People are often worried about the freshness of their eggs, and their safety. It is a good thing that people be concerned because an egg is a bit of a miracle in geometry, packaging,as well as biology.

When the hen lays the egg she is actually placing a potential baby into a safe place. But that baby lives in a semi-sealed container that she can’t access, so she makes sure that there is a perfect balance of moisture feed, and space inside that little package.
There is a space at the large end of the egg that can allow toxic carbon dioxide to escape, and moisture to evaporate, and the shell itself is porous so that atmospheric moisture can get through the shell, but the internal membrane in the shell keeps the internal moisture from evaporating.

Hens are very efficient animals. They lay eggs approximately every 26 hours, but do not start worrying about sitting on the eggs until there are “enough to worry about.” If she is allowed to collect the eggs, she will place them in one spot, turn them to make sure that the chick is floating in the egg and that fresh clean shell is available to the air, and will begin sitting on them when she has a large enough “clutch” size. It is at that point that the chick actually starts to grow. Up until that point the egg is dormant, just waiting for a constant source of heat and moisture that happen when the hen gets “broody.” She stop laying eggs at that point, and begins sitting on the next 23 hours a day. She will get off in sporadic periods of time to eat, drink, void her system and then get back to the work of keeping the eggs warm. She knows that if the eggs aren’t kept warm, the chicks won’t grow and hatch. The sheer size of the clutch helps hold the heat, but she can’t stay away for very long. Her feathers are fluffed out so that she can trap air under them, making it possible for the eggs to get fresh oxygen, and to keep the eggs warm.

What is most miraculous to me is that nature has allowed babies to hatch all on the same day, even though they were laid on different days. The eggs are just as fresh at the start of that period of time as the ones that were laid two weeks later. This is because of a protective layer that she secretes onto the shell just before it emerges from the egg tube. This sealant allows only clean air and water to permeate it, and keeping the dormant cell inside as perfect as it was when she laid it. It is that layer that makes it so that fresh eggs do not need to be refrigerated.

But once those eggs are washed, that layer goes away, and the eggs are susceptible to contamination and storage. With that layer gone, the eggs begin to absorb contaminants, lose moisture and are prone to spoilage. That is why farmers don’t generally use any moisture on their eggs until they are going to be refrigerated. If there is cleaning that is needed, it’s done with a dry towel, or very little moisture, to preserve nature’s sealant. Once they are refrigerated they should stay that way until used.
Does that answer your question?

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