Do you know the difference in your eggs? Do you know what the difference in egg shell color means or how to store fresh eggs in your home?
Knowing the difference in the eggs and egg shell color you buy can be confusing.
First off, there is no difference in the nutritional value of the egg as it appears on the outside. Egg shells can be brown, white, blue, olive green, even pink. Some unscrupulous people at farmer’s markets will sell the different colored eggs at a higher price, claiming them to have less cholesterol, or higher nutritional value, but this is not true.
The egg shell color is solely dependent on the chicken breed.
If the chicken has red earlobes,the eggs will be brown. If they are white, the eggs will be white. Easer Egger and Olive Egger chickens may have red earlobes, but their eggs range in color from light green to a deep olive color. Egyptian Fayoumis have brown earlobes, but their eggs are almost a light pink. Amerucana chickens lay eggs with a blue shell. Copper Marans have a shell that is nearly chocolatey brown in color.
The yolk itself can be a light yellow, to a deep orangey color. This will depend on the amount of sunshine the bird is getting, the quality of feed, and amount of bugs/worms/grubs a hen is getting at. A free ranging bird in the summer time will usually yield deep orangey color yolks, and a penned up bird in the winter will usually yield a lighter yellow yolk.
No matter what the egg shell color is, you will want to have clean eggs.
To keep your eggs clean, you will need to keep the nesting boxes clean, and train the birds to not sleep in there. They can easily fill a box with droppings in a couple of nights, and the eggs will be covered with them.
Take a big piece of cardboard and cover the boxes at night when the chickens were going to roost. After an hour or so, take the cardboard down so that the nesting boxes were available to them in the morning. Eggs came out much cleaner and you won’t need to wash them nearly so often.
When a chicken lays an egg, there is a coating that dries quickly on there that seals and protects the egg from bacteria entering. This is called the “bloom”. When you wash the egg, you can remove that coating, leaving it open for bacteria to enter, which is why people refrigerate their eggs.
Actually, eggs can last up to 9 months in the fridge, and 2 weeks on the counter. (personally, I have never had an egg last that long in my house) Yes, you “can” store them on the counter, but they age every day at the same rate eggs age in the fridge every week. If you are going to store them on the counter, I would suggest not washing them until just ready to use.
There are several ways you an store an abundance of eggs.
- One is by dehydrating them into a powder. Get those directions here.
- You can also freeze your eggs for longer term storage. Just crack the eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt for every dozen, whip gently to mix and pour into an ice mold. When frozen, remove from ice tray and place in a container. The freezer eggs will be good for baking up to a year.
- Another way to long term store your eggs is by coating them with mineral oil to mimic the bloom. Place a couple drops in your hands, and rub gently all over the egg. Place in a cool, dry, dark place for up to three months.
What do you do if you find an egg in the coop or yard, but aren’t sure how long it’s been there?
If you don’t know if an egg is still good to eat, place it in a bowl of cold water to submerge the egg. If it rests on the bottom, it’s fresh. If it tilts slightly, it’s still good but you may want to use it only for baking or cooking thoroughly. If it floats, it’s not good and should be composted.
What did you learn about the difference in eggs? Did anything surprise you? Be sure to pin this for later!
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.