Learn how to float eggs here, and find out why you would ever need to float eggs. This is an important skill for backyard chicken owners to have.
For the majority of people, knowing whether eggs are good or not simply requires looking at the date printed on the end of the carton. If you’re raising your own chickens, though, how do you know if your eggs are good or not?
The way to know if eggs are fresh is to float them, and I’m here to tell you how to float eggs, and how easy it is!
When raising chickens, there will come a day when you find some random eggs tucked away somewhere, and you’ll wonder how long those eggs have been there. For us, it was inside of an old playhouse my kids no longer used, and we found about 2 dozen eggs.
The great thing about unwashed eggs is that they don’t require refrigeration. When an egg is laid by a chicken, it comes out covered in a protective layer, called the bloom or the cuticle. This covering stops air from permeating the egg, allowing the egg to stay fresh much longer.
When you buy eggs from the grocery store, they have been washed (and bleached). Because the bloom has been removed, they now require refrigeration, and they go bad more quickly. Unwashed eggs last much longer.
So when you find those unwashed eggs tucked away somewhere, how can you know if they’re a day old or 2 months old? You can float eggs to find out.
Items needed to float eggs:
- Water in some sort of container (I used cups so you can see)
Place the eggs into water.
When eggs are extremely fresh (laid in the last day or two), they will lay on their side on the bottom of the cup.
As eggs start to age, more air will permeate the shell, causing the egg to start to stand up on end when you float it.
If an egg floats to the top it’s no good, and should be thrown away.
You can see in this photo that the egg on the left is fresh (it was laid the day I took the picture), while the egg on the right is no good. I kept the egg on the right for weeks, much to my husband’s disgust, just so I could take this picture for you! Haha.
If you were to crack open the egg on the right, you would find a milky white, instead of clear, and the yolk would no longer be distinct, but would instead have more of a hazy edge. If you were to keep this egg for a couple more weeks, it would begin to stink, but it’s already not edible far before it begins to stink.
There you have it!
It’s that easy to float eggs to find out if they’re good to consume, and it’s a necessary skill if you’re raising backyard or free range chickens.
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