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Fresh Eggs

Does anyone know how long farm fresh eggs are good for? These are locally raised & have never been rinsed. I got them from a co-worker who raises chickens almost 2 weeks ago. There are only a few left & I'm wondering if they're still good. They have not been pasteurized. Thanks.

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  1. Eggs usually last much longer than two weeks, especially if you got them when they were truly fresh. If you're really worried, stick them in a bowl of water to see what happens.

    6 Replies
    1. re: lavaca

      what do you look for... and what does that tell you??

      1. re: acecil

        As eggs age and the contents of the shell loses moisture, the air space at the big end of the egg enlarges. A very fresh egg will basically just sink. A little older and it stands on its pointy end. Much older and it will float. This tells you nothing much - just that it is older. It doesn't necessarily tell you if the egg is rotten or not.

        1. re: Nyleve

          I've been told to pitch an egg that floats outright. I once had a very, very bad egg; so I follow that advice without ever having questioned it.

          1. re: harrie

            The only way to tell a really bad egg is the smell when you crack it open. If you always crack into a bowl first, you should be covered.

            1. re: coll

              ....which was an awful, but worthwhile lesson to learn, two batches of cookie dough later. I can still smell the bad egg if I think about it - plus the egg comes out of the shell in a gross, gray, loose liquid, and it's just disgusting.

              Having had that experience, I 1) no longer buy from that person, who gave me three bad eggs in a $5 dozen; and 2) do the float test and pitch anything that's too floaty. I've since found two good, less expensive, farmers whose eggs (so far) have not only passed the float test with flying colors but also look and taste lovely.

              1. re: harrie

                I worked at a deli for years, and never got a bad egg, even though we must have gone through over a thousand a day. Lots of double yolks, they always came in bunches, that was fun. If you got that many bad ones in a dozen, you did well to find another farmer.

    2. I've gotten eggs from a neighbor and I've kept them for over two weeks. I did keep 'em in the fridge though.

      1. I keep chickens and I can tell you that sometimes, especially in the spring when the hens are really producing, I might have 10 dozen eggs in the fridge. I date the cartons and have used eggs that were two MONTHS old and are still perfectly fine. And I mean perfectly. I don't sell these old eggs - I use them myself. And I suspect that they might even last longer than that but I don't think I've actually had the chance to test that out.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve

          My frig is often filled with farm (not supermarket) eggs that are more than a month, or even more than two months old! Never had a problem.

          1. re: Nyleve

            My local chicken farmer told me before she started selling them, she used to keep the eggs in her basement covered with straw all winter long,

          2. Great, thanks everyone. I'm sure they're fine, just wanted an extra opinion.

            1. Interesting question. I bought local eggs a few weeks (over 2, but not by much) ago and kept them out on the counter. Made a couple of fried eggs a few days ago which were fine.... BUT when I hard-boiled one yesterday for lunch, it had some icky slimy stuff on the bottom once it was peeled, and I was too grossed out to put it on my sandwich. It didn't smell funny, and I was surprised at the, um, tactile experience of egg goo near a perfectly cooked yolk.

              Any chicken experts wanna chime in? I have 3 eggs left, but now am wary of using them. No goo for me, please!

              4 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                Not going to guess what the icky goo was, but if the egg doesn't smell funny I would use it for other cooked purposes - baking, scrambled, etc. There are a lot of factors that contribute to weirdness in a hard boiled egg. Strange, isn't it? What seems so simple is often the most difficult thing to pull off perfectly.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  Well, usually my method is letting the room-temp egg come to a boil, then take off the burner and let sit for 12 minutes. This ALWAYS works well, and the eggs come out fine. 'cept this one. This one was kinda gross. And I couldn't bring myself to putting it on or in anything....

                  1. re: linguafood

                    Understood. I would have felt the same way. Dog would have been happy.

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      Ha! The dude (our cat) not so much, me thinks. But then who knows....

              2. Eggs are not pasteurized. Ever. Industrial egg producers just wash the outside of the egg with bleach, to get off the chicken s@*t and to kill any bacteria that might be living on the outside of the eggshell. But the inside of the egg is completely untreated.

                Really, an uncracked egg won't go bad. 6 months, it'll be fine. It'll start to dry out, and be less lovely to cook with, but it won't genuinely go bad in the sense that it's unsafe to eat. My mom talks of bringing a semester's worth of eggs from the farm when she went to college in the 1950s. She'd keep them at room temperature for 4 months, go home at the end of the semester and get another batch.

                tl;dr Eggs don't go bad.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Indirect Heat

                  "Eggs are not pasteurized. Ever."

                  Not true. There's a company (Davidson's) that figured out a way to pasterize them in the shell. Not sold everywhere yet, though. http://www.safeeggs.com/

                2. awesome thread, very useful.

                  1. I raise poultry for eggs and meat, on a small farm, here in Florida's Panhandle. I wish to provide y'all with some insight that I have gleaned, over the past few decades, concerning eggs. I have hens that produce eggs that have shells of white, shades of brown and a breed called "Americauna" that has shell colors ranging from a pale blue all the way to an olive green. If these hens all eat the same feeds...their eggs will all taste the same! Most birds encase their eggs with a semi-impervious film called "bloom", that if left intact, will protect the egg from undue moisture loss via the shell; thereby lengthening the egg's shelf life. Since I'm a small operator, I practice due diligence by keeping my flock's nesting area clean and provide separate night roosting areas for my birds. This ensures that the hens don't poop on the eggs. If I have to wash eggs I do so then after dry I rub a thin film of food-grade mineral oil to replace the 'bloom.' Eggs handled in this fashion can be stored on my kitchen countertop, at room temperature(72-75F) 12-14 weeks.I do refrigerate eggs that I market, however. Market eggs can be stored under refrigeration, safely, for 10 months. As for pasteurizing eggs, this is done when raw, shelled eggs are sold; in bulk, to the food service industries. Also, I might mention that I raise guinea fowl, ducks and geese; I enjoy their eggs and have many customers that do also. If anyone has questions? I am more than happy to reply!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: carugoman

                      Hi, very interesting thread and thanks for posting. Are you saying that you only put the mineral oil on the shells if you have to wash them? Or that in order to keep them on counter for 12-14 weeks you oil them? I regularly buy eggs from a local farmer (I am in London, UK) and don't like refrigerating them. My kitchen is quite cool as well. Don't want them to absorb any smells in fridge and don't like the idea of cooking with cold eggs if I want a quick fried egg or want to whip up a cake or muffins.

                      Re washing, is there any other reason to wash them other than the poop? And what do you use to wash them?

                      I always do the float test with my eggs and toss the ones that bob up to the top of the water. I once had a bad egg and the smell is never to be forgotten.

                    2. Humble subject, interesting thread....
                      It brings back memories of sometimes soon after the war when at granma's farm, every morning before opening the coop door and releasing the hens for their day of pecking around, each one of them had to be checked ( by sticking a finger) if they had an egg ready to be delivered. The egg-less ones were released while the other had to stay inside until all the expected eggs could be accounted for.
                      Gross as it seems it must have been an efficient way of not having to go around hunting all over for the eggs or losing them.
                      I wonder if this was a common practice in the past and if anybody else remembers having ever seen this.
                      I also remember that eggs were kept for the long haul in a high density calcium solution inside large earthenware pot. The reason was that back then the hens apparently only laid eggs in the springs ( as per the normal reproductive pattern of all birds) and these had to be kept for the whole year.
                      Apparently modern hens have, like us humans, been totally disconnected from the season's cycle...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pietro

                        Hens aren't necessarily completely disconnected from annual cycles. It's just that modern egg operations have fiddled with the business so that they have a 365-day-a-year supply of eggs. These farms don't bother to keep the poor girls beyond their first egg-laying period, so there's no down time. When hens begin to lay - at maybe 12 weeks (I could have that number wrong) of age, they will lay reliably through to their first moult. So if you get chicks in the spring, they'll lay through the following winter and then stop laying in late summer (when they begin to moult). Laying resumes in late winter or early spring. Modern egg farms will dispose of the hens at their first moult (Hello Campbells!), at which time they will have a whole new batch of young birds starting to lay. These cycles are linked to day length rather than temperature, so many farms will extend the laying period with artificial lights (24 hours a day, in some cases) so that they never know what season it is.

                        As hobby farmers, we just keep our hens until they die of old age or a fox comes to visit. Most years, I buy the expired layers from a local farmer who, being practical and frugal, gets new hens every year and gets rid of the older ones (as above). These old hens are more than adequate for my eggy needs, and I'm happy to take them. In fact, because the rest of my flock consists of weird breeds not know for their egg-production, these old gals are my best layers.

                      2. One way to know that an egg is old is to shake it. If it feels like it's bouncing inside, that means that the air space is large, and so it's old.

                        1. The postings reminded me of when I were a kid being raised on a ranch. Beaucoup chickens whose egg production hit 24 a day - gave eggs to everyone and my Grams thought up a bunch of creative ways to use them in recipes. Also ducks, turkeys, geese whose eggs tasted very good. I devised a portable coop to move the chickens around the pasture from spot to spot - fertilized the field and they ate seeds and bugs. I used to guide the geese through the veggie garden to eat the bugs - we never used any pesticide and the geese never ate the veggies, just bugs. Worked well and great eggs.
                          We stored all eggs in the cellar in wood crates covered with straw, did not wash them before use and no one ever got sick. I also had to milk two cows every AM&PM: no pastuization or homogenization, just strain, into the fridge, skim whatever amount of cream, place extra cream in jar in sunny window and later churn for butter. We never administered antibiotics, growth hormones and never had a problem of e-coli, salmonella or listeria. We never had to treat fresh, plucked chicken as though we were handling poison.
                          If you crack a suspected egg into a bowl, you can check for discoloration or smell - barring that it should be good. Because an egg floats in water, it means it's older w/ more inside air, not necessarily that it's bad.

                          1. On other thing: it was fun reading all the posts - reminded me of home.

                            1. Funny the emphasis of this thread is on how long you can keep fresh eggs...

                              I mean, fresh eggs, with their bright yellow / orange yolks, are wonderful, and would never last a week in my house.