Frozen eggs are something that a beginner backyard chicken owner probably wouldn’t foresee. We live way up in the mountains where it gets pretty cold in the winter. With these icy temperatures, it was common sense to put a heat lamp in our chicken coop just for the sake of the birds themselves.
One day, on of my kids went into the chicken coop and somehow managed to smash a bulb leading to my frozen egg saga. I must have gotten a bad batch of heat lamps because I went through about four until I switched stores and got a quality lamp. In the meantime, I had encountered many-a-frozen-egg! The chickens weren’t very happy either because their water and food scraps were freezing up!
Can You Eat Frozen Eggs?
My short answer is no. Not if you want to be super safe. Out of all the eggs that froze in my coop, virtually all were found with cracks in them. This is not safe because bacteria can get into the egg. Bird poo, bedding, dust …. chicken coop skuz… gross.
I have heard of some people eating them if the membrane was still intact. But to be on the safe side, I wouldn’t eat them.
What to do With Frozen Eggs
To be completely honest, I just smashed up the cracked eggs into my other food scraps that I was feeding the chickens. This way, I figure they can’t recognize the egg in any way, so I feel they wont go after their own non-cracked eggs! This gives them the calcium from the shell, and all the other nutrients from the eggs.
If you wanted to be super careful, you could cook the egg and feed it to your animals, and then crush and bake the shells for your chickens in place of oyster shells.
Preventing Frozen Chicken Eggs
So my first tip to avoiding frozen chicken eggs, is if you live in a cold climate, HAVE BACK UP HEAT LAMPS! Then you wont have that lag time of coldness before you can make it to the store! Lesson learned on my part.
If you don’t heat your coop because you live in a fairly mild climate, but are afraid of a few random cold nights, some good ideas for keeping your chickens, the water, and the eggs all from freezing would be as follows:
- Build an insulated coop. An insulated coop with minimal airflow for those very cold nights is a good idea. My coop is insulated with a small door that stays open for them to come and go as they please. This seems to provide more than enough ventilation for them, while keeping the coop at a decent temperature.
- Use shallow nesting boxes with a curtain to help hold in heat. Line the bottom with straw for extra warmth.
- The simplest idea if you only get a few cold nights, would be to collect the eggs A.S.A.P. Usually you know when your chickens lay. So if you don’t give them enough time to freeze, then your in the clear!
If your chickens aren’t too full off all your frozen eggs, check out this non-gmo, soy free, corn free, chicken feed recipe that you can make yourself to save money and nourish your feathery friends!