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Checking Eggs for Freshness

We have 2 chickens and the eggs can stack up quickly sometimes. We collect our eggs in a basket on the counter. Then when the basket gets full, we put them into a sink full of water (at least a few inches above the eggs) to check their freshness and clean them. We rarely have a bad egg that needs to be thrown away, but you can also find the ones that are the oldest and need to be used first.

It's very easy to tell (see photos below):

  • If it FLOATS, it's bad and should be thrown out.
  • If it STANDS ON END in the bottom of the sink, it's getting old and should be used first.
  • If it LAYS ON ITS SIDE, it's great and very fresh.

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July 1, 20150 found this helpful

Very good tip! Thanks for posting.

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July 1, 20151 found this helpful

Just because an egg floats does not mean that it is absolutely bad. It means that the air sack is beginning to get larger. Egg shells are porous and as the egg ages it will take in air, more air, more buoyancy. That's why the slightly older than fresh eggs will stand up in water instead of laying flat.


A rotten egg will have a distinct sulfur like odor and generally have a dark discoloration near the air sack. Anyone that keeps back yard chickens or ducks and collects the eggs should date their eggs and eliminate any guess work. Anything older than 2 or 3 weeks should be frozen or dehydrated.

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June 30, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you for posting! I can never remember how it works!!

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