Double Yolked Eggs – Are Double Yolks On The Increase?

I have read that double yolked hen eggs are caused by two eggs separating from the birds ovary at the same time and joining into one egg!

I would like to know if double yolks are on the increase. I rarely get a double yolk duck, hen, guinea fowl or quail egg. Occasionally we have had a double yolked quail egg but I have never had a twin yolked guinea fowl egg.

I am posing the question about whether double yolkers are on the increase as I received an interesting email from Sarah yesterday.

“I have read today in national paper one womans shock at all 6 of her eggs being twin yolks and that the british egg forum states its rare and to find 1 in a box is 1000 – 1 chance. However, I would like to point out that the cheaper eggs that I have been buying from “well known supermarket” are nearly always twin yolks. Easily 6 twin yolks this week in the 10 I have used so far. Im sure if it was looked into this is more common than the experts think. What I would like to know is…how can this be happening so often. What are they doing to the chickens! Is this a case of more interference with nature with inevitably a knock on effect in the human diet? Sarah B”

Thought this was interesting so if you wish to enter the debate then please feel free to comment, would love to know what you think. You can either leave a comment here on the website or you can catch up with the debate on the farmingfriends forum.

Why Do Hens Eat Eggs?

I am often asked why hens eat their eggs.

  • Egg eating can begin when a hen finds a broken egg.
  • They get a taste for the eggs, they really love the egg yolk and I wonder if this has nutrients in it that they crave.
  • Sometimes they do it out of boredom.

Here are some tips to try to sort the egg eating problem!

* Gather eggs more frequently or earlier. The longer the egg stays in the egg house the more chance of the egg being broken.
* Make nest boxes as dark as possible. Bright lights in the nesting area can increase nervousness and picking behavior.
* Fill empty egg shells with mustard. They do not like the taste of the mustard.
* Use coloured stones or pebbles to discourage egg eating. The hens will peck at them and when they can’t break them they will ignore the real eggs.
* Give hens plenty of oyster shell and green vegetables.
* Hang treats from the ceiling to distract them.
* Feed mash instead of pellets as the hens fulfil their intake more quickly on pellets and therefore have more time for bad habits!
* Trim the birds beaks or place a pecking device on their beak.

I was given the tip of adding mustard to egg shells but the only mustard I had was flavoured with mead and honey and was wholegrain and the hens seems to like it.

Do you have any tips for stopping hens eating eggs? If so then please leave a comment.

If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

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Tips For Peeling Hard Boiled Quail Eggs

I have been asked if there is an easy way to peel hard boiled quail eggs so here are a few tips to try:

* Older eggs peel more easily.
* Put eggs in fridge once cool and then they peel abit easier.
* Put the eggs into vinegar for 12 hours and the shell disintegrates and then you just peel the inner membrane off and rinse in cold water.
* Puncture the rounded end with the air pocket and peel abit of the shell and then roll on the work surface to break the rest of the shell making it easier to peel.

Should You Wash Eggs Before Incubating?

I am often asked if you should wash eggs before incubating and there is a debate as to whether you should or not.

Many poultry/waterfowl/gamebird breeders don’t think you should wash them:

* If you wash them you can wash bacteria into the egg as the shells are porous. It is not advisable to wash eggs before incubating as bacteria can be transferred into the egg which can affect the growth and development of the chick/duckling, cause illness, defects in the chicks or even chicks not hatching.

Eggs have a protective coating and if you wash them or rub them then you may remove the protective coating.

Here are some tips on storing and choosing eggs before incubation http://farmingfriends.com/choosing-and-storing-eggs-before-incubation/

http://farmingfriends.com/cleaning-eggs-for-the-incubator/

Some people do say that you can wash eggs and they say if cleaning eggs then use water that is warmer than the egg.

I have had a look in my copy of incubation at home by Micheal Roberts. http://farmingfriends.com/shop/poultry-books/incubation-at-home-by-michael-roberts/ He is an advocate of not washing, but says if you have dirty eggs then you could scrape off the soil/muck with a clean kitchen scourer. He also mentions Virkon which I believe is a sanitiser and washing in water that is 35 degrees..

I have had a look at my copy of Incubation: A Guide To Hatching & Rearing by Katie Thear http://farmingfriends.com/shop/poultry-books/incubation-a-guide-to-hatching-and-rearing-book-by-katie-thear/ and she suggests brushing them clean with a dry nail brush. She also mentions washing the eggs in water warmer than the egg which has had a sanitiser added.

Some people do wash eggs before incubation.
If you are going to wash the eggs then wash them in warm water, dry, then wipe with a special disinfectant. The water needs to be warmer than the egg so that the dirt doesn’t get through the porous shell and don’t rub too hard as this will rub off the protective layer on the shell.

What is your opinion? Can eggs be washed before incubation?

If you keep poultry or are interested in keeping poultry then visit the farmingfriends forum for the latest chat.

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Can You Move Unhatched Hen Eggs?

I have been asked if you can you move unhatched hen eggs.

“Can you move unhatched chook eggs to another location like another nesting spot or coup. Coral”

Hi Coral,

Thanks for your question. I don’t have experience of moving unhatched hen eggs myself but I have tried to move guinea fowl eggs when the guinea fowl hen goes broody and wants to sit in an unsafe place or the guinea eggs that I find that the guinea fowl are not yet sitting on, but from experience the guinea fowl have never sat on the eggs after I have moved them as they do not like their nest to be disturbed.

If you have a broody hen sitting else where then you could move the unhatched eggs and place them under her. It seems that hens decide where they want to go broody and it’s generally not where you want them to go broody. If you don’t have a broody hen you could try making them broody by putting down some pot eggs and then when they go broody you can add the unhatched eggs which you can store in the correct conditions until she goes broody.

I have added your question to my farmingfriends forum so some of the members may have some advice. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=366

I hope you get the eggs sorted.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

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Where To Get License To Sell Duck Eggs In Northern Indiana

I was recently emailed and asked about where to get a license to sell duck eggs in Northern Indiana.

“I have a small flock of Khaki Campbell ducks. I am wanting to sell the eggs. I know that I will need a license to sell them. I live in Northern Indiana, U.S. How do I obtain a license?”

Different countries and different states in the US have different legislation and laws on selling eggs to the public.

I live in the UK so the UK licensing laws are different for selling eggs thathose for the US.

I googled how to obtain a license for selling eggs in the US and found that a license can be purchased from the Health Department and may cost from $75-150 dollars (not sure if this is accurate).

I would contact your local health inspector and find out what the regulations are on duck eggs and how much a license costs.

I don’t know if this pdf will be of help http://www.apppa.org/legalstates.pdf Indiana is on page 17.

If you live in Northern Indiana and know about where to get a license for selling eggs and more specifically duck eggs, then please leave a comment.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then visit the farmingfriends duck forum for the latest chat about ducks and then check out the khaki campbell duck eggs for hatching sales page.

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If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

Ducks Eggs Can Be Eaten

I am often asked if you can eat duck eggs. The answer is definately yes. Duck eggs can be used in the same way as hen eggs.

They are particularly good for:

  • omelettes
  • pancakes
  • poaching
  • scrambling

If you enjoy a fry up or a boiled egg for breakfast then a duck egg is a good substitute for a hen egg as it is a large egg!

An excellent serving suggestion for soft boiled duck eggs is to serve them with asparagus.

Duck eggs are excellent for making light and spongy cakes, buns and miffins.

Don’t use duck eggs for making Yorkshire puddings as the Yorkshire puddings tend to be heavy and don’t rise very well.

This is what some of the farmingfriends forum members had to say about duck eggs.

How do you like to eat and use duck eggs, please let us know.

How To Hard Boil An Egg

For the final day of British Egg Week (5th-11th October 2009) I thought I would share how to hard boil an egg.

Put the eggs (still in their shells) into boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Try not to over cook for more than 10 minutes as the eggs may be discoloured. Put the eggs immediately into cold water to cool as this prevents a dark colouration around the yolk. When cool, crack the egg shell and peel it from the eggs.

Hen and duck eggs take 10 minutes to hard boil, guinea fowl eggs take over 5 minutes and quail eggs take 3 minutes to hard boil.

How To Make Scrambled Eggs

This week is  British Egg Week (5th-11th October 2009), so I thought I would share with you how to make scrambled eggs.

Use half an ounce of margarine or butter and 1 tablespoon of milk per egg. Crack the eggs (2-4 eggs per person depending on size of eggs and appetite of person!) into a bowl and add the milk. Beat the eggs and milk together and season with a little salt and pepper. Melt the margarine/butter in a saucepan and add the beaten egg mixture. Stir with a fork until the mixture is nearly set. Remove from the heat and serve.

Here is a scrambled egg recipe. Scrambled Quail Eggs With Seasonal Greens.

How To Soft Boil An Egg

It is  British Egg Week (5th-11th October 2009) and did you know that a recent survey found that  17%  of those surveyed struggle to boil an egg.

A soft boiled egg has a firm white and runny yolk.  Soft Boiled Eggs can be cooked in a number of ways.

You can plunge the eggs (still in their shells) into a pan of fast boiling water and cook according to taste and size of eggs. One tip is don’t boil eggs that have come straight from the refrigerator, because very cold eggs plunged straight into hot water are likely to crack.

For standard hen eggs:
3 minutes = very soft,
3.5 minutes = soft,
4 minutes = medium hard or
4.5 minutes = firm.

A small/medium egg soft-cooked yolk 3 minutes.

A large egg soft-cooked yolk 4 to 5 minutes.

An extra large egg soft-cooked yolk 5 minutes.

When cooked, put into egg cups and cut the top off the eggs.

Serve with a little salt and toasted bread cut into thin slices (soldiers).

A second way to cook soft boiled eggs is to cover the eggs (still in their shells) with cold water and bring slowly to the boil. The moment the water boils remove from the heat. Put into egg cups and cut the top off the eggs.

You can soft boil hen eggs, guinea fowl eggs, duck eggs and quail eggs. They all need different amounts of times to soft boil.

Quail eggs take about 1 to 1.5 minutes to soft boil.

Guinea fowl eggs take about 3 to 3.5 minutes to soft boil.

Duck eggs take about 4 to 5 minutes to soft boil.