Explaining what a healthy egg looks like is a lot more difficult than taking a picture to show you. Here you can see the three layers I was talking about. The yolk is the first layer, the translucent middle is the second layer, and the white is the third layer. Because the stove was already on the third layer had already started to cook so it won’t look like this when you first crack the egg in the pan.
The middle layer should stand up like it is in the picture. If it weeps into the third layer, or is non-existent, then the egg you’re eating is old. Even the free-range eggs at the supermarket (you know the ones that are completely encased in plastic* but claim to be free-range) aren’t good looking eggs. The yolks are a pale yellow and the whites are runny and weepy.
Maggie was kind enough to point out a mistake I made in the information I gave. I thought the oranger the yolk the more animal protein the chicken got in the form of bugs and other animal fat. However, I was wrong. I quote Maggie
It comes from plants – carotenoids, including beta-carotene that makes them that nice orange color. This is why free range chickens have nice bright yolks – they are getting lots of fresh greens in their diets.
Our chickens don’t get greens unless we give the Ladies lettuce or other greens. Their coop and yard is set in the woods where there are lots of pine trees and other firs thus there is very little green matter growing there. Wolf and I stumbled upon how much the Ladies *love* lettuce so we were buying a couple heads of iceberg each week to give to them. We’d cut the head into fours and give them a 1/4 every day. Now we’re going to change that to a better lettuce: red leaf or something akin. I’ll have to buy it at the store and not the farmers market due to cost but still I want to make sure our chickens get what they need nutritionally. I just hope the lettuce we get at the store isn’t GM.
Look for me twice a month over at The Greenists.
I’d like to thank Allie, The Modern Gal, and Courtney for the opportunity to work with such a great group of bloggers. I hope to meet you all in person someday soon! (Road trip to a central area??) And sorry I made a mistake in my article! Please don’t hold it against me.
*Eggs need to breathe you know. Don’t wrap them in plastic egg cartons, leave them in the cardboard ones.