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Old 08-02-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
I like my chooks--and my grandbaby just loves them. We "check the chickens' every 10 minutes when she comes to visit.

Egg sizes really vary--once in a while, I will get one the size of a goose egg, and about as often, one the size of cherry tomato. The little ones usually don't have a yolk. Sometimes they have 'wrinkles' in the shell. A couple of times over the years I have found one without a shell--just the rubbery membrane holding things together.

These anomalies occur in commercial hen houses too, but those eggs are culled before you see them. They break them and then sell liquid eggs or dehydrated eggs for baking.
I find that interesting that your chooks are inconsistent re: egg size. The only time I get 'tiny" eggs is when the pullets first start laying.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #22
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My chickens lay all different size, shapes and colors. I have 6 hens ( of 3 different varieties, i dont remember which).
4 lay brown eggs ( which can range from light beige to a deeper relatively dark brown)
2 lay a pale bluish - greenish egg, almost pastel like color.

some are almost round, others long and pointy, and some typical 'egg shaped'

once a month or so, there will be an egg that is about 1 1/2 X the size of the others, which ( so far) %100 of the time was a double yolked egg.

Yolks are a deeper yellow/ orange than those gotten in the stores.

On average, my hens lay about 3 - 5 eggs a week.
as mentioned earlier, it depends on length of day light, temps and other issues.

If something spooks them, they can stop laying for weeks.

It really is a great experience having hens.
only cost about $4 each, relatively inexpensive and easy to keep, and can lay eggs from about 6 months to about 6 - 8 years ( maybe longer, but Dominick is about 7 now, and still popping them out.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:52 PM   #23
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Why are some eggs bigger than others? I always buy "large" eggs, but some are so much bigger than others. I bought a couple dozen at Aldi's and they were really cheap, 79 cents, compared to $1.85 at the regular grocers. They are enormous! Does it have something to do with the type of chickens, or what they are being fed? How do they compare nutritionally?
Breed and age of the hen comes into it. Bantams (small hens) naturally lay small eggs and pullets (ie young chickens) lay small eggs. I buy mixed trays of a dozen eggs for baking for charity cake stalls because they are cheaper than standard sizes. Most older cake recipes (in the UK, at least) work on an egg in its shell weighing 2 ounces which is about equal to a modern "medium" egg, so if you're baking a cake and the eggs are mixed sizes just weigh 'em.

If I'm buying eggs for general use I buy "large" which are more expensive

The colour of the egg doesn't have anything to do with nutritional value. It's determined by the breed of the hen.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #24
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I think everyone should have the opportunity at some point in life to have laying hens. It is too bad that so many municipalities ban backyard chickens. My grandparents raised RIRs. Having those hens helped feed the family during the depression.
I'm not fond of hens. I have a photo of myself, aged 3, sitting in the grass holding what looks like a very contented hen in my lap. Seconds after the photo was taken she pecked me - HARD!

I still think I'd like a couple in the garden when I get the new house organised and the garden rescued from it's jungle-ness.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #25
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In New England we prefer brown eggs. The rest of the country prefers white shell eggs. I find that the brown shells are thicker than the white. And they are more expensive in our area than the white. As the saying around here goes, "Brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are good."

If I am going to do a lot of baking, I will buy the white eggs. But it is hard to find a dozen that doesn't have one broken egg. So I do a lot of swapping out from other cartons. I also find that if I break a white egg on the edge of the bowl, it crumbles. I have to gently tap it on the counter top to get a crack in it. The shells of the brown eggs are much stronger.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:53 PM   #26
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Why are some eggs bigger than others? I always buy "large" eggs, but some are so much bigger than others. I bought a couple dozen at Aldi's and they were really cheap, 79 cents, compared to $1.85 at the regular grocers. They are enormous! Does it have something to do with the type of chickens, or what they are being fed? How do they compare nutritionally?
As CW pointed out, there are guidelines to what weight qualifies for what sizing. I'll aways check the egg carton at the store before I put it in my cart to make sure none are cracked. Sometimes I have to double-check the label because the eggs are so much bigger than I expected! IMO, the bigger eggs are in the carton marked for the smaller size because they just HAD more of that size and needed to use them. I'd complain only if you open the carton and those "large" eggs look smaller than advertised.

If "size matters" because you are baking something, FWIW the label on the side of Egg Beaters says an egg=1/4 cup. You could always crack/beat/measure/adjust if need be.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #27
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Why are some eggs brown and others white, you ask?....
When we lived in our first house, which we moved from when our kids were 10, there was an egg stand a couple miles from home. The kids loved it when I would buy eggs on the day the lady had green ones available. They always knew we would have "green eggs and ham" later that day or next!

Also, one of the library aides would bring fresh eggs in for a co-worker. They sat on the shelves behind the desk. The first time I saw them I said "don't they need to go into the refrigerator?" and she said if they were very fresh they could stay out for a day or two or so.

When our hiker friend stayed with us in June he mentioned that he had been told if you do not wash the protective coating off the shell you can store them (I assume eventually under refrigeration) for a lot longer since the coating protects the egg inside. True or false, resident Chicken Expert?
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #28
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I would buy eggs on the day the lady had green ones available. They always knew we would have "green eggs and ham" later that day or next!

When our hiker friend stayed with us in June he mentioned that he had been told if you do not wash the protective coating off the shell you can store them (I assume eventually under refrigeration) for a lot longer since the coating protects the egg inside. True or false, resident Chicken Expert?
The "green eggs" were probably laid by an Americana (sp) hen (a/k/a Easter Egg hen). True. I store my eggs, unwashed, in the basement where it is cool. Once washed, they have to go in the fridge and have about a 45-day shelf life. Washing the eggs removes the bloom. The bloom keeps the egg white from evaporating (why eggs you buy have air pockets when you hb them). Fresh eggs sink (and rest on their sides). "Old eggs" float and are vertical in the water. I wash all the eggs that I sell, but only wash them right before the person is going to pick them up. Any that sort of float are held back. They are still good, but I only sell fresh eggs and if the egg sort of bobs, it is not as fresh as I'd like it to be (5-7 days old).
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:40 AM   #29
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I went and bought more eggs yesterday and remember when I said the eggs I bought at the discount grocer were so big? Well, they are normal size this time. I guess they sell what they get. I always touch and move every egg in the carton because sometimes they are cracked at the bottom and sticking to the carton.

When I am using eggs, I crack each one into a cup and check it before I add it to the recipe. I make sure there are no shells or anything odd looking about the egg so I don't ruin my recipe by adding it in without checking it.

CWS4322 - Sometimes I see a blob of red (blood?) in an egg. What is that from? I throw those eggs away. When my husband makes scrambled eggs, he uses a spoon and takes out that white membrane that's in it. I keep telling him that when he eats eggs in a restaurant they don't take it out, but he said he doesn't see it so he doesn't know it's in there. LOL
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:04 AM   #30
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I went and bought more eggs yesterday and remember when I said the eggs I bought at the discount grocer were so big? Well, they are normal size this time. I guess they sell what they get. I always touch and move every egg in the carton because sometimes they are cracked at the bottom and sticking to the carton.

When I am using eggs, I crack each one into a cup and check it before I add it to the recipe. I make sure there are no shells or anything odd looking about the egg so I don't ruin my recipe by adding it in without checking it.

CWS4322 - Sometimes I see a blob of red (blood?) in an egg. What is that from? I throw those eggs away. When my husband makes scrambled eggs, he uses a spoon and takes out that white membrane that's in it. I keep telling him that when he eats eggs in a restaurant they don't take it out, but he said he doesn't see it so he doesn't know it's in there. LOL
When candling eggs, one of the things that one looks for is that "drop of blood." No worries, it just means that the hen strained when laying the egg. You can take it out or not, doesn't really matter. However, eggs you buy in the store should not have passed inspection with a spot of blood in the yolk and have been sold as Grade AA.
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