some gardening for me and after about a week of that, my neighbor found several eggs under her bush. I did the water test and three sank right to the bottom. I used them and they were fine.

    Three others floated a little, not a lot, and I put them on the counter to give to the dog. The first two looked fine, but the last one (which I cracked last night) was blackish green, stinky, ROTTEN! It was gross.

    So why was that one rotten? They were all laid by the same hen. That one was likely older, but does age rot eggs? Does lack of refrigeration rot eggs?

    Pardon while I go off on different directions, but I'm trying to figure this out.

    A good egg over time will dry out. This is one reason we refrigerate them. I've read that an egg left on a counter all day will loose about as much moisture as an egg in the fridge for one week. Yet, people in other countries don't even refrigerate their eggs. They don't in England (of course, it's much cooler there than Texas), but they also don't in Jamaca (not so cool). So I think what refrigeration does is slow down the egg's loss of moisture.

    If that's correct, how do eggs go rotten? Is it always a bacterial attack? And if so, if I've had it how what do I do now?

    If you're still with me, I'm surprised. There are lots of questions here and I'd appreciate your thoughts on any of it.

    I sell my eggs and I would be horrified if anyone of my egg folks ever had this experience.

    Many thanks!

  2. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Songster

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Can't answer your questions. Eggs do have a natural bloom that helps to protect them from microbes. I just throw mine in the fridge and have never had one go bad. Be sure and sanitize your incubator. Mine is done right after hatching and then again when I pull it out of storage before setting a new batch of eggs. I don't wash eggs, though many people do rinse in oxine before setting them.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Eggs go rotten due to bacteria getting into them. It is likely that the oldest one went 'pop', but it could just have been one had a more porous shell and may not have been the oldest. Eggs under the hedge etc. may be rained on removing their protective coat and making them susceptible to bacterial entry. The horrible smell is due largely to hydrogen sulphide formed from breakdown off the sulphur containing egg proteins.

    Do eggs need to be refrigerated? No....in Britain and some European countries eggs are not refrigerated (even in supermarkets), though most people put them in the 'fridge on getting home. They still last for months under normal circumstances. In very high ambient temperatures they are likely to 'go off' quicker, so refrigeration would be sensible.
  4. KatGold

    KatGold Chirping

    Mar 15, 2011
    Yes, I think it had something to do with the heat (it had been 105-ish for weeks) and nothing at all to do with the bloom being washed off (we didn't see a drop of rain for about 4 months here...and that coupled with 105, well, that's a whole other gripe). So I thought maybe the heat started to incubate it even though she was not sitting on it. Then it sat in indoor temps for a couple of weeks. That was the best I could figure.

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