The most exciting part about keeping backyard chickens is collecting the eggs. I still enjoy filling my pockets or basket with handfuls of colorful eggs that my family can enjoy!
And once you’ve tasted fresh eggs, you’ll never want to go back to the bland options from the grocery store. They are so much better in flavor, quality, and often, price! However, because your freshly laid eggs are processed differently than commercial eggs, they also need to be stored differently.
Let’s discuss how to safely clean and correctly store your farm fresh eggs.
Farm-fresh eggs are so much better in flavor, quality, and often, price! However, because your freshly laid eggs are processed differently than commercial eggs, they also need to be stored differently. This is critical information to consider in order to keep your whole family safe while consuming backyard eggs! Let’s discuss the top 4 ways to store fresh eggs, when to wash them, and how to know if they are still fresh.
On the Counter
Be sure to avoid washing the eggs if you plan to store them on the counter. This preserves the natural protective coating on the shell and aids them in lasting longer.
These eggs can be kept on the countertop at room temperature for around 3 weeks given the weather is not exceptionally hot. After these three weeks the eggs should be placed in one of the various storage methods we will discuss below.
Storing the eggs in the refrigerator will extend their shelf-life by an additional 3-4 weeks. You can wash your eggs before placing them in the fridge if you’d prefer to. They no longer need that protective coating when refrigerated.
Those who do not have room to refrigerate eggs or simply desire another storage location can look to cold storage as an option. Cold storage consists of keeping the eggs at a temperature of 50 degrees F and as dry as possible.
Eggs kept in this sort of environment can last for up to 3 months.
Freezing is a great way to keep eggs for more than 3 months time. However, you can’t freeze them while they are still in the shell because they will crack! Either scramble them all together or separate them by yolks and whites before freezing.
Frozen eggs can last for up to 1 year.
When to Wash Backyard Eggs
It is best to wait and wash your eggs until you are ready to use them. This preserves the ‘bloom’, or protective coating on the shell, and will only aid them in remaining fresh.
If eggs are extremely soiled and need a washing right away, wash each one individually (avoid soaking them) and place them in the fridge after drying.
Eggs that have been washed are no longer safe to keep out on the counter for extended amounts of time.
How to Know if an Egg is Still Fresh
The egg float test is the best way to determine if eggs are fresh or not.
Here’s how this test works:
Fill a bowl with 3-4 inches of cold water. Drop the egg in the water.
If the egg sinks to the bottom of the bowl, the eggs are fresh enough to eat.
Eggs that have floated all the way to the top are very spoiled and should be discarded.
The more time that passes, the more air that is allowed to enter the pores of the eggshell. This is why old eggs float more than fresh ones do.
More on Chickens:
- How to Keep Chicken Eggs from Freezing
- Do Chickens Need a Heat Lamp?
- Letting Chickens Till Our Garden
- All About Our Breeds of Chickens
- We Built an A Frame Chicken Tractor
- Everything You Need to Bring Chicks Home