11 Characteristics of Real Chickens and Their Eggs

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realeggsAre your eggs real?

How do you know?

Not so long ago, you went to a store, you bought eggs, and you were done. It was easy, if anything you had to choose between two or maybe three sizes. Now, If you take a walk down the egg aisle in any grocery store, you’ll notice the not so subtle marketing attempts of egg producers/sellers to entice you into buying their eggs.

One carton says they are vegetarian fed, another says grain fed, some may tell you about omega-3s or how they are cage free.  When I see these things printed on the cartons of eggs I think one thing, THEY ARE NOT REAL EGGS!

Ever since we got our own chickens, it has become absolutely apparent that all eggs are not created equal. So we put together this list of characteristics of eggs (and the chickens too) that we have found to be true of our girls and their eggs.

  1. Eggs are not all the same size – some are very large (size of a lemon), some are very small (size of a walnut)
  2. Eggs are not all the same shape – we’ve gotten eggs that are lopsided, flat on the bottom, kinda  spherical,  almost pill shaped and on an on.
  3. Eggs are warm if you pick them up after just being laid
  4. Eggs have a protective coating called the “Bloom” that keeps out salmonella and other food borne illnesses commonly found in washed/sanitized eggs. (washing farm eggs removes this “bloom”)
  5. Double Yolks This is normally found in the super sized eggs (Twins!)
  6. No Yolks -The natural way to get egg whites only for you bodybuilders
  7. Many different colors – There are many different colors of eggs  (blue, blue green, olive, white, cream, brown, dark brown, pink) (source)
  8. Not all uniformly colored – Sometimes we’ll get eggs that are spotted or speckled
  9. The yolks are a bright almost reddish orange color. Take an egg from the store versus an egg from a chicken that wanders around the property all day and you’ll see a striking difference in color. The store bought egg yolk will be yellow and the free ranger will be the nice orange color.
  10. Chickens are omnivores (not vegetarians) – they eat meat as well as veggies. we recently watched our girls fight over some baby field mice they found.
  11. Feed should be more of a extra bonus for nutrition, much like a multi vitamin, not a large portion of their diet.

This is certainly not a complete list and each of the items could surely be expanded a lot.

We’d love to hear what characteristics would you add to this list? (Put it in the comments below)


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