Chickens make great pets, but they also produce one of our favourite items of food; fresh eggs! Waking up in the morning and collecting your fresh produce is one of the most enjoyable aspects of keeping chickens and it’s why many people decide to get chickens in the first place.
But do you have to collect chicken eggs every day? In this blog, we’re going to look at how often you should be collecting your eggs and how long they can stay in your chicken coop before going bad.
At Cocoon Chicken Coops, we make a variety of high quality chicken coops that will keep your chickens and eggs safe and secure. Whether you’re a beginner or a chicken-owning veteran, you can be safe in the knowledge that your chickens have a comfortable coop to live in.
Firstly it’s worth saying that you should collect chicken eggs as soon as possible. Most people choose the morning time to do this but at any point during the day is perfectly acceptable. Chicken eggs shouldn’t be left in their coops overnight if possible, although they will not ‘go bad’ if you do. The longer you leave your chicken eggs in the coop, the more chance they have of something stealing or damaging them.
Chicken eggs can in fact be left in their coops for up to 5 weeks without spoiling due to their protective cuticle (also known as a bloom). This layer of protein protects the inside of the egg from any bacteria and lasts up until the egg is washed. It is for this reason that you do not need to wash your eggs before eating.
With this said, chicken eggs certainly aren’t invincible. Over time the protective bloom will weaken and your eggs may become more susceptible to things like salmonella. It’s not worth getting ill over and if you think an egg is past its best, it’s better to leave it.
Even though you can leave your chicken eggs in the coop for a relatively long period of time, it doesn’t mean you should. The longer you take to collect fresh chicken eggs, the more likely they are to be spoiled. Broody hens may sit on your eggs and start the incubation process, or hungry chickens might even eat their own eggs if they’re hungry enough.
You also have to think about any predators that could steal or eat your chicken eggs. Rats, birds and squirrels all love fresh eggs as much as you do and will often steal them to feed on. Since these animals are small enough to enter into your chicken coop, it’s best you try to collect chicken eggs as soon as you can.
Chicken eggs are quite hardy, but changes in temperature can affect their quality and cause them to spoil faster. Let’s take a look at how heat and cold will affect your eggs:
There isn’t a definitive temperature that is ‘too hot’ for a chicken egg, although anything over 20 degrees and your egg will begin to spoil quicker. You should also try to avoid direct sunlight on your eggs as this will make them spoil faster. If the temperature gets too hot, your eggs may even start to incubate if they’ve been fertilised by a cockerel. If it’s a particularly warm period, it may be a good idea to collect your eggs more frequently such as in the morning and in the evening.
Chickens will typically lay less in the winter although they will still produce. The cold weather may impact your eggs, especially in freezing temperatures where the insides of the egg will cool and expand. This can cause cracks in your eggs which will expose your eggs to bacteria and cause them to spoil. As well as this, eggs that have been frozen will have a grainy texture that will make them unpleasant to eat. Again, it’s best to try and collect your eggs even more frequently during cold spells.
Here at Cocoon Chicken Coops, we produce high quality chicken coops for chicken owners of all experience levels. Our coops come in a range of different dimensions to suit any flock size, with a selection of different features that mean you will always find a chicken coop that’s right for you. Keep your chickens and eggs safe with Cocoon Chicken Coops.
For more information, call us today on 01273 978 487 or visit our contact page to send us an enquiry.