What causes my eggs to be much more firm and golden in color?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Farmer Mike S, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Songster

    Oct 18, 2012
    Glen Mills, PA
    Over the winter I have been eating cage free brown eggs, and now my chickens are laying again. Today I compared the eggs, 2 of the cage free, and two of mine, and mine were much more firm, significantly darker yellow in the yolk, and much more rich in flavor.

    The cage free eggs are claimed to be cage free from small local family farms, they're from the brand "natures yolk". They are also claimed to be veggie fed and to not use any antibiotics.

    My chickens are grain/veggie fed and have access to a run all day. As most backyard chickens they don't have any enhanced hormones, antibiotics, or any of that stuff.

    The cage free eggs were a lot more runny on the pan and the yolks broke on contact. My eggs didn't run much at all and the yolks didn't break. Mine also had a thicker shell. The yolks on the cage free were yellow, but mine were significantly darker and more golden. As far as taste, I found the taste a lot different too. The cage free had more of a really "eggy" flavor, and I feel like mine had a lot richer of a taste.

    What's the reason for this difference in the eggs?

  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    I have no idea. I've often wondered about how it's possible that cage free or free range organic hens or birds simply don't produce flesh or offspring or eggs as great as those one can grow in their own backyard. Nothing I can think of accounts for the steep difference on all levels. :/ What ARE they doing?!

    Sorry mate I'm just going to have to be puzzled with you, not much help, lol!
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Cage free does not mean they are outside roaming around or that they ever see the sun. It means that instead of living their life cooped up in a tine cage they are allowed to move around some. Is it better than being in cages? That depends on how well the cages are kept and how well the cage free coop is kept. To allow them to be cage free and live in tight spaces they may have to cut off the tip of the upper beak so they don’t eat each other. I don’t know that company and how they manage their chickens but I consider cage free, natural, and free range to be marketing terms that don’t mean much.

    No commercial chickens can legally be given hormones, either chickens for meat or eggs. When someone puts “No Hormones” on the package they are not directly lying to you but they imply others do. To me, that is false advertising. If they are not honest about that what else are they not honest about? Antibiotics can legally be given so there is something to that claim.

    Chickens are omnivores, not vegetarians. I make sure my chicken feed has animal protein in it. I cringe when I see “vegetarian” chicken feed. It’s not natural.

    The color of the egg yolks and flavor of the eggs comes from what they eat. I have a garden and can and freeze a lot of different vegetables. The chickens get the scraps from that. I can get some pretty big swings in yolk color by what I am canning or freezing. Carrots are an obvious one, but dark green leaves like kale or from broccoli makes a difference. Mine will eat marigold flowers when they can. Chickens that forage over decent forage usually have darker yolks than those fed from purchased feed. Differences in flavor is more subtle than yolk color but again it depends on what they eat.

    The runny egg whites can come from different things but not from what they eat. An older hen will often lay an egg that has a more runny white. A hen that has just finished the molt and started laying will have an egg with a more firm white than a hen that is late in her laying cycle. The longer an egg is stored the runnier the white will be. Temperature makes a difference too. An egg stored warmer will probably have a more runny white than one stored cooler. Heredity can make a difference too. Some hens genetically just lay an egg with a more runny white.

    The thickness of the egg shell can be genetic, some hens just don’t process the calcium as well as others. But that is an individual hen problem, not a flock problem. If it is a flock problem, the thinner shells means they flock is not getting as much calcium as the flock with the thicker shells. That calcium might come from their feed or from calcium supplements like oyster shell. Since yours have access to the run, if your native rock is limestone they could get calcium from the gravel they use as grit. Different plants might give them calcium. If they can forage for food, critters they eat like crawfish or hard-shelled bugs can provide calcium.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Songster

    Oct 18, 2012
    Glen Mills, PA
    That sounds right ridgerunner, thanks for the advice

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