We have had our chickens now for half a year or so.  They are a lot of fun and offer a great source of stress relief.  Abigail in particular has found that sitting in the yard reading a book while they hens roam about is a great bit of fun.  Aside from the fun part, of course, they give us eggs.

Our Rhode Island Red Hen
This is Fezzik…my favorite hen

I never realized all of the oddities of fresh, home-grown chicken eggs.  Many of you chicken experts probably know these things, but we have found interesting tidbits from having the birds.  For instance, did you know that hard-boiled fresh eggs are dang-near impossible to peel?  The protective coating on the eggs keep carbon dioxide inside.  As eggs age, the coating wears off (or, with store bought eggs, is washed off) which makes the shells more porous.  Carbon dioxide leaves the eggs, the pH increases quite a bit and the inner membrane separates from the shell making older eggs easier to peel.  There are all sorts of alleged magical ways to make fresh eggs peelable but I haven’t seen them work yet…so we let eggs age some if we want to hard boil them.

Can't peel fresh eggs
Can’t peel fresh eggs

Did you know that eggs vary A LOT in size and shape?  We have seen monster eggs, nearly spherical eggs, double yolks, tiny eggs, elongated eggs.  It’s always a lot of fun to see what the hens lay day-to-day.  We average 4-5 eggs per day from our 5 hens…one Easter egger (or maybe both) are not 100% layers but the brown egg layers are super reliable.

All sizes of eggs

All sizes of eggs
All sizes of eggs
A double yolker among the bunch
A double yolker among the bunch

The color of the yolks in fresh eggs (at least in our coop)are deeper yellow, larger and firmer than in store bought eggs.  Their shells are harder to crack and feel heavier in general.  There may be breed differences and there are certainly dietary differences between my birds and factory birds so who knows what really is the cause, but it is a striking difference.  Some people say the fresh eggs taste a lot better.  I know mine are better because my chickens are never given shots of medicated food or anything that a big chicken farm might give their birds to eat.

Can you pick out the 2 store bought eggs?
Can you pick out the 2 store bought eggs?
Rich yolk color
Rich yolk color

Mine get to stretch their wings and run around and act like chickens act…which is crazy…I never really understood the phrase, “You’re a chicken” until I watched the hens jump at a gust of wind or run from a falling leaf.  So maybe it is the surges of adrenaline they get running from their shadows or maybe it’s the diet or maybe just the breed that makes their eggs different, but different they are.

I dig my chickens and am delighted to learn new stuff about both the chickens and their eggs!

7 thoughts on “Eggs

  1. The bugs, weeds and other NATURAL foods that free range chickens eat make for better tasting HEALTHIER eggs. And chicken therapy is cheep and probably better for you in the long run. There is nothing as relaxing as watching your herd, no matter what type of animal it is made up of: livestock or children.

  2. Here’s another method for boiling fresh eggs. Bring your pan of water to a boil and put room temperature eggs in the water with a slotted spoon. Boil eggs, rinse with cold water, peel when their cool enough. Works every time.

  3. The farm eggs that I buy and hard boil, I rinse in cold water immediately when done and then add ice and let them set for about ten minutes in the ice bath. I have a lot higher success rate in peeling them. Occasionally I still get one that peels hard like the ones you have. But I’m guessing that by the time I have bought them and then decide to hard boil them, they qualify as “having sat around for awhile” which might be the difference.

    Have you ever gotten any bumpy eggs? I remember that once in awhile we would get one that looked almost like a large golf ball with all the bumps on it. In our family we considered the person that got the double yolk had luck on their side for the day.

  4. I had always heard that it’s better not to use fresh eggs to hard boil, but thanks for telling me why.
    Schmenky has all different sizes AND colors of eggs from her girls!
    I have to say though, I can’t taste the difference between her eggs and my store bought. But I do believe your eggs would be healthier!

  5. We call grocery bought eggs, “Pretend eggs”. They simply are not in the same category. Sort of like a Ribeye vs. Round Steak. Both beef, but one is far better than the other.

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