Calling All (Any?) Chicken Egg Nerds...

I recently got a dozen “Fresh pastured chicken eggs”. They ran close to US “large” size, about 57 g/ea.

When I cracked some into the pan I was surprised, I’ve never yolks so small compared to the overall egg size. These are about the yolk size I’d expect to see from a small sized egg, maybe even smaller based on some calculations.

The two near the bottom are the new ones and above is an Aldi. It’s not easy to see top-down, but the difference in diameters carries over strongly to the gravity-mashed disk heights.

I separated two of the smaller ones and the yolk mass was about 22% of the total egg mass. Basic amounts for percent of yolk/white/shell are roughly 30/40/10. So based on a 57 g egg, the yolks should be roughly 17 g but instead are less than 75% of that at 12.5 g. For context, the average mass for US small size egg is 42.5 g, which at 30% yolk would be 12.75g.

I separated a couple of older Aldi eggs and they ran about 60g total with 29% yolk.

I found a study indicating hens aged roughly at 6 - 7 months produce somewhat less yolk-to-white ratio than hens in the 12 - 18 month range. But it didn’t report “wet” mass results, instead they dehydrated the components first and published “solids content” ratios, so their results are hard to map onto my wet mass measurements. Just spitballing, though, based on the difference in solids ratios reported, for very young hens I might expect yolks 90% of expected mass but not 75%.

But there’s another factor according to various publications - very young hens tend toward medium or small eggs anyway, normally producing large-sized only when more mature, so I doubt age is a factor given these eggs average out at large.

Anyway, just thought it was weird and had a couple of minutes on my hands…


It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the two lower yolks look like they came from a single egg, because I can’t distinguish a separation of egg whites between them. Was it a double yolker, or were those from two separate eggs? I’m no expert, but I have raised chickens for eggs, and younger hens can sometimes produce atypical eggs now and then, eg double yolks, small yolks, no shell (those are kind of freaky), etc.

1 Like

Good question, but no, these were two single eggs. And “good question” because yes I have seen double yolkers a lot (I used to buy almost exclusively “jumbo” sized eggs, which seem to have a significantly higher percentage of them).

Never heard of the “no shell” freaky eggs - do they just have the membrane around them such that they’re soft like sea turtle eggs?

Just had a farmers egg that was only yolk. He said he sometimes saw all whites.

1 Like

Shellless eggs have a thin membrane around them. I think it’s actually the same membrane that normal eggs have, but without a shell, the eggs look really strange. The membrane is dry and a little leathery to the touch, and the whole thing feels like as if you cracked a raw egg into a baggie. The first time I reached into the chicken coop and felt one, it startled me, because I couldn’t figure out what I had tried to grab!


I get eggs from a local farmer and have noticed that yolks are smaller, ratio wise, at the beginning of the season when they get their laying flock in.

1 Like

I don’t notice much yolk difference between store and farmer, in terms of yolk size. It’s the yolk color. If the chickens eat more corn, carrots, etc, you’ll get the deep golden yolks.

Carrots, or ground up marigolds is another trick my friend told me about (he buys feed with marigold in it already).

A local family grocery store briefly sold cartons of double yoked eggs!

1 Like

Okay, so how did they do it / know? Did they candle (highlight) a bunch of eggs and come up with a dozen to place together as double-yolkers?

That is above and beyond! But I can’t figure any way else to do that.

I guess they candled them. But the product offering didn’t last long. When I was a kid, one time when i was visiting my grandparents, my grandmother’s sister-in-law, who lived next door and had a chicken coup, brought us a basket of eggs - and all of them were double yolked!

Cool beans …

1 Like