Author Topic: Yolk color  (Read 9955 times)

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Offline bharminder

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Yolk color
« on: July 31, 2011, 11:00:34 am »
I always thought the darker the yolk the healthier the egg -- but I'm reading online about how cracked corn can cause yolks to become orange too. So if that's true, the color of the yolk won't be indicative of pasture time for the birds.

So does that mean yolks that are not bright orange -- even if supposedly pastured in the summertimes......are still pasture raised?  I don't get it.....some conventional organic eggs have on occasion seemed more dark orange than pasture raised  organic eggs

Offline Hannibal

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 08:06:51 pm »
The healthiest eggs that I get are light yellow.
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Offline van

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2011, 12:06:37 am »
 First, the primary grains fed to chickens to lay are soy and corn.  You'll never get an egg any where even close to the color or orange by feeding any amount of cracked yellow corn.  It's the conversion of the green foods they eat and or the insects that produces that color.  Also, look for thick in consistency of the yolks.  Free range really means nothing except that have some room to move around.  Free range should mean that they have ample green space where insects and green grasses and weeds are still lush.  Check out ninety percent of free range chicken operations and you'll find that they're devoid of anything green.  Their chickens ate it all some time ago.  But I have seen farmers who move their chickens from field to field and or within a large field, rotating, with mobile pens.  Now that's an egg worth eating.

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2011, 06:47:59 am »
Dark yellow or orange yolks are simply because of higher dosages of beta-carotene. The more dark greens a chicken gets the more beta carotene they eat and the darker the yolks so yes, darker yolks usually mean pastured and healthier chickens. Right now with the drought and little green in my yard my chickens egg yolks are getting much lighter - so I have been giving them some carrots.

The caveat - with store bought eggs they usually feed the chickens artificial things to make their egg yolks darker and therefore - even more unhealthy.

Also, with store-bought eggs they wash off the natural bloom that preserves the eggs and spray on petroleum products. Eggshells are porous, so be aware that you are eating this.

Also, sometimes "pastured" mean only that a few of the chickens can get out and put their feet on dirt.

Healthy eggs should have yolks that are round - not flat - and you should see fibers at the ends that hold the yolk in place. These deteriorate so if they aren't present the egg is old. The white should be thick, not runny. Refrigeration changes a great deal. If you can get unrefrigerated eggs with the natural bloom still on you wouldn't believe the difference. 

I found an independent study of different brands and how healthy and natural they really are. I'll see if I can find that again. 

Offline RawZi

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2011, 06:59:22 am »
If you can get unrefrigerated eggs with the natural bloom still on you wouldn't believe the difference. 

    Is washing the bloom off only bad because they put soy wax on then?  Where I get eggs they always set enough aside for me never refrigerated, although they may bring them into their air conditioned house.  They don't wash mine, but they do wipe the bloom off.  I've told them not to do that last part.  They adamantly and immediately refuse that request.  They say they have too.  Maybe they're afraid of inspectors?
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Offline Dorothy

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 07:20:20 am »
You are quite lucky that they use soy wax and not petroleum based oils! The soy wax replaces the natural bloom so if they are putting on the wax they of course would take off the bloom. They might be worried about inspectors or they more likely put all the eggs through an automated process where they are washed and sealed. You are also quite lucky to be able to get unrefrigerated eggs. Sounds like you are pretty lucky in general as most people are not able to get unrefrigerated pastured eggs that are fresh. I'm sure you have asked about how the chickens are fed and kept Zi so if the only issue is the washing and using soy instead of the natural bloom it doesn't sound bad at all. You might want to ask what they are washed with because if it's just water that isn't bad. Soap residues can stay on the egg and get absorbed.

The best way to preserve eggs is the way nature designed an egg to stay fresh for a couple of weeks while the chicken lays their eggs to sit on them all at once. The sealing bloom that chickens use is ideal. But because humans are terrified of feces anyone that is selling eggs commercially must wash off the poopies and with them the bloom. In America they can't sell feces covered eggs or keep them around. It's understandable. With the way that chickens are raised, the eggs are often covered. With my few hens and their always fresh bedding for their nest and how they run around, just looking at the eggs one would think they didn't need to be washed at all they are usually sparkly clean. Really dirty eggs are because the chickens lay their eggs where they poop - not something that would happen naturally.

Offline RawZi

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 07:41:03 am »
    I visit the chickens every other day, whatever hour I show up, they're mostly in the grassy field where they've jumped the fence to, from where they have feed and shelter.  The feed is mostly alfalfa and has absolutely no soy.  I get to visit the hens as close as possible, believe me, I can do anything with them.  There's no poopiness.  The chicks are beautiful.  Their roosters are very fertile too (is that the right word?).  The family that put the chickens up are pretty much WAP style, if not in name, then in practice.  They don't wax any of the shells.  The wax refers to other places I don't use.  They don't wash my eggs.  They do everything by hand.  They wipe my eggs with a dampened cloth.  I don't know if they have a working well.  They may be dampening it with well water or city water, I have to ask.  At least I have some good luck.  It takes so much for me to get anywhere.
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Offline Dorothy

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 08:02:53 am »
LUCKY! RawZi.

The only thing that gives me pause is that they feed the chickens alfalfa hay. Is that it? No other seeds or grain? They must have fertile land where their chickens have room to forage and can catch enough bugs and eat enough weeds and naturally occurring seeds - which is perfect. You can't get better than that.

They probably have to wipe off the eggs because they are afraid of anyone reporting them. Every tiny home-grower or farmer fears being set-up or fined. Maybe after they know you longer they can put some away for you that are not wiped - but they might never get to be that trusting. It's a hard world for people growing real food out there.

The large agri-business farmers have automatic systems that wash the eggs and then spray on a replacement for the bloom. It's just the way it works. The best ones spray on soy-based waxes - but even those eggs taste horrible to me. Eggshells are permeable. The chick needs to be able to breath.

Offline RawZi

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 08:19:52 am »
No other seeds or grain? They must have fertile land where their chickens have room to forage and can catch enough bugs and eat enough weeds and naturally occurring seeds - which is perfect.

    The feed has other seeds in it.  Like I said, the chickens avoid it, they prefer picking through the pasture and visiting and playing with the other animals.  They have maybe three dozen chickens and about five acres very lush land.  They do give the chickens sour raw A2 milk too in addition to what we just mentioned, but not all the time.  I'm drinking a bowl of them now with Really Raw honey.
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Offline Dorothy

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 09:04:54 am »
Oh yeah - with 5 acres of lush land who needs fake food chicken feed?! I didn't realize it was such a small flock. My yard won't even support three chickens so they need to be fed. I put their feed into fermented whey - cuts down on waste and is a great protein and good bacteria source for them.

I think of chicken feed much like the modern diet, good feed more like Weston A. Price for chickens and foraging like the paleo diet.

You get your eggs from paleo chickens!  ;D

Offline RawZi

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 05:33:08 pm »
You get your eggs from paleo chickens!  ;D

    These chickens go wild eating meat more than cats do!
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Offline Löwenherz

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 05:44:16 pm »
I always thought the darker the yolk the healthier the egg -- but I'm reading online about how cracked corn can cause yolks to become orange too. So if that's true, the color of the yolk won't be indicative of pasture time for the birds.

So does that mean yolks that are not bright orange -- even if supposedly pastured in the summertimes......are still pasture raised?  I don't get it.....some conventional organic eggs have on occasion seemed more dark orange than pasture raised  organic eggs

Egg yolks can become dark red if you feed your chicken beef!

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Offline dariorpl

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2015, 11:18:27 am »
I resurrected this very interesting thread because I'd like to hear more opinions about yolk color, what things determine it, and how much of a determinant factor it can be in deciding which eggs are or aren't healthy.

I currently have tried 5 sources of organic/pastured eggs, the eggs from one of the suppliers (A) have yolks that are clearly the most intense orange and look firm. Two others (B and C) are orange but less intense, and seem less firm. And two others (D and E) look a dark yellow, similar to regular eggs, just not as bright maybe. I'm a bit skeptical about whether D and E two are even organic or pastured raised, or if the sellers are just lying. The eggs from D and E also sometimes have that white thing sticking to the side(s) of the yolk, I don't know if that's healthy or not, but eggs from A, B and C don't have that, or at least I haven't noticed. Eggs from A definitely don't (I've had a lot of them). Eggs from C are refrigerated, and those from B might be (not sure). Those from A, D and E are kept at room temperature. B and C look like they might be cleaned, but those from A, D and E are not. None of them are particularly dirty anyway (about 50% of conventional eggs where I live are not cleaned, since it's not required by law. Conventional eggs that aren't cleaned can be a lot more dirty than any of these)

I'm leaning towards only having eggs from A supplier, I hope that's the right decision. What do you guys think?

Another issue is which provider to choose for chicken meat. I figure that healthy eggs means healthy chicken meat (is that correct?). Supplier A doesn't sell chicken meat, B doesn't sell chicken meat either. C does, but it's kept at -2 degrees C  (28.4 F), and I believe that makes it lose nutrients. I tried C's chicken, their chickens are small, quite fatty, and it was tasty but the smell was a little strong, and the taste a little bland. E also sells chicken meat, their chickens are huge, not as fatty, have thicker and more gelatinous connective tissue inbetween the skin and the meat, are fresh (never-frozen) and taste good without a strong smell. I've never had conventional chicken raw to be able to tell the difference; and I don't think I can bring myself to do it (though chicken has become my favorite raw meat, possibly because of all the fat in the skin, and also because of the cartilage, spongy bone and marrow, but I think those things from a regular chicken would be super loaded with toxicity and just thinking of that makes me nauseous)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2015, 12:00:05 pm by dariorpl »
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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2015, 11:52:31 am »
I really wish I could easily get good-quality chicken. I agree with you, the fatty skin is wonderful, like duck. I almost never eat chicken,  though.

Offline dariorpl

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 01:45:02 am »
Well I got supplier A to agree to sell me some of their chicken meat. Apparently they normally don't sell to the public because they only have a very small supply that they keep for good customers. Hopefully what I said above means these will be the healthiest chickens of the bunch.
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Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2015, 02:22:05 am »
Let us know how it tastes.

Offline dariorpl

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2015, 02:44:44 am »
Will do. I also asked them to leave the giblets in. C's chicken didn't have giblets even though I asked for it when I ordered it, and D told me that they only leave the giblets in during winter to prevent spoiling (I'm in the south hemisphere so summer has just ended here). It will be my first time with raw giblets. I expect they will taste great, but will try to report on the taste of the rest of the chicken separatedly.

I always really liked the taste of cooked giblets from regular chickens. I guess they must have been really toxic, but for whatever reason I liked them a lot. Most people think of them as some of the lowest possible quality food, but to me they were a delicacy.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2015, 07:06:04 am by dariorpl »
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Offline dariorpl

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2015, 03:33:30 am »
Well it seems the chickens from supplier A are medium sized, and that I got one that was bigger than normal for them. It was 6.5lb and it came with only a neck and a liver for the giblets. The giblets were amazing as expected. The skin was dry and kind of bland. There was a medium amount of gelatinous tissue under it, and not a lot of fat. It seemed as if the skin had two layers, the outside one being more dry than the second. This is the first time I notice something like that in any raw chicken (and I don't think I'd notice if it was cooked). The meat was firm and fresh. The bones were quite hard and they eventually made my teeth hurt from breaking them to get the marrow. The marrow was great. The cartilage was also tougher than I remember from the other ones.

I don't know if all this means that the animal was healthier or not. I think I enjoyed the one from supplier E the most. Maybe the chicken from A is refrigerated too much or even frozen, I don't know. Or there may be a difference with the scalding process. In any case, I found it easier to consume a large amount of A's chicken meat. This may be because it was less fatty, I don't know. When I had the chicken wings from E, it wasn't a problem, and those should've been fairly fatty. So I don't know. Maybe it's just that when I've had enough fat, I don't feel like eating a lot of muscle meat? Or maybe A's chicken is just healthier and the blandness is part of what a healthy chicken should taste like, and I'm just used to the stronger flavor of less healthy chickens? I don't know. Or maybe it's just based on my state of health at the time and how much food I needed on each occasion.

I'm probably going to continue alternating A's chicken and having chicken either from E, or another two suppliers that I'll label F and G. Four of the suppliers are all from the same market. Those are D, E, F and G. But supposedly they're selling their own production and their products should be different from each other.
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Offline dariorpl

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Re: Yolk color
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2015, 05:28:30 am »
and D told me that they only leave the giblets in during winter to prevent spoiling

Here I meant E, not D. I got mixed up with all the letters lol. D was  one that doesn't sell chicken meat, only eggs, some dairy and a few fruits and vegetables.
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