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How To Store Your Chickens’ Freshly Laid Eggs

How To Store Your Chickens’ Freshly Laid Eggs

There are not too many greater pleasures in life than strolling down to the bottom of your garden, reaching into your nest box, and pulling out a freshly laid egg. If you time it just right, the egg will still be warm!

You joyfully walk back inside and take the egg into your kitchen to prepare it for breakfast.

But what do you do if you intend to keep the egg and eat it later? Where should you store it, and how long can you store it for?

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store freshly laid eggs

Our Choice of Treat for Strong Healthy Eggshells

Before we start on what to do with your freshly laid eggs, I want to briefly touch on making sure your girls and their eggs are healthy as well as keeping your girls protected so they can continue laying eggs for a long time.

To protect your chickens you should fortify your coop all around the perimeter and making sure they can’t break in through the front with a quality automatic chicken coop door.

We recommend using a supplemental treat for nutrients that promotes shinier feathers, stronger eggshells, and an increase in egg production.

This treat is called black soldier fly larvae. We have previously written about it here. Check them out on Amazon now:

Happy Grubs: More Calcium Than Mealworms

  • Increase Egg Production
  • Stronger Egg Shells
  • Healthy Feathers

Cleaning Freshly Laid Eggs

Before you eat or store your eggs, you need to do the first thing once you’ve got them inside to clean them.

Welcome to one of the most hotly contested debates about keeping chickens! The debate centers around you should clean the egg or not…

If you aren’t too worried about a little bit of dirt and are using the eggs yourself, then (as long as the eggs aren’t filthy), you don’t need to worry about cleaning them up.

However, if you give the eggs to a friend or family member (trust us, as soon as they try your fresh eggs, they won’t stop asking for them!), then it doesn’t look that great giving them dirty eggs.

The best thing you can do to keep your eggs clean is to make sure your hens lie in freshly laid straw.

You don’t need to replace the straw every day; make sure you pick out any large pieces of muck each day once you’ve collected your eggs.

Unfortunately, no matter how clean you keep their nesting box, you will always get the occasionally mucky egg.

To clean the muck off, try to wipe it off with a dry cleaning pad. If the egg is particularly mucky and this isn’t possible, run the eggs under warm water and use the cleaning pad to scrub the muck off.

Note: Try to use a dry cleaning pad wherever possible because when you run water over an egg, you are removing its bloom. Abloom (cuticle) is the egg’s natural external protection layer that protects it from bacteria.

What Is The Egg Bloom?

If you intend to store your eggs at room temperature, you should not wash them to destroy the bloom.

The egg’s bloom is a thin layer of film on the outside of the egg. It seals off the tiny pores on an eggshell and prevents bacteria from entering.

This bloom protects developing chicks from bacteria as they incubate under momma hen or your favorite incubator.

When washing your eggs, you can often feel the bloom come off of an egg. It is usually slimy and will wash away with warm soap and water. Once it is gone, your egg is open to bacteria.

store freshly laid eggs

How to Store Chicken Eggs

Once your eggs are clean, they can be stored. You have two choices here- either leave the eggs out at room temperature or keep the eggs in your fridge.

There is one exception to this rule- if you need to clean your eggs with water, then it’s safer to store them in the fridge straight away- this is because you’ve removed the egg’s bloom (more on this later).

Storing Fresh Eggs At Room Temperature

Freshly laid eggs can be left out at room temperature for at least a month before your need to start thinking about moving them into the fridge. We like to make sure we eat ours in under two weeks (because they tend to taste better), but so long as the egg is eaten within one month of it being laid, you will be fine.

As a side note- eggs purchased in a supermarket are normally at least a month old before they even get to the shelves!

You can store the eggs in any dish- we keep ours in a basket filled with straw. However, if you want to keep them ‘fresher,’ make sure you pop them into an egg carton once you get them inside.

Storing eggs at room temperature is fine; however, they will last much longer in the fridge…

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Storing Fresh Eggs in the Fridge

If you want easy access to your eggs and extend their shelf life, the best of both worlds is keeping your eggs in the fridge.

When you put your eggs in the fridge, you can either place them inside an egg carton or a sealed container. Eggs kept inside a sealed container (such as a lunchbox) will easily keep up to six months and still taste fresh. The only thing you may notice is that the egg white is slightly runny.

If you are concerned about this sort of thing, you can use a pencil and write the date chickens laid the eggs on the shell- this helps you keep track; if you only have a handful of chickens, this won’t be necessary.

Want to freeze your eggs to make them last longer? Read the ‘How to Store Eggs Long Term’ section below.

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How to Store Eggs Long Term

If your girls are laying at full speed and you can’t keep up eating the eggs (lucky you!), then you can freeze their eggs. This isn’t as simple as picking the eggs up and placing them in the freezer, unfortunately.

To freeze your eggs, you need to separate the yolk from the egg white. The easiest way to do this is with a plastic bottle.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, squeeze the empty plastic bottle whilst holding it over the yolk.

If you do this right, the yolk should shoot up into the bottle (You will need to practice a few times, but once you get the knack of it, you’re set).

In our experience, though, we wouldn’t recommend freezing eggs… they don’t taste the same once they’ve defrosted.

Covering Your Eggs in a Magic Coating

If you’ve spent any amount of time searching for advice about how to store your fresh eggs, no doubt you’ve come across coating your eggs in a homemade solution.

We’ve seen and tried lots of these coatings, such as mineral oil, lime juice, Vaseline, and sawdust.

In our experience, none of these ‘magic’ remedy coatings improves the shelf life of the eggs, and it’s more effort than it’s worth. In fact, when we used sawdust, it actually reduced the shelf life of the egg!

How Long Do Chicken Eggs Last?

If you haven’t cleaned your eggs and their bloom is intact, they can be left out at room temperature for at least a month, and they will still be fine to eat.

If you chose to place your eggs in the fridge (either because you cleaned them and removed their bloom, or just because you want to keep them cool), then they can last up to six months in the fridge- we wouldn’t leave them any longer.

Though we bet you won’t keep freshly laid eggs for six months- firstly, they are just too tasty!

Secondly, if your friends and family find out you are storing eggs, they will be sure to take them off your hands.

Proudly Displaying Your Eggs

The great divide between storing fresh eggs in the fridge or room temperature appears to span across the Atlantic Ocean!

It’s common for people in the UK to store their eggs at room temperature, whereas most people keep their eggs in the US fridge. The downside of storing your eggs in the fridge is that you can’t show them off.

As previously mentioned, we keep ours in a plain basket filled with straw; however, some people really like to go the extra mile with their egg arrangements.

If you’re one of these people, consider getting an egg Skelter (stand) to store your eggs on.

Not only do eggs look great on a Skelter, but it helps you keep track of which eggs are the freshest.

Eggs are stored in a first-in, first-out system, so it makes sure you are eating the oldest eggs first.

How to Check If an Egg Is Bad

Occasionally, you’ll want to check if your eggs have gone bad or not. For instance, you may find your chickens find ‘alternative’ places to lay their eggs- I guess your nesting box isn’t up to their standards!

If you do find a pile of eggs in a ‘secret’ nest, then there is a straightforward trick to find out if they have gone bad or not.

Get the eggs and place them into a bowl of water. If the eggs float, then it’s bad luck because they are bad. Any eggs which drop to the bottom of the bowl are good and safe to eat.

If you don’t have access to a bowl of water or are looking for a quicker alternative, then you can listen to the egg.

Pick the egg up and place it next to your ear, then give it a gentle shake. If you can hear the egg slopping around inside the shell, then it’s bad, and you need to discard it.

Our Choice for All-In-One Automatic Chicken Coop Door

Run Chicken

  • Works Rain or Shine so you don’t have to let them out in inclement weather.
  • Go ahead and get those extra hours of sleep or go on vacation, our door has you covered.
  • Protect your Chickens from Predators with our self-locking feature

Our Choice of Treat for Strong Healthy Eggshells

Happy Grubs: More Calcium Than Mealworms

  • Increase Egg Production
  • Stronger Egg Shells
  • Healthy Feathers

Common Questions About How to Store Your Chickens’ Freshly Laid Eggs

The following information should help clear up any lingering questions you have about storing your chickens’ freshly laid eggs. 

Do Freshly Laid Eggs Need to Be Refrigerated?

While you do not need to refrigerate freshly laid eggs, they will last longer. Just keep in mind that you should not wash them until you are ready to use them if you don’t refrigerate your eggs. 

How Long After a Chicken Lays an Egg Does It Need to Be Refrigerated?

You can leave a freshly laid chicken egg out at room temperature for a month before refrigerating it.

After that, you should probably put it in the fridge. 

Why Do Fresh Chicken Eggs Not Need to Be Refrigerated?

When eggs are freshly laid, they have blooms or cuticles, which are protective coatings.

These coatings keep the eggs fresh as long as you don’t wash them. 

How Long Are Farm Fresh Eggs Good for on the Counter?

They will be good for at least two weeks or up to a month. If you put them in the fridge, they can last up to three months. 

Why Shouldn’t You Wash Fresh Eggs?

When you wash fresh eggs, you remove the bloom, which is a protective covering. This effectively invites bacteria to enter the egg. It’s even worse if you wash them using cool water, which creates a vacuum that encourages the bacteria to get inside. 

Why Is It Easier to Peel Older Eggs?

When raw eggs age, their air sac expands. This creates a void that separates the membranes of the eggshell. It is not only why older eggs are easier to peel but also why they tend to float. That air sac also improves buoyancy.

Have any other great ways to store eggs? Let us know in the comments below.


Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Find full disclosure here.

224 thoughts on “How To Store Your Chickens’ Freshly Laid Eggs

  1. If a egg has been fertilized do I need to refrigerate immediately or can they still be left out at room temperature?

        1. Hi Pamela,
          This is fine- the only downside if you are removing the bloom when cleaning them.
          Not a problem if you intend to eat them soon after cleaning…

      1. I have one chicken that seems to be sick …so I think, she’s been laying as if to lay an egg which she has done but recently she just lays there and doesn’t move much.sort of like she’s constipated. What is wrong with the chicken?

    1. Eggs can be left out at room temperature if their bloom is in tact. Know that when a chicken lays a clutch of eggs which she will hatch, the first egg laid may have to wait several weeks before the hen goes broody.

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      It won’t make a massive difference, but you don’t want to leave the eggs in the nesting box with that heat all day!
      If you want to preserve them for as long as possible then make sure to refrigerate them…

      1. I live in Pennsylvania any particular rules of thumb for collecting and storing freshly gathered eggs in the cold sometimes freezing late fall or winter months?

        1. PA here as well. When it gets really cold sometimes I find eggs that have frozen and cracked. I don’t collect my eggs until after work, which is usually around 4 pm. I would just make sure to check for cracks and store as you normally would. If you have a cracked one at room temperature, you will eventually smell it.

    2. At 99.5 degrees, Fertilized eggs will start to develop. Unless the humidity is around 59% and they are turned regularity not many will hatch into a healthy chick.

  2. If eggs are left out AFTER originally being refrigerated will they go bad more quickly? And they were left in a hot car overnight and for half of the next day.

    1. Hi Michael,
      They will go bad quicker but you still have weeks before they will go off 🙂

        1. Wow:) glad Pinterest popped you up? I have 4 ladies that are half leghorn and 1/2 Rhode Island! Got them at 3 weeks…. I went to coop and had two little brown eggs and I was estatic ?…. I was giving them poutry food for all ( rooster ,hens and chics, were on the bag… ( Made here local in Hawaii) ..but then Dad said…”Hey they ready for Pellets”! I was like “What! …I thought They were for egglayers too!
          So last week they got pellets ( and they get to travel around my property for about 6-7 hours) so my question is :
          do they need pellets …or they will lay with regural food and that it is just better for the proteins and such for egg layers? Thank you so much for all your wonderful info…

          1. I love in FL and I don’t give any pellets. I mix a bag of scratch with a bag of layer crumbles and let them out everyday to eat bugs. I hope this helps!

  3. Can we eat our girls eggs the day they are laid?
    New uk hen mummy here and out of our 3 girls 1 has started laying yesterday…the excitement ??? many thanks for an awesome and informative site xx

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Congratulations on the start of your journey 🙂
      You certainly can eat the egg the day they are laid- they taste even better then!

    1. Hi Patrick,
      I’m so happy the website is helping you 🙂
      Let me know if you have any questions,

        1. Marcos commented to read the article. As I have had my hens lay one or two where they ended up getting cracked before I could collect them, I was also interested in your question. Marcos was wrong. This article doesn’t address cracked eggs. I googled safety practices for cracked eggs. Basically, if an egg is cracked, they say we should break it into a dish that has a lid and store it in the fridge for no more than 2 days. I hope this helps.

          1. I am usually the clumsy one who cracks an egg. I used to feed raw, shell and all, to my dogs, but after reading about possible Salmonella carried in certain hens, I no longer give them raw eggs.
            Now I put raw cracked egg in fridge and fix it within two days. We usually have one hen in house gaining weight or growing feathers from being bred, so they get lots of scrambled eggs. They also become quite spoiled.
            For the rest, I have one bucket where inspected soiled eggs go, and the clean from hen eggs go in carton and refrigerated, where there’s so many they must be rotated.
            The dirty eggs I wear gloves and scrub in hottest water possible. I read that hot water pulls impurities out, and cold water allows eggs without bloom to absorb impurities. After scrubbing they go on towel to air dry, at which time they are sprayed with white vinegar for final disinfecting, then put in carton in fridge.
            Of course cartoned eggs always placed small end down, to allow air pocket to rise to top.

  4. Just got first eggs today????? the info here has been very helpful. I would like to put dates on the eggs what is the best thing to use to mark them. I don’t want lead or ink poisoning ?

    1. Pencils have not used lead since, never. It is a mixture of clay and graphite. So break out that good ole #2 or carpenters pencil and get to labeling those baskets full of hen fruit!!!

    2. Glad to see your success!!! But if you feel you have the need to date your eggs, you need to start sharing with your neighbors or best friend! ?

    3. date the egg carton with what ever you have to write with. then if you havn’t eaten them in around two weeks I would think of the fridge

    4. Best thing I have found to keep track of when the eggs were laid is to put a piece of paper inside the egg carton on top of the eggs with the date the eggs were laid. The paper doesn’t have to be large just something about 4 inches by 4 inches.

  5. Hi I am a 1st timer with Chickens. Going well and have had 3 eggs today so its getting really exciting now. Great website just some advide on the storage. Should they be in any particular angle when stoŕed? I read they should be pointy end down? Many thanks ????

    1. Hi Kaz,
      Congratulations and well done!
      I personally store my eggs pointy end down because in my experience they can stay fresh longer 🙂

      1. That’s right Claire…always pointy side down because of the air pocket within the shell – preserves the yolk

  6. Great info! I am the proud mama of 60 Rhode Island Reds. Love my girls!! We were blessed when we got our chicks to receive 1 Rooster. Whoops! He’s beautiful. No problem getting rid of eggs:) Thank you for your site!

    1. Hi Lin,
      I’m delighted the website is helping you 🙂
      Hope you enjoy your hens and rooster!

  7. Hi,
    Are there any rules on puting eggs on its carton? Its sharp edge upper or otherwise or it might get rotten easily.

    1. Hi Aldridge,
      No rules as such, but many people prefer to store them pointy side down 🙂

  8. Thanks for all the info. We have 2 chickens that are laying. I had lots of questions about the eggs and you answered them all.
    Very helpful. Thanks a bunch!

    1. Beautiful varying shades of tan & brown, speckled eggs . I set in my favorite teacup and saucer, on the counter, as a decoration this fall. I have no intention of eating them. Can I store them to use as a decoration another time? Again, and I don’t intend on eating them. They’re too pretty to eat.

  9. My hens have been laying sporadically for 2 weeks now. Not sure which ones exactly out of 14, but I just discovered a hidden nest with 8 eggs!! I’ve put them in water, and they all sank. I was very skeptical about them really being fresh as I’ve got no idea how long they’ve been out in Georgia summer heat. This article was the perfect thing for me to come across…thank you!
    Also, will the water test I did affect their bloom?

    1. Hi Amy,
      So happy the article was helpful for you 🙂
      Unfortunately the water test will destroy the egg’s bloom.

  10. Hi Claire, we have one hen and two roosters. The hen is a Black Orpington, one rooster is a Bantam and the other, is a black & white speckled breed(?).
    We get one egg every second day but recently i have been leaving the eggs in the nesting box to encourage the hen to go clucky but so far she is showing no sign. Should i continue to leave the eggs in the nest or is it a waste of time? If we take the eggs away, how do we build up the eggs so we have a few chicks?

    1. Hi Neil,
      It’s near impossible to ‘trick’ a hen into going broody. Unfortunately you just have to let nature take its course…

    2. You can buy a 1/2 carton with 6 ceramic brown eggs on Amazon. I used these eggs for encouragement. It worked like a charm. They look and feel so real that I accidentally gave eggs to a friend and one was ceramic. She thought it was a joke. After that I put an X on the ceramic eggs.

  11. We are new chicken owners and have learned most of what we know on the internet. Our girls have just started to lay and we weren’t sure about storing the eggs. Website is very informative thanks.

  12. Hi there if you love fresh eggs but find when you hard boil them they stick to the shell put a hole in the bottom of the egg with a pin and place them in the boiling water for your desired time soft 5 min or hard 9 min. Great tip enjoy !!!

  13. Large commercial egg sellers run their eggs through a water bath and dryer. Is this why a customer must refrigerate grocery store eggs immediately after arriving home? Thank you.

  14. Hi Claire, Sometimes my girls lay odd eggs “tiny, large, even long and skinny” are these safe to eat or?
    Also I love all the information you give. We’ll done! ?

  15. I get one egg a day with bloody spots all over it and one egg with white spots. Should I wash the “bloody or white bloom” off? I refrigerate all my eggs.

    1. Thank you Shari 🙂
      The egg’s bloom is a natural transparent coating that prevents bacteria from entering the egg.

  16. I’ve been keeping and breeding chickens for four years successfully, but with no expert knowledge. 16 hens and 3 cocks have run free in a small orchard, but the trees have started dying.1 young plum, 1 full grown nectarine both dead, and 1each green and black fig, apricot and pear very droopy. So I am building a new de luxe chicken hotel for them elsewhere, and your site has proven brilliant for giving all the info I need about dimensions, space etc. They have had several individual nest boxes scattered about but seem to like just 2 of them so I think 5 in a row to begin with in their new 80 square foot roosting space.
    Last point – they are really independent and I have no idea how to get them back in the coop every night. Advice please.
    Are you an American site? I am in Andalusia, Spain.Thanks for all you info so far.

    1. Hi Royston,
      Thank you for your kind words, and I’m so happy the website is helping you so much 🙂
      To get them into the coop at night I find a nightlight and some ‘bribes’ (treats) are in order. You will only have to use them for the first few times 🙂

      1. If you have proper roosting space and leave the hens in the new coop for 2 nights without letting them out during the day they will go back on their own each night. They know they need protection from predators and weather! Smarter chickens don’t even need 2 nights- just one will do.

    2. I use a light source that will attract them to their coop at night…I have two solar security lights , one for the inside one for the outside coop. Make a habit to throw a cup of scratch in front of coop right before dusk, they will always come to the coop before sunset.

  17. I already committed above. MY hen is supposed to be an amuracana, but she has feathers on feet or legs. Pictures I’ve seen of them don’t have feathers on feet, so I wonder if she is something else. No eggs yet. Thank you so much for your answer.

    1. Hi Donna,
      It’s rare but not unheard of for Amuracana’s to have feathered feet!
      If you send me an email I will take a closer look 🙂

    1. Hi Ronnie,
      It depends on a lot of things: the breed, diet, daylight hours…
      However, you should expect most hens to have at least 3 years of good laying 🙂

      1. As your hens get older (years), they will lay fewer but usually larger eggs. I have had hens live for up to ten years and still laid some eggs.

  18. Hi Claire,
    I love your site! You have answered a lot of my questions, we are new to raising chickens. We have 5 hens, they are about 7 months old (we got them in April). Three of our hens are laying & have been for over a month now but the other 2 hens are not laying, are we doing anything wrong? Are they ok? They were all on Medicated Grower Feed & scraps & treats from home but when they started laying we were informed to switch them to Layer Feed which we did, Is it ok for the 2 Hens that are not laying to eat the layer feed? Also, one of the 2 hens that are not laying did lay a few eggs about 2 months ago but then she got ill, we believe she had a full / sour crop, she stopped eating, lost a lot of weight, but luckily by reading your site I was able to get her back to health & she is doing great but has not laid any eggs since before she got sick. Is she now unfertile & unable to produce eggs? Because she sits in the nesting box for a long time but sadly does not produce an egg. Please help. They are all great girls & have great personalities! ??❤️

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Awww thanks 🙂
      What breed are the other two hens?
      Yes, it’s OK that they eat layers feed.
      It’s great to hear you managed to nurse your hen back to full health 🙂
      Looking forward to hearing back from you,

  19. We have done the float test, and didn’t realize that, that destroys the bloom coating. We left eggs out at room temp. They are all less than 2 weeks old. Are they safe to eat? Wished we would have found this site sooner. Thanks!

    1. Hi Keith,
      If they’ve been left out for two weeks at room temp without their bloom I would chuck the eggs away unfortunately 🙁
      After the float test, in future remember to place them in the fridge 🙂

      1. NO! Don’t throw them away. If they float still, I always cook them up for my dog or even the chooks. They LOVE scrambled egg 🙂

        1. You can also boil them and freeze them to feed your hens.
          My hens all want the same 2 nesting boxes and laid up to 50 eggs, but sat very irregularly and the eggs got cold. After 14 days and no hatch, they abandoned them. I figured they were dead, and after another 14 days to be sure, I boiled them and froze them.
          What is distressing to me is that some of these eggs contain chicks in various stages of development.
          How do chicken people get a handle and better control to avoid this ?
          I never give chickens an intact egg because I don’t want them to decide whole eggs are food for them!

  20. First time chicken mom. So we got our first eggs this wk. I washed them and have had them at room temperature for 3 days. Now I’m worried, should I refrigerator them now or do I have to get rid of them??

    1. Hi Amy,
      Personally, if I wash the egg, I make sure to either eat it within 24 hours at room temperature or to store it in the refrigerator.

  21. I received a mixture of rescue chickens this year and are now up to 55 hens. Some are laying, some not. I get around 24-28 eggs a day. This may sound silly, but I was wondering if you can tell if a chicken is still laying or not. I need to retire some of them for the winter, and space.

    1. Hi Wendy,
      The most accurate way to tell, is to isolate them but I’m not sure if this is realistic with 55 hens!
      Or, you can look at their feathers, comb and wattles.
      You are looking for nice bright red comb and wattles. The tail feathers should be dirty and ragged around the vent.

      1. The chicken farmers check the width of the opening from which the eggs come to check fertility , larger is better. Also comb color should be a rich rose to red color if the hen is laying. Production has stopped . or almost stopped when the hen is no longer laying. She goes into a molt where she is “resting” and develops new feathers.

        1. Another important piece of information for chicken raisers is that “scratch” feed is incomplete and should only be used as a treat, not the main source of food. I use commercial egg layer pellets because there is no waste as there is with a crumble feed.
          I have had chickens all my life and currently have about 40 hens. a few dozen ducks, some geese (one of which is currently protecting my about two dozen young pullets and 20 ducklings), a bunch of heritage turkeys and some emus that I have had for 19 years.

  22. We keep a flock of about 100 free range hens and frequently find hidden clutches of eggs around the property. We won’t sell these eggs but we will use them ourselves. When we are unsure whether an egg has gone bad, the test we use is simply to crack the egg into a bowl and smell it. If you can smell anything, then the egg is suspect. A good egg will have almost no smell (you can calibrate your nose using a known fresh egg first). You can try this in combination with the float test, but in our experience the smell test will detect a bad egg earlier than the float test. But the float test has the benefit of being non-destructive. Cheers.

  23. Hello. I had some mucky eggs because we’ve had so much rain this week. I washed them and left them yo dry on the counter- all 32! I totally forgot to put them up and it’s been 24 hours. Can I refrigerate them now and still use them?

  24. If eggs are unwashed but placed in the fridge is it ok to take them out a few days later and leave them on the counter?

    1. Hi A,
      If you keep the fat side of the egg facing up, then it will stay fresh for longer because the air pocket in the egg is kept away from the yolk 🙂

  25. I have been storing my chicken eggs in the fridge(unwashed) but after only a few weeks, they are black on both ends when I crack them open. Any idea what could be causing this?

    1. Hi Heidi,
      In my experience discolored eggs are normally caused by either an infection or diet. If my memory serves me well, feeding chickens cotton seed meal can cause the egg to turn black/brown in color.

  26. Can you leave the bloom on the eggs, and leave them on the counter for up to a month, and then wash them off prior to eating? I’d love to take advantage of the bloom, but am a little hesitant to not wash before eating.

    1. Hi Anne,
      Yes absolutely. However, if the egg is heavily soiled I would throw it out.

  27. I’ve found this site to be so informative. We have four hens with three laying every day (one of them lays two eggs a day). I should have done my research sooner…but…I’ve been washing the eggs in cool water, drying them immediately, and putting them in the fridge. Should I throw them out since I didn’t use warm water? I hope you say no!

    1. Hi Pam,
      You don’t have to throw them out no.
      Just remember to use warm-ish water for future reference 🙂

      1. It absolutely does not matter if you use warm or cold water as long as they are refrigerated afterwards they will be fine.

    2. I am sorry to tell you this, but don’t tell anyone that knows about fowl that you have a chicken that lays twice daily, that is just not possible

    1. Grass. We let our four ladies and one gentleman roam our garden and they eat tons of grass with everything else they consume. The eggs yolk are vibrant orange/gold colour and so tasty. We have only eaten two.. but the difference between those and one from a produce market.. completely different.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I tend to dust each spring and fall, unless there is outbreak of lice then I will dust more 🙂

  28. Just recently started buying freshly laid eggs from a friend and love them. I am still learning though. I understand about the bloom and once its washed off, but if I hard boil the eggs do they then need to be refrigerated? Or is it ok to leave them at room temperature

    1. Hi Troy,
      When I hard boil my eggs, I always leave them in the fridge unless I’m eating them that day 🙂

  29. If I don’t wash and place in fridge do I need to wash off bloom before selling the eggs. Is the bloom bad if it is not washed and then eatin

  30. Excellent info! I’m just getting started for the first time so I will definitely be learning more from your site. Thank you!! 🙂

  31. We also are first timers. Such a helpful site, great information. We have just had 45 hens, here in Bulgaria, already laying eggs, now we know what to do with them, we will follow your site ongoing. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  32. I love your site! We live in the Pacific Northwest and we are working on letting our chickens free range. It rains a ton here. If my chickens decide to not use the nest box and their eggs are rained on, would the bloom be lost?

    1. Hi Brandy,
      The bloom will be lost BUT there are good chances that your chickens will lay in a rain-proof spot…

  33. Hi! I just got chickens today and I can’t wait for the first eggs in the morning! How long will eggs last out of the fridge after being laid? ( Need to know BBE dates for my eggs )

    1. Hi Rosie,
      I’ve had eggs that have lasted months out of the fridge. However a general rule of 3 weeks is commonly used 🙂

  34. For the bottom of my coop, I thinking if switching from hay to sand (the clean type from Lowe’s) would that be okay?

    1. Hi Yolanda,
      No doubt you’ve come across the controversy with using sand in the coop. At the moment I’d play it safe and stay away from this until the studies have provided conclusions answers!

  35. Good morning. I am a first time chicken mom. I received my baby chicks April 4th. I live in Minnesota and so just recently moved the chicks out of their nursery to an outdoor chicken coop and play yard. We live on a lake in the country so have too many predators to feel I can let them roam. However, the coop and play yard that I can move around seems to be working well for now. I can’t believe what a crazy chicken lady I have become. I bought 5 varieties so that I could enjoy the different colors and personalities. I never knew chickens could be so soft. I like to sit in the play yard with them and let them roost on my lap and pet them. Is this daily handling of them a good or bad idea?

    1. The more you handle them the more people friendly they will be. They have a tendency to not be friendly towards people, so if you want them to be “pets” you’ll need to treat them so. Otherwise they’ll only want to come to you when there is food involved.

    2. Vicki.
      I have been keeping chickens all of my life (more than 50 years) and I still find their companionship calming and entertaining, enjoy it.

  36. i really like your site.
    My question is: i put my fresh unwashed eggs in a carton and put them outside on a table to sell. How long can they sit outside before going bad? Also, when should I not leave them outside?

    1. Thank you Nancy 🙂
      It really depends on the temperature outside… In mild conditions eggs can be left out for weeks without a problem.

  37. Hi, your site is SUPER helpful!
    I have turned into a crazy chicken lady with 31 adult laying hens, 3 roosters, and more bantams and more babies i just hatched out… for a total of 72! we are getting about 20 eggs per day now. I typically leave them unwashed in cartons in my basement (approx 60 deg F) I label them with letters and numbers and write them all in a note book with dates laid so I can keep track of how old they are. Sometimes I have lots of excess if my regulars don’t buy every week, so the time frames here were so, so helpful.. we were thinking about getting a refrigerator for them too but was not sure which was best. My question though, I go through each carton right before I sell it to someone to clean any that may be a little dirty. Sometimes they require a little water on the scrubby, if I drop them off at work to people in the morning right after i wash them (the ones that need it) will they still be ok by the time they get them home after work and put them in their fridge?

  38. Can you see the bloom, my girls lay pretty much clean eggs so I do not wipe or wash them but on occasion there are some that might need washing. But I do not see a difference in the way they look, so how do I know if the bloom is off?

  39. Love how informative this all is! If I use a DRY scrubbie to clean off the egg, does that also effect the bloom? Or is it only by introducing water? Thank you!

  40. I just acquired fresh eggs and was told to wash them if I intend to put them in refrigerator. Is there any downside to not washing them and putting them in refrigerator. Does the refrigerator remove their “bloom?”

  41. Hi, we are in New Zealand and have 5 hens. One very broody. We have decided it will be cheaper to start breeding rather than buying more hens. However we are worried about knowing which eggs we can eat and which we cant?
    Is there anything else you think we might need to know before breeding? Thanks!!

  42. Thanks. I am a new mom of one pet chicken in florida keys. Her name is Nugget. She just started laying. Thanks for the info

  43. We are having a rare below freezing week in the South and are still getting a good amount of eggs each day. If they are VERY cold when I gather them do the eggs need to go in the fridge? I have been going out a few times a day to check but it is cold!

  44. Hi, I am new to chickens. Have two Easter Eggers that have just started laying about a month ago. They eggs are two different colors so I can tell they are coming from both chickens, but of course, not which is which. Anyway, one’s eggs keep having bloody circle on them. It is small, but there every time. Do I need to add something to diet, or is this normal? I read above to wash off and use first, how long are these eggs good? Thanks.

  45. Hi 🙂
    We got my daughter (eight years) five ladies.. one turned out to be a gentleman. She named them all after her favourite video game.
    But, my daughter loves going out and having them hop on her lap and the laughs she gets out of their behaviours.. priceless.
    It means a lot. She was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis in August (after being in so much agony for eight months she was asking me to kill her so it would stop :() but now she loves spending time outside with the girls and boy as they roam our garden (free range chooks).
    Zelda started laying six days ago, and she has gifted us one egg each and every day 🙂 When I saw them lined up in the fridge, I noticed they were getting bigger each time. Is this normal?
    Love this site. So informative 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I’m sorry to hear about your daughter, but delighted she has such a special friendship with her hens 🙂
      Yes this is perfectly normal, as Zelda starts to lay more frequently the eggs will continue to grow in size.
      Best of luck!

  46. So glad I found this site. I have been throwing away my eggs when they are about 3 weeks old as I thought they would be no longer safe to eat!!!!!!!
    I do have to wash my eggs as my girls are free roaming and 9 out of 10 eggs are always muddy and mucky so my eggs have the bloom washed away. But, so happy to know I can keep them for so long in the fridge. Wonderful site- thank you

  47. After reading comments on egg collecting I have couple tried and true experience to add I get around 2-3 doz eggs daily and I thank my girls daily? I don’t wash my eggs and I store them in the frig in coffee cans til ready to use or sell if they are a bit dirty from muddy feet I rub them off in my cracked corn gently then a soft rag I have kept eggs for our personal use for up to 3 mos and still good sometimes the whites may be sparse and sort of gummy like but I just scramble any of those and feed back to girls or kitties! I mark one egg in each Can with the date in pencil. When girls go to sitting I mark date on eggs with pencil so I know I’m 21daya or so if they’re gonna hatch. I always give them a few extra days before tossing any. This allows me to remove any “new” eggs to be removed from nest as some girls like to bug the brood hens and lay in their nests lol! I ❤️ My chickens

  48. Love your site! You may already know this but for other readers, a fool proof way to hard boil eggs that are guaranteed to peel easily and not have the shell stick to the egg follows: STEAM THEM. I do 6 at a time. Boil an inch of water and then add the 6 eggs in a steamer basket. Works best if cold right out of the fridge. Boil 13 minutes at med/low heat. Then put in ice cold water for 15 minutes. Peels easily every time. Perfect for eggs.

  49. This site is very educative, I love being here.But for this site I wouldn’t have gotten enough education on my laying hen.Keep it up.

  50. Many thanks for a useful article.
    The only question I have is about refrigerating eggs once washed. I understand the point about washing removing the bloom but that is a reason I would personally avoid refrigerating them (I’m not advocating that others should do the same).
    Fridges are often one of the most bacteria-intensive places in a kitchen. And even if bacteria don’t get to your eggs they can be tainted by strong flavours.
    I should caveat this by saying I live in the UK and as you note in your article it is much less common to refrigerate eggs here. They’re almost never refrigerated in shops in the UK, for instance.
    As I understand it farmed eggs in the US have to be washed before sale whereas in the UK they aren’t – the focus is on farming practices that keep the eggs as clean as possible so they’re sold with their cuticle intact. Also in the UK farms vaccinate their hens from salmonella (following a big issue with this over here a few years back).
    I believe this is why eggs are sold from fridges in the US. But most commercial fridges are cleaned more regularly and thoroughly than most home fridges and they’re also protected by new packaging (which a lot of home laid eggs won’t be).
    I’m not sure what the best answer is but I do wonder whether refrigerating washed eggs in the home environment doesn’t risk exposing them to more bacteria than leaving them out in a cool, clean spot?

  51. Not a question but an observation; We have found that over the years, we attract neighbors’ animals to us. We “inherited” 3 cats and a German shepard that way and now are enjoying the company of our neighbors’ chickens. They wake us up in the morning; we feed them and even bought a small coupe at Ollie’s because they would stay the night on top of bales of horse shavings in the cold and rain. What we didn’t expect, are the 1-2 eggs a day they are leaving for us in the coupe. I think it’s gratitude. Anyway, thanks for the info on your site–we’ve now become chicken people!

  52. My husband brought home a dozen fresh eggs yesterday and was told to wash them when we were ready to eat them because they last longer. I had never heard that until looking up fresh chicken eggs and their blooms. Out of habit we put the carton in the fridge. Can they be removed and put on the counter instead? Also, what are the chances we’d run across a fertilized egg? Is there a way to check before my daughters or I cook them? Sorry for sounding bananas.

  53. LOL! ???, years ago, when my daughter was around 11 to 15 years old, and her brother was about 5.5 to 9.5 years old, my daughter had 8 chickens, (all Sex-Links, she sold the eggs to our neighbours and we also ate them, too) She had two red ones, and 6 black ones (they all had names, too.) They all laid the Brown eggs, which were delicious. Anyway, I know that different types of hens lay different coloured eggs. Some lay blue eggs, some green, olive, cream, some lay pale pinkish coloured eggs, brown and, of course white. I told my husband, at the time (now my ex) that we should get one of each different colour laying hen, so all I had to do, at Easter, would be to hard boil the eggs, and not have to dye them. We never did, though, but I thought it would be awesome to have natural coloured “Easter Eggs”! ??

  54. Just moved onto a small holding and my neighbour has chickens. They all come to me for feeding twice a day now because I am a crazy animal lady and I feed any living animal. My question is how do tell if an egg is fertilized or not? I want to start with some of my own chickens as soon as I can but need to know information first.

  55. This is just what I needed thanks! We had chickens when I was a kid here in Alaska but that was decades ago. I would love to have the room to have some again! I am lucky to get fresh eggs from a co-worker however.

  56. How long can I store an unrefrigerated egg after I have washed off the bloom.? Also, is there a trick to peeling hard boiled fresh eggs? From refrigerator,I am boiling for 15 mins, draining and adding cold water to the pan. This is how I did my store bought eggs.But, since I have had fresh eggs, we dread hard boiling them because we’re having a hard time peeling!

  57. I do not place eggs in boiling water, they are put in just warm water that is brought to a boil.

  58. We have found that hard “boiling” eggs in a pressure cooker (5 min works perfect for us) then putting them immediately into a bowl of ice water gives us an easy peel every time. Also one question please…what is considered room temperature? With all the hot days (over 100 in late summer) here in Southern Oregon we want to make sure our farm stand isn’t putting our eggs at risk. Absolutely love your site!!!?

  59. I bring my eggs in everyday. But if I do not clean and put them in the fridge for immediately and float test them a day or two later they often stand on end.
    I have been thinking they have gone bad.
    What am I doing wrong?

  60. I get my fresh eggs from my neighbor. Since I had so many eggs at one time, I decided to hard boil some. They were refrigerated for several days before I wanted to use them. They turned out to have slime all over them and I threw them out. What caused them to develop the slime?

  61. We always wash our eggs and then immediately refrigerate them. But one dozen was taken out of the fridge the next day and it was left out for 2 days before it was discovered and put back in the fridge. Are those eggs still ok to eat?
    Also, how long do eggs last in the fridge once they have been washed?

    1. After an egg is refrigerated it should not stay out more than a few hours.
      After being washed they will stay fresh at least a month (4 to 5 weeks)

  62. Received fresh eggs from family member. Put in trunk for about 4 hours in 90 degree weather. Forgot them and left them in garage overnight. Safe? (Have never been refrigerated, washed, and fresh from the nest area.) Thank you!

    1. Sorry, I meant to say they have never been refrigerated or washed and are fresh from the nest area.

  63. If you re planning to use the eggs yourself, it s good to know that unwashed eggs can be stored on the countertop for several weeks, then washed immediately before they are cooked.

  64. My chickens started laying about a month ago and the eggs are still rather small. When will they lay larger ones? I have Buff Orphingtons, Cinnamon Queens, Black Stars and Speckled Sussex.

  65. I share my fresh eggs with coworkers and I bring them to work with me. I leave them in my truck until i deliver them. It’s been a long hot summer and temps have gotten over 100, no one has complained about bad eggs yet, but is there an issue with keeping them at that heat range for a few hours?

  66. hi we have around 30 chickens all has been fine until recently our eggs seem to be going off quickly within first two/three weeks of being laid any ideas on why?
    nothing has changed with coop feed or way storing them.

  67. Dirty eggs in a nest box? Sure, if your bedding is straw or hey. Try pine wood shavings. It is very absorbent – straw is not – and any particles sticking to the bloom is easily wiped off. To lay their eggs, my girls have to march through the coop, in which process they clean their feet. They also know that the laying nest is not a bathroom by not permitting them to sleep in them. My eggs last about a week at most, friends demand them before I can even dream of long term storage.

  68. In the above article you show how to separate the egg before freezing but you never by saying how to store them or how to unfreeze them Can they be used like fresh eggs for pan frying or will they only be good for adding for other things? Do you put them back together or scramble them???

  69. We have a rather frisky Rooster. Is there a difference in storing fertilized eggs vs. unfertilized eggs? Don’t want to crack open an egg with a slightly formed embryo inside.

  70. Very helpful thank you.
    Our chickens laid eggs today but we did not collect them and now one of them is sitting on them, will they still be ok to collect and eat the next day even though she has sat on them all night?

  71. Hi! My MIL gave my husband eggs from their chickens yesterday afternoon. Normally, she doesn’t clean them, so we don’t refrigerate right away. We woke up this am and realized she had washed them. I put them in the fridge right then, but it’s probably been at least 14.5 hours, maybe more (I’m not sure when she washed them). Did we just ruin 2 dozen eggs?? ?

  72. If I want to give my chicks worms from the garden is this safe? Can a potential parasite or anything from the worm make my chicks sick?

  73. If you have six or eight hens, how do you know if one or two are not laying? And which ones they are ?

  74. If the coop is in a damp area,(edge of a tree line) can I put a dehumidifier in the coop to keep the inside dryer?

  75. I am incubating eggs and tried water candling too soon without knowing, the eggs were in the water for about 5 seconds, have I removed the bloom and killed my chicks

  76. When giving eggs away and it’s time to clean the eggs, I’ve seen people on youtube set the eggs in a bowl of warm water with Dr. Bronner’s – Pure-Castile Liquid Soap. They pick the egg up (one at a time) and rinse them off quickly under running water, then lay them out to dry. Is this a safe way to assure they are clean, but with a quick rinse so bacteria doesn’t get in? I just want to make sure that’s okay to do. Thanks!

  77. You stated fresh unwashed eggs can be kept 6 months in an airtight container. But did not clarify how long refrigerated in a regular egg carton. 6 months also?
    Will my answer be emailed or do I need to scan the comments daily?

  78. I have chickens and I am headed to NY buy car and want to bring some eggs. Can I just put them in egg cartons or do I need to worry about the eggs getting to warm when we stop places? I live in AZ and once they are later they are already exposed to 100 degree days.

  79. Hi, thanks for all the info. Everybody keeps refering to room temp, however this varies enormously aroung the world. We live in Grenada where room temp is usually between 28 and 30 degrees celcius. Our eggs are not washed or refridgerated. How long should they stay good at these temps….thanks…Kim

  80. I’m surprised no one has mentioned water glassing here yet – the traditional method for storing eggs for 1-2 years! You mix water & hydrated lime (avail in any home improvement store) into a container (5 g bucket works great) and then add fresh, unwashed eggs as they come. Just be sure to mark the date on the bucket so you know approximately how old the eggs are. Voila, fresh eggs through winter!

  81. Hello, please specify “room temperature.” I live in the tropics. The average daily temp is in the 80’s and 90’s; 100 is not uncommon. There is basically no refrigeration, so many merchants leave cartons of eggs stacked up for days and weeks. I have gotten many a “floater:” Surely eggs should be kept “cool?”

  82. What if your fresh eegs from down the road were kept in their fridge? Does the bloom off come once refrigerated where then the refrigeration takes over to preserve them rather than the bloom? I took a couple out to make something day before yesterday and forgot about them. I read that eggs can “sweat’ left at room temperature after being in the fridge, which can cause bacteria to form. To tell you the truth, I made potato dumplings with them last night and I’m still alive and well — so far!

  83. I was given unwashed farm fresh eggs that were refrigerated. I brought them home, got distracted and forgot to put them in the frig for about 12 hours, I heard that eggs from the frig should not be left out for more than 2 hours, but I don’t know if that applies to unwashed eggs. Are my eggs still safe to eat?

  84. Good article. I don’t have hens atm, but would like to someday, so I occasionally find myself reading about them, and I’ve often come across painting eggs with water glass (sodium metasilicate) to preserve them. It’s supposed to really work!

  85. What would we all do devoid of the amazing strategies you discuss on this website? Who comes with the tolerance to deal with important topics with regard to common subscribers like me? My spouse and i and my pals are very delighted to have your blog among the kinds we regularly visit. Hopefully you know how considerably we get pleasure from your hard work! Best wishes from us all.

  86. Eggs stored unwashed 2 weeks around 70degrees F. Delivery day, sat in vehicle at over 90degrees F for over 8 hours. ???? Safe????

  87. Thanks for pointing out that eggs should be stored in an egg carton to keep them fresh. I would imagine that any agricultural facility would want to provide fresh eggs to their clients and customers. I think they should look for vintage chicken egg cartons that are designed with ease of use and stability in mind.

  88. A few days ago, I started a chicken and egg business. But I did not know how to keep the egg in the refrigerator by boxing. After reading your article, I understood why some eggs are rotten on my farm. Your article is very informative. Thanks!

  89. Does anyone know If moving eggs from room temperature to fridge for storage , do they need to be washed first, can they be left as is ? And what temperature is best in the refrigerator?

  90. Healthy chickens are social, curious and should feel energized to freely move throughout the coop, run or backyard. A lack of movement, low head carriage and overall depressed appearance may be a sign that something is wrong. These six signs of a strong, happy hen are the result of a complete layer feed and great flock care. Get strong eggs and healthy hens with the Oyster Strong

  91. Have you ever stored your eggs with the “water glassing” method. I have read about it lately and it says the eggs last for a year. Any words of wisdom before I try it ?

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