Yesterday Sharon Limpach- a “chicken mama” asked this question:
Wendy how long can an egg stay in the nest before it goes bad, My chickens will be without me Friday and Saturday they are well protected and feed but have no one to pick up eggs the temperature will be in the 60’s or 70’s. Let me know.
Here is my answer:
I tend to be a little more relaxed on this subject than others (for example – I think it’s okay to use frozen eggs once they have thawed provided the membrane has not ruptured.)
If you are gone for a few days and the temps are relatively low, I would use any and all eggs that had been laid (provided you water test them first – *all* eggs should be water tested before using.)
It’s not much different from us gathering Spring eggs and then letting them sit on the kitchen counter for a few days. Remember that eggs have that protective oil barrier that lasts until washed (or a broody chicken rubs it off) that’s the reason why eggs aren’t even refrigerated in some countries.
Even if you do have a chicken with broody desires, she typically won’t start sitting on her nest in earnest until she (or the flock) has laid enough for a clutch. I don’t know how big your flock is but I’m willing to bet that that wouldn’t happen in two days.
So my advice is this. Enjoy your time away and be prepared for a nice omelet when you return.
Disclaimer – this is my opinion as a bacteria tolerant microbiologist, your mileage may vary. When handling eggs always use proper safety precautions (wash hands and cook thoroughly), water test your eggs (if they float discard them) and always crack your egg into a separate bowl before adding it to your recipe (even some “healthy” eggs can have undesirable conditions (excessive blood in the yolk).)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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