About Chicken Eggs

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    Types

    • There are four main groups of chickens: American, Mediterranean, Asian and European. Mediterranean chickens lay white eggs. The other groups all lay brown eggs. By checking the color of a chicken's earlobe, you can determine the color of eggs the chicken will lay. Mediterranean chickens have white ear lobes, and the other groups have red earlobes.

    Time Frame

    • When incubated, either artificially or by a setting hen, fertilized chicken eggs will develop into a chick and hatch in approximately 21 days. Therefore, it is important to collect eggs from laying hens each day. According to the American Egg Board, refrigerated eggs should stay fresh for up to five weeks. Additionally, unwashed, clean eggs with the bloom intact can remain good for several months, according to an article on the website ChickenKeepingSecrets.com (see Resources below).

    Benefits

    • Chicken eggs are a nutrient-dense natural food that do not contain hormones and are high in protein. Eggs are also a good source of riboflavin and choline. The color of the eggshell does not affect the taste, nutritional value or quality of the chicken egg. The eggshell is made of calcium carbonate and is full of tiny pores. These pores allow moisture and carbon dioxide out and oxygen in, allowing the tiny chick to breathe while developing.

    Size

    • Chicken eggs are separated by sizes before they are placed in egg cartons for sale. Larger eggs may be slightly more expensive, although size is determined ultimately by weight. Jumbo eggs need to weigh about 2.5 oz.; extra-large eggs are 2.25 oz.; large eggs are 2 oz; medium eggs are 1.75 oz; small eggs are 1.5 oz; and pee wee eggs are 1.25 oz. Their individual weights may vary slightly as long as the dozen meets the minimum standard weight by average.

    Warning

    • The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network has determined that eight foods account for 90 percent of all allergic reactions to food in the United States, and eggs are No. 2 on the list. More than 6 million Americans are allergic to the eight foods on the list. If you are not sure if an egg is still fresh, you can submerge it in water and watch what happens. If the egg floats, throw it away; it is rotten.

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