What might I find in a farm fresh egg that I may not be used to if I never ate them before?
Eggs from a farm might be a new concept for many people, with a movement of knowing where your food comes from, how it is cared for, and supporting local farmers for what you eat, you might be wondering, what makes the eggs different?
The difference you may observe in the inside of a farm fresh egg might include:
• Pasture raised chickens, which is what your will find on our farm and many other farms, lay eggs with a deep yellow, almost orange colored yolk. This color comes from the beta-carotenes in fresh greens, like grass, that the chickens get to eat when they are on pasture. Read about some of the herbs our chickens eat here.
• There is a white line/spot in the egg that holds the yolk centered in the middle of the egg whites. This white line goes from the egg yolk, sometimes looking like a white spot in it, to the outer side of the egg white. It is called a “chalazae” in technical terms. Sometimes people have a misconception that this is a harmful or bad thing (sometimes people think it is a sign of a fertile egg) but it is not any of these things! All eggs have these, even the ones you can buy in a store. As the egg gets older, the egg white absorbs this and it is not as noticeable in the store-bought eggs. Seeing this white line/spot is a sign of freshness of the egg and is actually a good thing!
• Sometimes you might see a dark spot on the egg yolk. Sometimes these are called “blood spots” or “meat spots” and they are very rare! They are so rare that they occur in only less than 1% of eggs produced. It is caused by a rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface while it is forming inside of the hen. It is not seen in store bought eggs because it is also absorbed by the egg as the egg ages. Seeing a dark spot means the egg is fresh! That’s a good thing! It is both chemically and nutritionally safe to still eat these eggs, they won’t cause any harm to you. If you want to get rid of the dark spot so it isn’t visual to you, remove the spot with the tip of a knife.
• You might get a double yolk egg! There is nothing wrong with these eggs, its like a bonus! You get 2 eggs in one shell.
Differences on the outside of the farm fresh brown egg:
• The shapes may not always be uniform when you look at them. Usually one side of the egg is pointy, and sometimes they are both pointy. We have even gotten a perfectly round egg before!
• You may notice an occasional bump on the outside of an egg shell. This is sometimes caused by too much calcium or just a misshape when the hen was developing the egg, perhaps she was interrupted even.
• Eggs may have discoloration on the shell because it didn’t spend enough time in the painting stage. This didn’t affect the egg at all. Just might not be a deep dark brown color. The egg shell might even be speckled. Wondering about the different shell colors? Read our blog here to get all the facts on the shell color.
Some minor cooking differences you may observe when cooking with farm fresh eggs:
• Eggs stay where they are put in the frying pan. They are firmer and do not spread throughout the pan when you crack the egg into it. Because they do not spread so much, they don’t fry up so flat and hard.
• The freshness of the eggs help to make the breads and cakes you bake taste richer and rise more from what we have observed.
• It might be trickier to peel a hard-boiled egg; the shells don’t want to come off the fresh eggs!
The bottom line is:
EACH EGG A HEN LAYS IS UNIQUE. Just like every tomato and every apple is slightly different, EVERY EGG IS DIFFERENT.
Why don’t you see these blemishes in store bought eggs?
As explained above, some of these blemishes are absorbed into the egg as the egg ages. But as for the irregularities on the outside, they never make it to a store. Just because they don’t make it to a store doesn’t mean they never occur in the commercial world. The commercial producers want you to only see perfect eggs, they want you to think that eggs should look perfect, and be visually right. The “abnormal” looking eggs are sold to the baking industry so you never see these irregularities. The commercial farms scan and sort their eggs to make sure that these irregularities never make it to the store for a consumer to see.