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CarolPa 07-31-2013 10:19 AM

Egg Question
 
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?

pacanis 07-31-2013 10:34 AM

Different chicken breeds, different ages, perhaps a different standard of measuring. And sure, nutrition plays a part in it. Although I would imagine most commercial chicken places use basically the same breed and feed them basically the same commercial food. So I'm going to guess smaller eggs come from chickens just starting to lay or those near the end of their careers. And I'm also going to guess there might be chicken farms who specialize in medium eggs because the chickens eat less and they can keep more of them.

Addie 07-31-2013 10:41 AM

The average chicken production farms tend to produce large eggs as these are what sells the most and are called for in baking.

Chicken egg sizes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

:angel:

CarolPa 07-31-2013 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Addie (Post 1286952)
The average chicken production farms tend to produce large eggs as these are what sells the most and are called for in baking.

Chicken egg sizes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

:angel:

But how do they control the size of the eggs? The ones I bought recently should have been graded extra large or jumbo! Next time I use one I am going to measure the qty of the egg.

Addie 07-31-2013 11:01 AM

The older the chicken, the bigger the egg. Where is CWS when you need her? She is the chicken expert here for DC. She has been raising them for a couple of years now. :angel:

pacanis 07-31-2013 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Addie (Post 1286964)
The older the chicken, the bigger the egg. Where is CWS when you need her? She is the chicken expert here for DC. She has been raising them for a couple of years now. :angel:

Until they reach a point, then the eggs start getting smaller like when they first started laying. And I imagine once they no longer qualify for medium grade or are not laying often enough the chicken gets a one way ride to view the world upside down.

Andy M. 07-31-2013 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarolPa (Post 1286961)
But how do they control the size of the eggs? The ones I bought recently should have been graded extra large or jumbo! Next time I use one I am going to measure the qty of the egg.

They don't control the size of the egg, they just put them in different cartons marked Large, Jumbo Etc.

Sizes do vary within a category. The large eggs I have in the fridge right now are much larger than the large eggs in had last week.

CWS4322 07-31-2013 11:30 AM

The size of eggs. Age, breed, weight of the hen, diet, weather, stress, and environment (overcrowding) all contribute to the size of the egg. As hens mature, the egg size increases. I selected breeds known to be (a) good layers, and (b) winter hardy. Myrtle, whom I have had for three summers now, lays ENORMOUS eggs. Most of my hens lay large - x-large eggs. My younger hens lay medium to large eggs. The Plymouth Rock eggs are distinct from the others because they have thicker shells and tougher membranes. The eggs taste the same, but are harder to crack. And, although one of those Plymouth Rocks is the same age as Myrtle, Penny's eggs are noticeably smaller than Myrtle's eggs. (Myrtle has always been an over-achiever--she laid 2 eggs/day for the first month of her production way-back-when and often will lay a double-yolker--hence the name Fertile Myrtle).

When my hens are able to forage, the yolks are a deep yellow-orange. During the winter months, the yolks a a rich yellow, but not orange.

When it is extremely hot, egg production goes down, the same is true in the winter but that is related more to the number of hours of light / day. Hens need about 15 hours of light/day to complete the egg cycle. In the winter, the daylight hours are extended using lights (I usually start this the end of November). One can also slow down the maturation rate of chicks by reducing the number of hours of light or hastened the maturation rate by increasing the number of hours of light. If hens are broody (sitting on eggs) or molting (about every 18 months, but that depends on breed, etc.), they will stop laying eggs. While a momma hen is tending chicks, she will usually not lay eggs or will only lay one every 6-7 days.

The majority of my hens are either Lohmann's (a breed developed in Germany for egg production and for producing eggs consistently until about 3 years of age) or Red Schaffer's (a Canadian breed, also winter hardy and about the same re egg production as the Lohmann's) (I have 18 "red" hens). The Plymouth Rocks lay a smaller egg with a thicker shell (however, all hens produce the same amount of shell--but the larger the egg, the thinner the shell), the rest of the hens lay about the same size of egg (large). Sometimes I get a funny-shaped egg, but that's not really relevant. Eggs are graded according to weight, quality of yolk, and white. Here's a link to a pdf chart of egg weight (per carton and per egg) for each size:

http://curbstonevalley.com/wp-conten...9/eggsizes.jpg

I have always assumed that was "in shell" weight. Most recipes require a large egg. One can either weigh the egg or measure the egg in cups to do the conversion.

Eggs From A To Z - Size Equivalents

BTW, I don't think the chart at the bottom is to scale (at least not on my monitor). If it is, my hens lay eggs that exceed Jumbo size...maybe it is time I get out my scale and weigh eggs...

CarolPA, that is probably more than you ever wanted to know about egg size. Hope this answers some of your questions.

CWS4322 07-31-2013 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy M. (Post 1286983)
They don't control the size of the egg, they just put them in different cartons marked Large, Jumbo Etc.

If this were true, there would be no need to have different sizes. And, if this were true, and eggs are being sold as a certain size, than that would tell me the person / facility grading the eggs is doing a sloppy job when sorting. There are requirements for eggs to be sold as a certain size and grade (check links in my previous post).

I can't sell my eggs to a store because I do not qualify to have a grading station (not enough hens to qualify, don't want hundreds of eggs/day). When I sell eggs to friends, I do hold back the smaller eggs so that the eggs I put in the cartons are all similar in size (and yes, I wash them first, but don't candle them). And, I try to put at least one of the Jumbo eggs (I have three-four hens who are trying to compete with Myrtle) in the carton.

Addie 07-31-2013 11:57 AM

I remember when we ordered our chicks some of them were a bit bigger than the others. Those were the first to start laying eggs. We had all Rhode Island reds. Later on we had a dozen eggs to be incubated. They hatched when some of the older chicks had started to lay. Any of the chicks that turned out to be roosters met the Sunday pot at a rather early date. We did have one rooster, but like CWS's Cocky Rocky he was just too mean and fought anyone who tried to collect the eggs. (Mostly me!) So he too went the way of the others. Since overcrowding will create stress, they had a very large coop with plenty of nest boxes for them to lay eggs. We never had more chickens than nest boxes.

I used to scatter their feed around the fenced in area where they roamed. They didn't have a feeder, but did have two water tanks. One in the yard and one in the coop. I swear those chickens had a drinking problem. I was filling the one in their yard at least twice a day in the summer. I was only ten at the time, and those chickens were my responsibility. Then I misbehaved and got sent to care for the pigs. A chore I hated. Like all farm kids, we all had chores. Even the youngest had to feed the cat. :angel:


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