Among the most common of animal foods, free-range chicken eggs are least prone to spoiling. But what if your hen Jen has been laying more than you can handle, or you’re looking to stock up? Here’s what you should know:
1. If you decide to refrigerate your eggs, you can be confident they will remain fresh for thirty days- and even more! Since you are raising your own free-range chickens with your hen house, and you are conscientious and responsible about daily care, you would not have to worry too much about Salmonella. Even if an egg did have salmonella, refrigeration would kill the majority of the bacteria- proper handling, preparing, and cooking, virtually all of them.
2. To get the most out of your stock, only poach the freshest eggs, and scramble the older ones. This way the best taste is assured.
How to Check for ‘Bad’ Free-Range Chicken Eggs:
Perhaps while frequenting your hen house, you missed one of Jenny’s eggs, or maybe it has found its way out of her nest- is it still ‘good’ (is it tasty!)? Try this:
Fill a pitcher, a sizable glass, or bowl with water (any temperature will work), and gently drop an egg one-by-one inside. Does it float? If it does, you probably have an old egg.
What causes this? If you read our post on the 15 Layers Free-Range Chicken Eggs, you know eggshells are extremely porous. As an egg ages, its air cell enlarges, forming a little floaty-like creation inside, causing it to keep above water. Pretty cool, but pretty pungent!
Remember: Especially if you refrigerate your free-range chicken eggs, they should be pretty fresh for a long time. But if at any time you want to perform a taste-test pre-boil, -crack, or -poach, just place it in some water!
Keep up with your hen house, and your taste buds- and your chickens- will thank you. Have any specific questions? We can help you out. Feel free to give us a call at (717) 205-2660.