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How to Store Home Grown Chicken Eggs
There are not many greater joys than keeping backyard chickens. Once you get a flock going, it won’t take long to start developing bonds with your girls.
We love our chickens so much it’s easy to forget how much they do for us! We’re talking, of course, about the mountains of eggs chickens lay.
But harvesting eggs from your back yard is pretty different from buying them at the store. The first question most newbies ask is how to collect and store their freshly-laid eggs.
In this article, we’ll talk about just that: the best way to collect and store home grown eggs. Let’s dive in.
How to Collect Eggs From Your Chickens
Once you get a flock set up with a place for your chickens to lay, they will start to do their part. But just because you’ve designated a nook for them to nest, doesn’t mean they will always use it.
Be sure to check the whole coop and yard or run often. Chickens will sometimes get a wild hair and pick a random spot around the yard to lay. You may come across the odd egg next to a fence or tree.
As far as frequency, you should check for eggs daily. Of course, you’ll want to collect them when the hens aren’t actively sitting on them.
If you’re out of town and can’t check every day, that’s no big deal. But if left in the coop too long, your hens may start to eat them and make a mess.
How to Store Fresh Laid Chicken Eggs
Farm fresh eggs differ from store bought eggs in one major way. That is, home grown eggs still have a bloom. The bloom is a thin membrane that covers the porous shell of the egg and keeps it fresh for a VERY long time.
This is a huge benefit. It means that unwashed, home grown eggs don’t need to be refrigerated. They will keep as-is.
After collecting your eggs, you can set them in a wire basket, a bowl, or on an egg flat in your kitchen. Be sure NOT to wash them. If you do, they need to go in the fridge.
If there is any poop on them, you can wipe it off with a rag. But you want to keep the bloom on the egg, so no water or soap. After handling them, just make sure to wash your hands.
How Long Are Fresh Laid Eggs Good For?
Because of the antimicrobial bloom on the egg’s surface, home grown eggs will last a long time. You don’t need to refrigerate them (unless you wash the bloom off), but some people do anyway.
Stored in their natural state (bloom intact, room temperature), freshly laid eggs will last a month or more. If you’re skeptical about an egg that’s been sitting out a while, give it the flashlight test or float test.
The flashlight test means shining a light behind the egg. You should be able to see the liquid inside the egg. If it’s still good, it will look light and clear, with no defects. If you notice any air bubbles inside, you know it’s bad.
The float test is also very straightforward. Just fill a glass with water and gently drop the egg in. If it’s good, it will slowly sink. If it floats, even a little, you know it’s bad.
Egg Collection and Storage FAQs
Can I store freshly laid eggs at room temperature?
Yes. Because farm fresh eggs have an antimicrobial (called the bloom), they are safe to store at room temperature.
Do I need to wash freshly laid eggs?
No, you don’t. Because home grown eggs have a protective layer (or bloom), they shouldn’t be washed. You can buff off feathers or bits of poop with a dry rag.
How often should I collect eggs from my coop?
If you can manage it, collect your chickens’ eggs daily. If left unattended, hens will sometimes start to eat the eggs, which creates a big mess.
How long do freshly laid eggs stay good?
Freshly laid eggs can be stored at room temperature for over a month. If they have been sitting out for a while, give them the flashlight or float test to check their freshness.
How do I tell if freshly laid eggs are bad?
You can check an egg’s freshness by shining a flashlight through it. If you see an air bubble, it’s bad. Bad eggs will also float if dropped in a glass of water.
What is the bloom on an egg?
The bloom is a protective layer that coats the porous surface of the egg. It allows eggs to sit out at room temperature for over a month without going bad.