Today let’s talk about what your egg looks like inside. After you crack your egg, you might see some things you just aren’t used to with store bought eggs.
First up, yolk colour. Dark yolks are a sign of two things. One, it shows the presence of grass and insects in the hens’ diet. So the hen who laid that egg isn’t living on grain alone, but is able to forage and spend time outdoors. Two, egg yolk colour will fade with time, so a dark yolk can also be a sign of freshness. Store bought eggs are on average 45 days old already when you purchase them, so not nearly as fresh as ones that were laid this morning, or even earlier in the week, as the case usually is with our farm eggs. A darker yolk doesn’t usually mean an egg is more nutrious than a lighter yolk, and our regular customers may notice lighter yolks in the winter, when the girls generally refuse to go outside, and if they do certainly don’t find much in the way of grass or insects out there in the snow, lol.
Next, let’s talk about “meat spots”. I know, I know, no one likes them. But honestly, I see them VERY rarely in our eggs. These are just a little dot of brown in the egg, usually in or near the yolk. They are entirely safe to eat, and I’d say 99% of the time once the egg is cooked you don’t even see it, but they’re also easy to remove with the tip of a fork if you prefer. What the heck are they? Well it’s just a broken blood vessel. Meat spots are a sign that the hen who laid that egg has an active life. Unlike in a lot of commercial operations where the hens are packed so tightly they can’t even move, our hens have loads of space to roam and play, and occasionally this play leads to a broken blood vessel, just like when your kids run and play and end up with a bruise here or there. It’s a small and very occasional price to pay for happy hens.
The egg in the centre here has a “meat spot”, and also a lovely example of Chalazae, discussed below. 😉
And last but not least, I’ve been asked several times about the white “strings” or sort of film over the yolk when you crack the egg. This is called the Chalazae, and it holds the yolk in the centre of the egg, so if a chick we’re developing it’d stay in place. Over time, that breaks down and disappears, so again, this is a sign of freshness! It’s still totally safe to eat, and I find it disappears when you cook it anyways. So no worries there!
And that is all I can think of in terms of anomalies of the inside of the eggs. I hope that clears some more questions up for everyone!