There is nothing better than having a consistent supply of 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.
You may be wondering: How long do farm fresh eggs last and how should you store them?
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Farm fresh eggs can be kept at room temperature for two weeks to a month if they are unwashed. After that, they need to be stored in the fridge.
If freshly laid eggs are refrigerated, they can be stored for three months or up to six months in an airtight container.
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.
What to Do with Fresh Eggs When You Get Them
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 Long Can You Store Fresh Eggs on the Counter
Farm fresh eggs do not carry an expiry date like store-bought ones, so you may be wondering how long they stay fresh and safe to eat for.
The answer is longer than you might think!
An egg can be stored on the counter or in the pantry at room temperature for up to a month. They may even be safe to eat after this, but you should do a freshness test just to be on the safe side.
How Long to Store Fresh Eggs in the Fridge
Keeping eggs cool in the refrigerator helps to maintain their quality and allows them to be stored for seven times longer.
You can safely store freshly laid eggs in the refrigerator for three to six months.
Some people report keeping eggs in the fridge for eight months or even a year, but this is not recommended. If you have lost track of how long eggs have been in the refrigerator, simply do an egg freshness test.
Store them in a carton or sealed container to prevent eggs from being contaminated with other smells or tastes from the fridge (like garlic and onion, gross!).
How to Test if an Egg Is Still Good – The Egg Freshness Test
When hens are laying lots of eggs, it can be 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, it is quick and easy to test whether an egg is still good to eat or not. There is no reason to find out the answer the smelly way!
Just fill a medium-sized bowl with water, place the egg in question in the water gently, and see if it sinks or floats.
- If the egg floats, it is no longer good to eat.
- If the egg sinks and lies horizontally on its side, it is perfectly good to eat.
- If it sinks but remains 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, and moisture and gas escape through the pores in the shell. This causes the air bubble to grow.
Tips for Storing Farm Fresh Eggs for Longer
- The optimal temperature for storing eggs is 7°C or 45° F. Keeping them at this temperature will maximize storage time.
- Do not wash fresh eggs. Let the bloom help to preserve their freshness. If you are worried about hygiene, wash the egg right before using it.
- Keeping a clean coop, with fresh bedding litter added to nesting areas regularly, helps keep eggs clean, so you do not need to wash them.
- Eggs can be cracked, separated, and stored in the freezer safely for as long as a year!
How Long Do Farm Fresh Eggs Last
Having an abundance of fresh farm eggs is a blessing, and you will certainly want to handle and store them correctly so that they keep for as long as possible.
Freshly laid eggs can safely be stored on the countertop or inside the pantry for two to four weeks.
Ideally, eggs should not be washed so that they retain their protective bloom, or cuticle, which prevents bacteria or oxygen from getting inside the egg through the pores in the shell.
Eggs retain their flavor and consistency better when stored in the refrigerator. Another benefit of storing them in the fridge is that they can keep for much longer – up to six months!
Ensure that you regularly add new bedding litter to the coop, and clean droppings out of nesting areas so that the eggs never get mucky.
If you have to wash eggs, use lukewarm water to rinse and gently scrub the debris from the shell. Use unscented soap if needed. Use washed eggs within a week or two, as they do not keep as well as unwashed eggs.