Also, do I have to wash them? I remember reading here on MDC about people buying pastured eggs and favoring those that sometimes still had feathers stuck on them. If I have to wash them, what do I wash them with?
Fresh eggs can keep for several weeks (2-3) unrefrigerated and for several months (2-4) refrigerated. The good thing about eggs is there's no question--crack a rotten one and you know it!
I wash the eggs I sell because I don't know how people feel about a few feather bits or streaks of poo/mud on their eggs. You're supposed to wash eggs in water hotter than the egg, otherwise with cooler water you force bacteria through the porous shell and into the egg.
Washing takes off the natural good bacteria coating/barrier on the outside, so it makes the eggs keep for less time. (Grocery store eggs are washed then coated with some kind of wax to reseal them.)
For the eggs we keep to eat, I don't wash them unless they are very dirty and then I wash them right before I crack them.
Momma to Sweet Rosie 7/06, Lost Baby J 1/09 at 12 weeks pregnant, Spitfire Ada born 4/21/10, and Baby Boy due July/August 2013!
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(they should likely be just fine for 5 weeks. if you wanted to keep them longer, you could coat them in a layer of melted butter. or some weird stuff that I forget the name of that starts with an i. both traditional methods of keeping eggs over winter. I've never tried it.
As others have mentioned, not washing the eggs will help them to last longer. They should last many weeks in the fridge without a problem. At least, the eggs from *my* pastured chickens last that long without issue
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