Friday, December 27, 2013

14 Amazing Facts About Eggs

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by Melissa Caughey of Tilly's Nest

It's almost the New Year and what better way to welcome 2014 than with 14 fun and interesting facts about eggs!

Photo Credit: The incredible egg!
Question: Should you wash your eggs?
Answer: No, even according to the USDA, it is not necessary to wash your eggs because of the increased risk of introducing microbes into the egg. The washing water/solution can be pulled into the egg through the shell's pores. As the hen lays the eggs, they coat them in a protective coating called a bloom. This bloom essentially seals the egg helping to keep moisture in and germs out. All eggs that are processed in the store are mandated to be washed by the FDA but they have strict regulations and guidelines for washing.

Question: How many eggs does the average American eat per year?
Answer: Over 250

Question: What does it mean if the white part of an uncooked egg appears cloudy?
Answer: That is an indication that the egg is very fresh. Over time, the white part of the egg, also known as the albumin, turns clears.

Question: What is that green ring around the yolk of my hard boiled egg?
Answer: That occurs when eggs are overcooked. It is a chemical reaction between sulfur and iron. The egg is completely safe to eat.

Photo Credit: Poached egg
Question: How warm is a freshly laid egg?
Answer: 105 degrees Fahrenheit

Question: How long does it take for a fertilized chicken egg to hatch?
Answer: Approximately 21 days

Question: Can chickens get sick from Salmonella?
Answer: No. It is a normal bacteria that lives in some hens' reproductive tract.

Question: How long does it take for a hen to lay an egg?
Answer: 25 hours from the initial phase of ovulation to egg laying. After the egg is laid, her body will rest for approximately 30 minutes and then she will ovulate again and start the entire process over.

Question: What does candling an egg mean?
Answer: All egg sold in the grocery store have been candled. Inspectors shine a light source through the egg shell. The inside of the egg is inspected for double yolks, blood spots, and other interior defects. Candling can also be used to determine if eggs are fertile or not.

Question: What is the weight of a jumbo egg?
Answer: A jumbo egg weighs approximately 2.5 ounces with a minimum of 30 ounces per dozen eggs.

Question: What does it mean when an egg floats in water?
Answer: As soon as an egg is laid, air begins to enter through the pores in the shell. A floating egg means that enough air has entered the shell to make the egg float. However according to the USDA, it does not mean that the egg is bad, it is just older. The USDA recommends cracking the egg into the bowl and inspecting it. A spoiled egg will smell badly. Those eggs should be discarded.

Question: Why are fresh eggs so hard to peel?
Answer: Fresh eggs have less air inside the shell. Older eggs have a larger cell of air A larger cell of air allowing for easier peeling, so use older eggs for hard-boiling.

Question: What are Thousand Year Old Eggs?
Answer: These eggs are popular in Chinese cuisine. The eggs have undergone a process that takes months to years involving packing and coating the eggs in a variety of substances including salt, ash, clay, rice, wood ash and tea. There are three types including Hulidan, Dsaudan, and Pidan. Each type has a unique process that changes the egg's taste ranging from salty, lime flavored, or wine flavored.
Photo Credit: One type of Thousand Year Old Egg
Question: Do you need a rooster for a hen to lay eggs?
Answer: No, only if you want to hatch baby chicks. Yes, you can eat fertilized eggs. They should be refrigerated promptly, especially in warmer weather as a fertilized egg will begin embryological development above 80 degrees Fahrenheit according to the University of Illinois.

Be sure to follow Melissa for more chicken adventures on her blog Tilly's Nest and her Facebook page too!


  1. Fun Info!
    I hope 2014 brings everyone lots and lots of eggs!

  2. Hope chickens celebrate New Year's by sleeping in so I can too!

  3. You might want to recheck this 'fact': Question: What is the size of a jumbo egg?
    Answer: A jumbo egg weighs a minimum of 30 ounces.

    1. I have GOT to see the hens that lay those eggs! I bet they only do it once.

    2. I suspect that would be 30 ounces to the dozen

    3. You are right! Thanks for the correction. It's per dozen :)

    4. You mean 3.0 ounces?

  4. Melissa,

    I have to correct you. A dozen jumbo eggs must weigh at least 30 ounces. Which means a single jumbo egg will average 2.5 ounces.

    30 ounces is just 2 ounces less than two pounds. I would like to see the hen that can lay a 2 lb. egg.

    That's approaching an ostrich egg.

  5. Yeah, 30 ounces is almost 2 pounds...that would be some egg!

  6. Precisely! A jumbo egg of an Emu, maybe. It must be a typo--probably meant grams, but usually egg weight is an average over a dozen. So as long as the total weight of a dozen eggs comes to within a certain range they can be labeled Large, XL, and so on. Within that dozen you may have a variance of weight from egg to egg but all told they are pretty close to the same to give and average weight (each) per dozen. (Did I make that as clear as mud?)

  7. I was reading this article. I was raised on a chicken farm and boy have I seen a lot of jumbo eggs.
    I saw
    Question: What is the size of a jumbo egg?
    Answer: A jumbo egg weighs a minimum of 30 ounces.

    This has got to be a misprint. Because a jumbo egg is not 30 ounces. That is a 1/2 a gallon. A jumbo egg will fit in your hand. Now an Ostrich egg may be that big but that size egg would kill a chicken. I don't remember the exact size of a jumbo egg but I do know that they are able to fit in the palm of your hand. Maybe, 3 ounces. That needs to be corrected.

    1. Anne, you are confusing ounces of weight with ounces of volume (which with water are nearly the same). As others have said, 30 ounces of weight is 1-7/8 pounds, 30 ounces of volume is 1 -7/8 pints or nearly 2 quarts (32 ounces. One half gallon is 2 quarts or 4 pints or 64 ounces of volume.

  8. I thought one jumbo egg was a minimum of 2.5 ounces. Maybe 30 ounces is for 12 - 2.5 ounce eggs.

  9. Hey, at least we all got a laugh out of that one, after a brief ouch as we envisioned popping out such an egg!

  10. Is it safe to eat eggs with blood spots in them when you crack the egg open?

  11. When I was young I worked as a checker in a country market. We sold eggs in bulk and to keep everyone honest we weighed the eggs. If they cheated a little we charged them for however many eggs they had because a dozen eggs weighed so much depending on the size. Once in a while we'd get questioned about over charging and we'd explain maybe they miscounted and they usually would want to recount and sure enough they had more than a dozen eggs and also usually embarrassed. Never knew for sure if it was intentional or really a mistake.

  12. I have had chicken now and they have been laying for about a year now. I have never refrigerated my eggs. We dont wash them til they are ready to eat. We dont eat eggs daily as to we hardly ever have breakfast and dont use eggs much. We share with family though. We have never had any problems with not refrigerating our eggs. I dont think we get eggs that are not fertilized. Never seen them start to grow either. We dont keep our house the same temp all year, so the warm months it can get well over 80 degrees in the house and we dont get our eggs daily from the coop. So are we doing wrong? No health problems from them. This is what we were told to do from our elders in the families. Get the eggs from the coop and put them in a carton, dont wash, dont refrigerate, wash with just water when you are gonna use them as to not get any icky stuff in our eggs and enjoy.

    1. You are doing just fine! Keep up the great work! Congratulations! You have healthy happy chickens!

  13. What great comments! According to the USDA here are the guide limits for egg sizes.
    Jumbo 30 ounces
    Extra Large 27 ounces
    Large 24 ounces
    Medium 21 ounces
    Small 18 ounces
    Peewee 15 ounces


  14. Would love to hear the answer to Angela Nelson Patterson's Question!!!

  15. I would like to say , is that why people ever started calling eggs, deviled eggs, when I know that the devil never gave me anything but a hard time, so why not call the devil egg recipe angel eggs?


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