I love getting to talk about our farming operation and animals with our inquisitive customers. A few have asked me some questions regarding our egg operations, and I thought I'd do a little Q&A for everyone today.
Q: Why are there such variations in the color of my eggs?
A: Different breeds lay different colors of eggs. We love the look of a bunch of different-looking birds spread out across the field, so we have several different breeds in our flock. Our current egg colors range from a very dark terracotta to a just-off-white. In the spring, our new Araucanas will begin to lay, and we'll have blue/green eggs again. Those are always a hit (especially around Easter). Maggie used to lay the most beautiful pale blue eggs, but her age and recent stress have caused her to stop laying.
Q: Why are the eggs in my carton not all the same size?
A: Believe it or not, chickens do not lay the exact same size egg from day to day. This is especially true of new layers, which is what our flock is comprised of. Young birds (or pullets) often lay cute little eggs as their bodies figure out what's going on. As the chicken matures, she will lay more consistently but sizes may still vary slightly. I sell our eggs as "Large" eggs. A carton of large eggs from the grocery store has a net weight of 24 ounces. I weigh each dozen to be sure that every carton we sell weighs at least that much. So, you may have some medium-sized eggs, but you'll have a jumbo or two in there to balance things out. ;)
Q: Why do you put the eggs in the carton with the pointy side down?
A: The short answer is that they will stay fresher longer if stored this way. If you've ever hard-boiled an egg, you know it has an air pocket in it. This air pocket is where bacteria tend to enter and multiply in the egg. Once bacteria comes in contact with the yolk, eggs will go bad relatively quickly. Storing an egg with the pointy end down keeps the air pocket from coming into contact with the yolk. This isn't really a big concern for you Brood Farm customers, though, since your eggs are at least a month and half fresher than any you'd buy at the store.
Q: So, is that why they seem to rattle around in the cartons?
A: Yes, we are currently recycling containers previously used for store-bought eggs. These are designed for the eggs to sit snugly with their wide end down. Ours may rattle around a bit because they're pointy-end down, but they should be just as protected so you really shouldn't have any broken eggs.