Must they be refrigerated or can they be stored in a cool place or on a kitchen counter
I always keep them in a door section in the fridge,I think this is the best way to store them :)
Really not an urgent matter at this time of year unless you live in a very hot climate. A freshly laid egg wears a natural coating that protects contents. Humans wash that off and in the case of store-bought eggs, substitute a kind of oily substance that clogs all the tiny pores in the permeable shell. (I am not sure what the USDA requires farmers to use for eggs sold directly to customers.) In olden times, folk kept eggs on the counter in pretty wire egg baskets and used them so frequently in cooking that no one really worried about getting sick from eating them. In my high-school French club, we ate chocolate mousse on a regular basis without fear of raw eggs. Nowadays, we pasteurize eggs out of fear, but also raise chickens in wretched conditions, call them free-range if there is a door in their hen house and permit stores to sell eggs that are 90 days old. Thus, the sale of wire baskets as quaint historical artifacts and plastic molded shelves in refrigerators designed to hold eggs.
The rule of thumb that I've been given is 1) never wash those lovely eggs from the barn until just before use and 2) each day on the counter is equivalent to a week in the fridge.
This won't answer your question in any helpful way...but is intresting to note the durability of eggs.
A solution called "water glass" solution or sodium silicate solution was used to store eggs without refrigeration, for up to, and get this--2 years.
and that's is an article that cites the USDA on using the solution.
I've also heard of people storing eggs for months by dipping fresh eggs in wax.
In the carton in the refrigerator. Light degrades the eggs.
As a rule - if the eggs have already been refrigerated when you get them, store them that way. If you are fortunate enough to get farm fresh eggs that were still recently inside a chicken and have never been chilled, just keep them on the counter like Eliz made reference to.