How Long Are Farm Fresh Eggs Good For?

Nothing is better than fresh eggs straight from the coop, but how long are farm fresh eggs good for? Several factors influence the freshness of eggs and their shelf life, so whether you’re just starting out raising chickens or an experienced homesteader, we’re here to fill you in on the knowledge and techniques you’ll need to determine whether or not the eggs you’ve collected are fresh and safe to eat.

How to Properly Clean Eggs:
Did you know that eggs have a natural protective coating over them called a bloom? This coating seals the pores of the egg, preserving its freshness and preventing harmful bacteria like salmonella from getting inside. This is why it’s important to be careful when cleaning your eggs. If the egg is relatively clean when collected, you can brush off dirt or debris with a dry cloth or brush, and if the eggs are quite dirty, gently rinse them under cool water with your hands. When eggs are cleaned excessively, it gets rid of dirt and bacteria, but also strips away the protective coating. Once the protective coating is gone, the eggs become more susceptible to contamination, and their shelf life is shortened.

How Long Can You Store Eggs?
Refrigerated Eggs Shelf Life –
Because they are so sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations, eggs should be stored in a cool spot in your refrigerator where the temperature is below 7 degrees Celsius. If stored correctly in the fridge, farm fresh eggs can be stored for up to 6 weeks.
Unrefrigerated Eggs Shelf Life – Since warm temperatures will make eggs go bad faster, store your eggs in a cool area with no direct sunlight. Unrefrigerated eggs that are stored properly can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
Always label eggs with the date they were collected, that way you have a rough idea of how fresh they are and when they should be discarded.

How to Test if an Egg is Fresh
There are a few simple ways to test the freshness of an egg, you can do these tests right after collecting eggs or before you use them:

Float Test:

  1. Place your egg in a bowl of cold water.
  2. If the egg sinks to the bottom and lies horizontally, it’s very fresh and safe to eat.
  3. If the egg floats a bit or stands vertically, it’s past its peak freshness but is still edible.
  4. If the egg floats to the surface, the egg is old and should be thrown out.

Visual Inspection:

  1. Check for any cracks or powdery mold on the shell – Discard the egg if it’s cracked or moldy.
  2. Crack the egg open – Fresh eggs have thick, firm egg whites, plump, round yolks, and very little spreading. Old eggs will have flat yolks and watery egg whites and may not be safe to consume.
  3. If the shell is thin or brittle, it means that egg didn’t get enough calcium while being formed. Since these shells are weak, they are easily contaminated and shouldn’t be eaten.

Smell Test: Fresh eggs should have little to no smell when cracked open. Old eggs may have a strong, sulfurous odor. If your egg smells rotten, throw it out.

It’s essential to understand the importance of taking the proper precautions when handling and storing eggs to prevent foodborne sickness. A good rule of thumb when testing an egg to determine freshness is “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Visit our experts in store if you have any questions and be sure to check out our selection of poultry supplies and feed while you’re there!

For more expert advice on all things poultry and homesteading, check out our blog:
How to Introduce New Chickens to Your Flock
Hens Health Throughout the Seasons
Predator Proofing Your Chicken Coop

Feeds'n Needs Team