FARM FRESH EGG FACTS*
We hope you enjoy our eggs from our free-range, pastured chickens. Our hens spend their nights safe and secure in their coop, but spend their days roaming freely around our 20n acres farm. You may notice a few differences between our eggs and those from a grocery store.
- Our eggs are laid within the week you purchase them. Most grocery store eggs were laid about 45 days prior to their arrival at the store.
- Pasture raised hens lay eggs with yolks that are deep yellow often times almost orange. That intense color is from the beta-carotenes in the fresh greens that our hens eat.
- We have several different breeds of chickens laying eggs in shades of brown, blue, green and dark brown. Shell color has no effect on taste. Great taste comes from the great food the hens eat.
- The white spot attached to the yolk is called the “chalazae”, which serves to hold the yolk in the center of the egg. The chalazae are often not noticeable in store bought eggs because it is absorbed by the white as the egg ages. The chalazae is a sign of freshness and not harmful or bad. It is not an embryo or sign of a fertile egg, a common misconception.
- A dark spot on a yolk is called a “blood spot”. These are very rare. Less than 1% of all eggs produced have blood spots. Contrary to popular opinion, these tiny spots do not indicate a fertilized egg either. They are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation of the egg inside the hen. These are also absorbed as the egg ages, and therefore not seen in store bought eggs. A blood spot indicates that an egg is fresh. Both chemically and nutritionally these eggs are perfectly safe to eat. If you wish, the spot can be removed with the tip of a knife.
- Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel when hard boiled. Keep your eggs for a week or so before you hard boil them. Some say adding a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water will help when peeling very fresh eggs.
- A couple other small differences you may notice are an occasional bump on the outside of the egg shell or slight discoloration. Each egg a hen lays is unique, just like each tomato or each apple is slightly different. In factory egg farms the eggs are sorted for irregularities and those eggs are sold to the baking industry, so you never see these variations.
According to a recent study from Mother Earth News, nutritionally, pastured eggs have more of the “good stuff” than grocery store eggs:
- 7 times more Beta Carotene
- 2/3 more Vitamin A
- 3 times more Vitamin E
- 2 times more Omega-3s
And less of the “bad stuff”:
- 1/3 less Cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
*Various information facts courtesy of Larken Springs Farm
Difficulty Peeling Farm Fresh Boiled Eggs
- Some say a tablespoon of vinegar in the boiling water will help.
- Give them at least a weak to age and the egg will peel easier.
Weak or Easily Broken Yolks - Possible Causes
- Older or aged hens (can also produce larger eggs, with thinner shells and the occasional double yolk)
- Protein Deficiency
- Too much corn fed during hot temperatures
- Molting or mini-molting
- Temperature shock (often when previously refrigerated eggs get hot)
Age the Egg
- Place eggs in water to cover.
- Older eggs will lift off the bottom. As an egg ages, air is absorbed through the shell and the air sack inside the egg gets larger.
- Fresh eggs will lay on their side or stand upright.