Worried eggs will freeze in the winter

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JessesGirl, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    I've read a LOT about winterizing my coop - you guys are awesome, btw - but haven't seen this addressed: If I do not heat my coop, then how do I avoid the eggs freezing? I work full time with an hour commute so I'm gone10 hours. Or is it no big deal if the eggs freeze? Sorry if this is an idiotic question.

  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I don't like for my eggs to freeze, they get a thick part in the yolk. I'm assuming you don't have a neighbor child you can pay $1 a day to collect the eggs after school?

    If you put enough hay or shavings in your nest box it'll help. Also, if you keep your coop mostly closed up it'll be warmer than if not, that should help some. If you can't come up with a solution, I don't think the frozen egg spots are bad, just something to work around.
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Crowing

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    One thing you could do is, put a light in your coop so it will come on about three hours before you leave for work. Then, just before you leave, collect the eggs that are laid by that time.

    At least then you'll get some that aren't frozen.

    And I agree, find a neighbor kid to help! Offer to pay them and give them a dozen eggs every now and then.

    Beware of keeping your coop too tightly closed up though, as a buildup of humidity can cause respiratory problems.

    Good luck!
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    If the eggs freeze then the yoke will for sure be noticeably harder even after the thaw. You want to avoid letting eggs freeze. If you have external nest boxes then insulated boxes are VERY nice to have. Ours are insulated but the coop is not and we don't heat; Yet, we add a brooder lamp for egg production and that provides minimal heat (we leave the pop door and vents open full time). Our hens typically lay around late morning or early afternoon so collecting daily in the early evening works fine with no chance of freezing eggs. If you collect daily and your girls lay in the nest boxes then freezing eggs rarely occur.

  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I find in a perfect world my hens are usually are done laying at about 1100hrs. I try to make 3 or four trips out to the coop between day light and noon to avoid the freezing problem (I am retired and am fortunate in that respect). My coop is subject to Arctic conditions of -40 and the ambient air inside the coop reaches close to that temperature although my coop is insulated.

    If the eggs do crack and freeze the wife use the eggs for cooking (some eggs are laid through the night and are caught by my poop boards that are only 3½ inches from my roost).

    Hot water bottles may help as well before you leave for work.



    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  6. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
  7. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northeastern Michigan
    I live in Northern MI and it gets pretty darn cold here in the winter, I have zero insulation in my old coop and rarely had egg freezing issues, only had an issue when it was really really cold for days on end and then I was more concerned about the hens then the eggs. It seems to take a long time for eggs to freeze. I put one in the freezer in the house just to see and it was pretty surprising how long it took to freeze and crack, they do crack when frozen, since they are liquid inside and it expands. My hens stay in the nest boxes longer in the winter, I don't know why, maybe its warmer and they are just looking for an excuse to sit on their feet, lol. You could try blocking off a few nest boxes in the winter to see if you can get more traffic in there, so that while one hens laying another is waiting to get in there and then she has to sit on the 1st egg while she lays hers then the previous eggs won't start cooling off enough to freeze until the last hen lays and hopefully you can gather the eggs before they get too cold. Its like a chicken powered thermostat that cycles on and off. If you do try it just watch for any development in the eggs if you have a rooster, hens going broody, or eggs being laid where they shouldn't.
    1 person likes this.

  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Our winters are brutal. If I cannot collect eggs in a somewhat timely fashion, then yes, eggs freeze. I accept that as part of keeping laying hens in a northern clime. The domesticated birds have been bred to lay throughout the year. This is a wee bit unnatural. Since our barn is about the same temperature as the outdoor air, eggs can and will freeze. Shrug.

    They are still edible, just not sales/gift worthy. We don't have hundreds of frozen eggs, but yes, we get a few. Thaw, cook them in a proper temp and all is well. We live here. We accept a few things, and this is just one of them.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I agree. It's just the way it rolls, to bad they don't come out wearing sweaters.
    1 person likes this.
  10. pm

    pm In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2011
    Reed City, MI
    I built roll out boxes with the eggs rolling to the back of the box which is accessible from the entrance/storage area of the coop. The eggs end up in a closed in box with a door for egg collection and light bulbs to keep them from freezing. The light bulbs are on a timer that shuts them off before the hens go to roost so they don't get into the habit of using the cozy nest boxes to roost in. I didn't have any frozen eggs (in the boxes) last year. Now, if I could just get a couple of the girls to quit laying on the floor where they do freeze.

    1 person likes this.

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