So, your chickens are laying more eggs than you can consume, and you wonder how long fresh eggs last.
Unwashed eggs typically last about two weeks outside the refrigerator and around three weeks to a month when refrigerated.
If you have a lot of hens laying eggs and you have no plans to eat them, refrigerating them will be essential. They’ll last longer.
Also, if you refrigerate washed eggs, they’ll only last around two weeks.
If you’re keen enough, you’ll realize that fresh eggs from backyard chickens differ from bought eggs in several ways.
First, they have a golden yolk and a specific variety of eggshell colors. Second, the eggs have an unequaled flavor, texture, and texture.
Also, the eggshells are very thick because of the excellent chickens’ good care and nutrition from the chickens’ owners in the backyard.
Since fresh eggs are processed differently than commercial eggs, you can wash and store them differently, unlike store-bought eggs.
Proper Way To Wash Fresh Eggs
Follow the guidelines below to wash your fresh eggs.
- Quickly and gently use warm water only to wash the eggs.
- Use a soft brush or your fingers to remove any foreign material.
- Also, getting off any signs of manure from the shell– faces can foster bacteria that can get into the egg.
- Dry and cool the eggs quickly. Put them in a freezer between 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note that you can only wash your eggs if it’s necessary. This is never a good idea because washing the eggs removes the bloom, and any bacteria on the outside can freely enter the egg, contaminating it.
Bloom is a proactive layer that seals the shell’s pores, preventing air penetration and bacteria from getting inside the egg.
Storing Fresh Eggs At Room temperature
You can store unwashed freshly-laid eggs at room temperature for several weeks. Remember, all washed eggs must be stored in a refrigerator– from the store or backyard.
When buying eggs from the counter, it is essential to ask if they are washed or need to be refrigerated. When in doubt about the eggs, simply refrigerate them.
When To Wash Fresh Backyard Chicken Eggs
We highly recommend not to wash your fresh eggs until right before using them. That’s unless they require a proper rinse or are soiled with mud or poop.
Do not use harsh soaps, bleach, or vinegar while washing. Immediately after washing, store them in the refrigerator.
At all costs, avoid washing your eggs after collecting them. Keep them fresh to extend their shelf life.
How To Keep Fresh Backyard Chicken Eggs Clean
Keeping hen’s nesting boxes clean is an excellent way to avoid dirtying your eggs. Ensure your hens do neither poop nor sleep in the nesting boxes.
For effective results, always set the sleeping roost next to or above the height of the nest boxes.
Hen’s instincts of sleeping high above the ground will help them escape the nest box and sleep on the roosts.
It is a good idea to routinely and regularly collect your eggs– even three times a day.
Some chickens have a habit of laying eggs in random places; train them where to lay them. Place wood dummy eggs in the nest boxes.
They love laying eggs where eggs already are. If you have soiled nest box bedding materials, remember to change them. Nest box pads with hay on top are the best ones to use.
How Long Can You Store Fresh Eggs At Room Temperature?
To maintain eggs’ flavor, texture, and quality, store the eggs for at most 2-3 weeks. As eggs age, their protein composition reduces.
As a result, the older eggs whiten and become more liquified. The yolk also stands less tall and round.
Eggs stored at room temperature degenerate faster than those kept in a freezer. Degradation even happens more quickly if your home is hot.
Therefore, we recommend keeping your eggs at room temperature for a week, even for 3-4 days only. Two days or less are better in a humid and hot area.
How Long Can You Store Fresh Eggs In The Refrigerator?
Typically, fresh solid eggs in the refrigerator increase their shelf life. Storing unwashed eggs also does not have a problem.
They can stay for about 2-3 months because the washed eggs will quickly lose moisture and quality due to their porosity. However, these washed eggs are still safe to eat.
In addition, put your eggs in an enclosed container and then place them in a refrigerator. This reduces the rate at which the eggs lose moisture and absorb bacteria simultaneously.
Not that you should not get out refrigerated eggs for more than two hours or even store them at room temperature.
If you leave a cold egg outside at room temperature, it will sweat, aiding the movement of bacteria into the egg. The bacteria can also have a chance to grow.
The other best way to store fresh eggs from your backyard chickens is by placing them with a round end up and a pointy end facing down– the rounded end has an air sac.
The air sac at the top serves as a balloon insulator, minimizing moisture loss.
Signs Of Egg Freshness or Age
Most chicken keepers use the float test to confirm egg freshness. The test is commonly done when they mix up eggs during rotation, not knowing the freshest ones.
To test your eggs, fill the glass with cool water and gently place the eggs in the eggs in question. The freshest egg will lay on the bottom of the glass.
Such eggs are only a few weeks old. Middle-aged eggs will float slightly but stay submerged.
Full-blown floaters are considered harmful to consume and dispose of them properly. In short, the higher the egg floats, the older it is.
Why Are Older Eggs Easier To Peel?
As the raw egg ages, the air sac inside the egg enlarges. As a result, it creates a tiny void between the eggshell membranes.
Also, when you hard cook the egg, peeling is much easier. This is just the exact reason why older eggs float. An enlarged air sac makes the eggs more buoyant.
Best Ways to Store Fresh Backyard Chicken Eggs
Do you have many eggs in your collection basket and still wonder about the best preservation methods?
Don’t worry anymore! Here are the best ways to store your eggs besides refrigeration.
Cold storage is a way better alternative for chicken owners than a refrigerator. It helps you keep your eggs fresh at 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold areas for egg storage should always remain dry– a spare bedroom is ideal. Proper cold storage keeps eggs fresh for about three months.
Egg freezing is another excellent method to store eggs for more weeks. Here, you must mix or separate the yolks from the whites. Then, pour the egg into ice cube trays and place them in a freezer.
By so doing, your eggs will remain fresh for a year.
To pickle your eggs, you simply boil the eggs and make a powder out of them. Pickled eggs will last up to four months in a refrigerator once opened. Bantam or pullet eggs are the best to pickle.
Dehydrating the eggs and making a powder from them is another best alternative to store your eggs. Mix the eggs and cook as you would scramble the eggs.
Add only oil to the skillet. Let the eggs cool, break them into pieces, and grind them using a food processor.
It’s the cheapest and most successful egg preservation method, only if done correctly.
You can use sodium silicate or calcium hydroxide and preserve your eggs for up to a year. Make sure to use clean, fresh eggs with the bloom still intact.
First, warm the oil and use it to coat the eggs. Ensure fresh eggs are wholly covered in a thin layer of fat.
Then, place the eggs into an enclosed container or storage box with the pointed end facing down and keep the eggs in a dark, cool place.
This way, your eggs will be fresh and safe for consumption for a year.
Unwashed fresh chicken eggs from backyard chickens usually last about two weeks outside a refrigerator.
However, they can last about three weeks to a month when stored in a fridge. Also, washed eggs can stay up to two weeks in a refrigerator.
If washing your eggs before storing them is necessary, ensure you do it correctly and quickly put them in a refrigerator.
But again, we recommend not washing the eggs unless you want to prepare and eat them.
Follow the tips discuss above to keep fresh eggs from backyard chickens clean.
If you have mixed your eggs while collecting from ‘the hens’ nest boxes, we recommend using a float test to separate the old from freshly-laid eggs.
Use any methods this article illustrates to have your eggs stay longer for future consumption.