Needing egg info - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Needing egg info

I was buying what I tho't were farm fresh eggs by the general appearance, yolk color (free range) and a little difficult to peel when hard boiled. This winter the eggs are pale, the whites are tough and easy to peel. I'm thinking this guy is buying up eggs and selling as his own. One of the reasons I suspect this is that the number of clients he has versus the size of his chicken house don't add up. Would someone here please tell me how a farm fresh egg should look even if the chickens can't get outside in the winter. I would think they'd still be a little iffy to peel if fresh.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 09:09 PM
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Well, it depends. What a farmer feeds impacts the color of the yolk tremendously and the quality of an egg. Perhaps he switched feeds?
Also, there are tricks to getting fresh hard boiled eggs easier to peel.

If Mr Farmer leaves his eggs at room temp (house temp because there may be no room for the eggs) for for a few days, it's the same as keeping eggs and extra two weeks in the fridge.
1 day room temp. equals 1 week at roughly 40 degrees (fridge temp)
Many of us who raise our own chickens don't usually think anything of putting the egg basket on the counter and leaving an egg out for a day or two because we know it takes a mother hen 10 days to gather her clutch (lays one egg a day) and usually all 10 eggs hatch, thus the "oldest" egg is still good.)

What you can do is take a raw egg that you personally know is older (because you've kept it in the fridge for a few weeks) and take a raw egg you are being told is fresh. Crack them both onto a plate next to each other.
The "older" egg will have a flatter yolk, it will sit deeper into the clear and the clear part will spread faster.
The "fresh" egg's yolk will sit higher and seem to be above the clear and the clear part seem firmer and hold it's shape better.
Get down T eye level with the plate and you should easily see how the "fresh" egg is firmer and taller.

Lastly, a fresh raw egg still in the shell will sink in a glass of water. The older the egg (and larger the air pocket)the closer it will be to the top of the water level and a really old egg will float completely.

FTY, grocery store eggs are usually several weeks old before they even reach the store to be sold.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockwood View Post
Well, it depends. What a farmer feeds impacts the color of the yolk tremendously and the quality of an egg. Perhaps he switched feeds?
Also, there are tricks to getting fresh hard boiled eggs easier to peel.

If Mr Farmer leaves his eggs at room temp (house temp because there may be no room for the eggs) for for a few days, it's the same as keeping eggs and extra two weeks in the fridge.
1 day room temp. equals 1 week at roughly 40 degrees (fridge temp)
Many of us who raise our own chickens don't usually think anything of putting the egg basket on the counter and leaving an egg out for a day or two because we know it takes a mother hen 10 days to gather her clutch (lays one egg a day) and usually all 10 eggs hatch, thus the "oldest" egg is still good.)

What you can do is take a raw egg that you personally know is older (because you've kept it in the fridge for a few weeks) and take a raw egg you are being told is fresh. Crack them both onto a plate next to each other.
The "older" egg will have a flatter yolk, it will sit deeper into the clear and the clear part will spread faster.
The "fresh" egg's yolk will sit higher and seem to be above the clear and the clear part seem firmer and hold it's shape better.
Get down T eye level with the plate and you should easily see how the "fresh" egg is firmer and taller.

Lastly, a fresh raw egg still in the shell will sink in a glass of water. The older the egg (and larger the air pocket)the closer it will be to the top of the water level and a really old egg will float completely.

FTY, grocery store eggs are usually several weeks old before they even reach the store to be sold.
Unrefrigerated for a few days? I've eaten them unrefrigerated for several weeks... never had an issue. The eggs that my boyfriend's family sells at the farmers' market are at most 4 days old, and we've only gotten great reviews about the eggs' freshness. Of course, don't leave them out once they've already been refrigerated! I can EASILY tell the difference between one of our eggs that's a few weeks old and a cheap egg bought at the grocery store yesterday by the taste and quality of the yolk. If you pay close attention and his eggs have suddenly gone from pastured hens to store bought, then you would probably be able to tell.

One thing that is true about chickens in the winter (at least, it's true with ours) is that egg production goes down a considerable amount during the winter. If he was barely keeping up with supply and demand during the "good" egg season, then he may be struggling now. Also, the size of his chicken houses aren't necessarily the best indicator of how many hens he has- unfortunately, chickens will still lay in the poorest and most cramped of conditions. To further complicate things, the dark yolk and nice taste that you get from eggs doesn't come entirely from being fresh from the farm, but from what the chickens eat. Our farm chickens are in large pastures and eat good food along with all of the little buggies out in the fields and wooded areas. These buggies are what gives them these qualities. This guy may collect the eggs every day, but if the hens are kept in chicken houses all day and fed low quality feed then you'll get low quality eggs. I saw a picture on the web recently that showed what happens when you put eggs of various ages in a glass of water.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 09:35 PM
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Here's the picture:
888things: Tips of the day: A simple test on egg freshness

I don't know if this is taking into account the time spent in transit or not. If not, then I doubt anyone would be having anything near the fresh egg!
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 10:03 PM
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The freshness thing for refrigerated eggs is true for store bought eggs, as far as I know. Farm fresh eggs that haven't undergone the power spray treatment that can strip off some of the protection commercially should be fine on the counter just as long as store bought in the fridge. In fact, many countries keep their farm fresh eggs in the same aisle as their bread.

here is an article about it. I was wrong - not "many countries" don't refrigerate, MOST don't. We're one of the only countries that does. In fact, it's illegal to do so in some countries!

Sorry I can't help more on the egg issue OP posted. I can tell the difference usually just because farm fresh eggs are usually imperfect. Slightly vary in size, or shape, or have lumps. They aren't all perfect ovals of pristine white!

Americans – why do you keep refrigerating your eggs?
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 10:29 PM
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My "winter" eggs are paler but still dang impossible to shell after being hard-boiled and I don't refrigerate them.

What color are the egg shells? I have people who clamor to buy my green, blue and brown spotted eggs because you CAN'T buy those in the grocery store, so they know they aren't store eggs.

Are all the eggs the exact same size almost? Store eggs are graded for size so when you open a carton they all look the same. Home-grown eggs won't because unless you have 200+ chickens, you won't have enough eggs to fill carton upon carton of matching eggs.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 11:31 PM
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Easy, ask him for only unwashed eggs. If he takes the time to dirty them... Well, I'd still pay him for the effort!

Look for dirt, weird lumps, like said off sizing...

A woman in town sells her eggs to my moms and aunts offices. Her eggs are pale, tasteless, and not nearly as "good" as mine because my birds free range and are fed greens/scraps etc. Mom buys hers to give to family and takes mine... How nice! LOL!

Lockwood that was cool info. I leave mine on the counter for weeks, never had a bad one. I don't wash off the bloom.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-03-2014, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyGap View Post
Easy, ask him for only unwashed eggs. If he takes the time to dirty them... Well, I'd still pay him for the effort!
I actually have a guy that insists on unwashed eggs. To each their own... beats washing eggs at 10 at night when he texts me, to send eggs to work with my husband, though!
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 11:04 PM
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Short lesson.
Color of eggs (brown, white, blue, etc...) is determined by the breed of chicken.
Hardness of shell is determined by items available for the chickens to ingest (ground oyster shells, etc...-including bits of egg shell, but wouldn't advise giving egg shell- will result in harder shells)
Eggs will remain good for quite awhile without being refrigerated (as already stated). My grandmother didn't bother.
How many eggs a farmer gets in a week will depend on the breed of chicken, what it's fed and the time of year. Winter is the lowest production time. Colder weather = fewer eggs. Warmer weather = more eggs. Unless the chicken is being fed laying mash (or an equivalent) the average for most of the common breeds left free ranging and "living off the land" is around 5 eggs a week during warm weather (so 20 chickens will average around 100 eggs a week during the most productive time of year). From start to finish it takes a chicken 24 hours to create an egg.
It is not uncommon to sell this week any leftover eggs that didn't sell last week. They're still perfectly good eggs and helps keep up with demand when you have a short supply week.

If one of my eggs "floats" it goes to the dogs or to hogs

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-04-2014, 11:11 PM
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My 'girls' went without laying for the first time this winter. I didn't put lights in the hen house, let them self regulate and we had close to 2 months of no eggs. They started up again about a week ago and I'm getting close to 10 eggs from 18 hens, daily. Not near what I'll get as the days get longer, but plenty, more than we can use ourselves now.

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