How Fresh Are My Eggs?

I was reminiscing through old pictures recently, when I came across this adorable picture of Mason in a onesie that his grandma gave him as a gift. And I totally had a lightbulb moment!

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People have asked me:

  • How long do your eggs last?

  • How do I know if my eggs have gone bad?

  • Are my eggs still okay to eat if I left them out on the counter for a couple hours?

So I know if I get a lot of people asking me these kind of questions, some of you are probably wondering the same thing! 

Thank you Mason for giving me this idea for a blog post. Never thought I was much of a writer, but turns out, when you're writing about things you enjoy and are passionate about, the words just flow!

If you've only got limited time, feel free to skip ahead to the video below that walks you through how to test whether your egg is still good. Otherwise, read on.

Thinking about the nature of an egg and what it was designed to do, they are actually amazing! An egg is designed to protect and nourish a baby chick, duckling, etc. so that when it is hatched, it's well-equipped to continue to survive and grow. 

The gestational period of a chicken is roughly 21 days, meaning that if an egg is fertilized (ours are not since we don't have any roosters) and is laid on by a hen or incubated, it should hatch a cute tiny chick at the end of that time period. 

The yolk is what mostly nourishes the baby chick during that time and the white protects the yolk, but also provides additional nutrition for the growing embryo. Membranes and the outer most layer, the hard shell, provide even more protection for the egg.

In addition, did you know that when an egg is laid, there is also a protective "bloom" on the shell that essentially seals the pores in the eggshell so that bacteria can't get in and reduces moisture loss from the egg? As long as that bloom isn't removed either by scrubbing or washing, it helps an egg stay fresh even longer. 

It's amazing all the different ways an egg is protected naturally!

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We strive to keep our nest boxes clean so that we don't have to wash our eggs for that very reason. We want our eggs to have the most protection against bacteria so they'll stay fresh for a long time. We've had eggs that have lasted at least 8 weeks in the fridge and longer than 4 weeks on the counter!

That only happened, because we were specifically doing an experiment to see how long our eggs would last. Otherwise, that egg would have been eaten long before 8 weeks!

….we eat 4-6 eggs a day, hence one of the reason we raise our own hens, HA!

So this brings me to the water float test. Long story short,

  • If an egg sinks the whole way to the bottom, it's super fresh

  • If an egg sinks but sort of bobs a little, it's not as fresh, but still completely fine to eat (these are great for hard boiled eggs!)

  • If an egg floats the whole way to the top, it's bad! Throw it out!

Don't try and crack an egg that you think may be bad (or at least go outside!), it will make your house smell AWFUL for hours! I learned that the hard way....

The only time we ever had a bad egg, I decided it was a good idea to crack it in the house. I was just so curious as to what it would look like on the inside......BAD IDEA!

When you crack a fresh egg, it should really smell like nothing. If it smells rotten, sour or unpleasant, even if it didn’t float, throw it out.

But again, this has only happened once to us over the two years we’ve been farming. As long as you’re getting your eggs from a trusted source who you know raises healthy chickens (meaning they lay eggs with strong & protective shells!) and the eggs are fresh, you shouldn’t ever have to experience a bad egg :)

Here's the video walking you through how to do this water float test. Enjoy!

 

 

Comment below if you've ever smelled a rotten egg (I'm so sorry if you have!) or if you already knew how to do this!

Your farmer,

Rachel