How Long do Eggs Last?

Chicken EggsHow long do freshly collected eggs actually last? How long are they good for? There is nothing better than having a consistent supply of farm-fresh eggs from your very own flock of hens! If your hens produce more eggs than your family can eat daily, you will quickly begin to accumulate eggs.

So the question is: How long will they last?

Farm-fresh eggs can be kept on your kitchen counter (at room temperature) for anywhere from two to four weeks — so long as they remain unwashed. After that, they can be stored in your fridge in an airtight container for up to three to six months!

While fresh farm eggs definitely taste the best within two weeks of their harvest, they can be stored for a surprisingly long time. Learning good egg handling and storage skills are essential for ensuring that your farm fresh eggs keep for as long as possible.

If you keep a tidy, clean coop so that eggs are free of mud and muck when you collect them, you will not need to wash your eggs. Unless eggs are filthy, it is better not to wash them. If you have to wash eggs, rinse them in lukewarm water, and use un-fragranced soap if necessary to gently scrub them free of dirt or excrement.

Whether you obtain your eggs from a farmers’ market or a friend or family member with a productive backyard flock, you will want to store your eggs in the refrigerator to ensure that they retain maximum freshness and flavor.

However, because farm-fresh eggs are generally unwashed, their bloom or cuticle – an invisible layer that seals the egg from oxygen and bacteria – protects them. They can, therefore, also safely be stored on the counter at room temperature.

How to Test If an Egg Is Still Good

When you’ve got a lot of hens that are all laying a ton of eggs, it can be really easy to lose track of their ages. A good trick is to write the date of harvest on the shell with a pencil if you plan to store your eggs.

Luckily, testing an egg to see if it’s still good to eat (or not) is really quick and easy. No need to find out by cracking open an egg and having it stink up your kitchen! Simply fill up a medium-sized bowl with warm water, then gently place the egg in question in the water. The way to tell if the egg is good to eat is whether it sinks or floats.

  • If the egg floats, it has gone bad and is no longer good to eat.
  • If the egg sinks and lies on its side, it is perfectly good to eat.
  • If it sinks but remains vertical (straight up), it is about three months old and should thus be eaten soon.

This is because freshly laid eggs do not have an air bubble inside. As the egg cools, a bubble forms between the inner membrane and the shell, usually on the wide end of the egg.

Eggshells are porous, and over time, the yolk absorbs liquid from the albumen (egg-whites), and moisture and gas escape through the pores in the shell. This causes the air bubble to grow.

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