Useful and Surprising Egg Facts

Facts You Didn't Know About Eggs


To put it simply: there is nothing like an egg! Eggs are surrounded by more myths and old wives’ tales than any other everyday food. Here are some of our useful and surprising facts about eggs.

Opportunities, like eggs, come one at a time.

  • The entire yolk is actually only one cell, one of nature’s largest. In fact, an ostrich egg, which can serve about 24 for breakfast, is probably the largest cell nature is currently manufacturing.
  • The color of the shell is strictly a function of the breed of the bird. Find out more about different chicken breeds and the eggs they produce.
  • Americans consume an average of 281 eggs per year, which keeps about 285 million hens busy day and night.If you’d like to keep your own hens busy, check out our Raising Chickens blog.
  • An old-fashioned but valid test for egg freshness is accomplished by gently dropping a whole uncooked egg into a salt solution (two tablespoons salt in two cups of water.) If very fresh, the egg will be full and heavy and it will sink and tip to one side. If moderately fresh, it will remain suspended in the middle of the water in an upright position; if it bobs up to the top, it is stale.Learn how to do this test and see other egg tips in this video.
  • Government grades are based on the size of the air cell in the egg, the egg’s quality, and its freshness.
  • A Grade AA egg must be less than ten days old from packing, a Grade A, 30 days.
  • The whitish, twisted material seen near the raw egg yolk is thick albumen, which is part of a layer of dense egg white surrounding the entire yolk. Its purpose is to help keep the yolk centered in the egg. The albumen is especially prominent in fresh, high-quality eggs.
  • The color of the yolk is determined by the feed. If the chicken eats grass, yellow corn, or other feedstuffs rich in yellow pigments, the yolk will be deep yellow in direct relation to the amount of yellow in the feed, regardless of the breed of chicken or color of the shell.
  • The incubation period of a chicken egg is 21 days.
  • Shortly after an egg is laid, it is placed in front of a light source that reveals the condition of the innards. This process, called candling, can detect cracks in the shell or harmless but unappetizing blood spots on the yolk. It also reveals the size of the egg’s air cell: the smaller the cell, the better the egg.
  • If eggs are being grown in a backyard, there is a process to collecting, cleaning, and storing them.
  • Old wives’ tales suggest that the shape of an egg indicates the sex of the chick that will hatch from it. Unfortunately, there is no truth to this myth. Scientists are unable to distinguish between the sexes before the eggs hatch.
  • The greenish gray color around the yolk of a hard-boiled egg is a harmless compound of iron and sulfur called ferrous sulfide, which forms when an egg is heated. To prevent its formation, boil the egg only as long as is necessary to set the yolk, and then plunge it into cold water and peel it promptly.

You can learn even more about eggs and eggshells and their various uses here.

Did you know? While brown, white, and green eggs are essentially the same in nutritional value, there are definite preferences by individuals and by people in different regions of the country. Do you have a preference? Let us know! 


Reader Comments

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Like Brown Eggs Best

Brown eggs are richer in flavor imo.

Eggs and cholesterol

I have to worry about ?cholesterol in the eggs since they have 185mg of cholesterol. Why don't anyone mention that fact?

This is not a page about the

This is not a page about the health and nutrition of eggs. It is supposed to be fun and informative about things you may not have known about eggs. Hope you enjoyed it.

I am allergic to chicken

I am allergic to chicken eggs. Is it possible that i wouldn't be allergic to duck eggs? Or is an egg the same no matter where it comes from?

According to the Institute of

According to the Institute of Health, people with allergies to hen’s eggs may cross-react to other types of eggs (like duck and quail eggs). That said, there are people who are allergic to hens' eggs and not sensitive to ducks' eggs -- and people who can't 'tolerate ducks' eggs, but are fine with hens' eggs.

Yes! It it quite possible

Yes! It it quite possible that you would be fine with duck eggs! Somehow they are different, and I know many people who can't not eat chicken eggs, yet can eat duck eggs. It might be worth experimenting!

Maybe give quail eggs a try.

Maybe give quail eggs a try. They are really tasty and they have much less cholesterol than regular chicken eggs.

Like brown the best, there

Like brown the best, there also a pinkish brown eggs, &
blue ones. I see on FB than someone hen lay a egg than have whole egg inside it. I wonder want can of myth we could get started with than! HAHA

I will not eat a brown egg at

I will not eat a brown egg at home.will bake with them and probably have eaten them when eating out.Just a family thing I wouldn't eat them either

I often find a double yolk.

I often find a double yolk. What was the "old wives tale" re a double yolk egg? Wasn't it bad luck to eat an egg with two yolks?

In most of folklore, doulbe

In most of folklore, doulbe yolk eggs are considered to be a symbol of good fortune.

Brown !!!

Brown !!!

My parents used to raise 47

My parents used to raise 47 different breeds of chickens. My Dad showed them at several county fairs each year (2 hens & 1 rooster per pen). He had very little competition in all 47 different breeds. The premiums were the same for a pig, a sheep, or a cow & the chickens took up less space on the shipping truck, taking them all to the fair. And the chickens didn't need as much feed as the other livestock either.

Just a memory from a former Farm Kid.

We prefer brown eggs, to me

We prefer brown eggs, to me they have a better flavor, we have laying hens

Fresh organic eggs,

Fresh organic eggs, nutritious,
No hormones

I've always preferred brown

I've always preferred brown eggs.