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FAQ – Free Range Eggs 2017-05-16T22:57:51+00:00

At Country Golden Yolks, we love eggs. Yes it’s what we do, AND we believe we produce the best egg out there.  Here are answers to some of our customers questions and a few other interesting facts about eggs. Engjoy!

Frequently asked questions:

What does “Free Range” mean?

Free-range hens have access to clean pasture during the day and a warm place to roost at night. These hens are completely cage free both inside and outside the barn. (weather permitting)

What do Free-Range hens eat?

Our hens live in a natural free-range environment, which means they have access to outside pasture and feed on natural ground cover. They eat a special diet with no animal by-products, a premium all vegetarian natural feed, high in protien, containing no animal cholesterol.

Are there any antibotics given to these Free-Range chickens?

No!

Why should I buy Country Golden Yolks Free-Range Eggs?

Because these eggs are the best eggs money can buy! They taste better and come from happy hens.

Your Eggs Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)?

We would love to be able to tell you that our chickens are fed a 100% gmo free diet, but we cannot. We do our best to source our vegetarian feed for our chickens, however, most corn and soy products have been genetically modified. Here’s an article on genetic modification to help explain the challenges of guaranteeing GMO in our chicken feed.

WHAT’S AN EGG

An egg consists broadly of three parts: A shell, an egg white and a yolk. An egg consists of about 2/3 egg white and 1/3 yolk – in larger eggs however, there is relatively more egg white. An egg weighs an average of approx. 60 g. Egg size depends on the hen’s age (the older the hen, the larger the egg), race and weight, as well as on environmental factors such as temperature, stress and the hen’s access to food.

The eggshell

The shell represents about 10 % of the total weight of the egg. It consists mainly of calcium carbonate, with small amounts of magnesium carbonate

and calcium phosphate. It is porous: 8-10,000 pores ensure that oxygen can enter the egg and COand other gases can escape. The shell can be white or brown – depending on the breed. A white hen lays white eggs and brown hens lay brown eggs. White hens that lay brown eggs do exist but this breed is currently not being used for production in Denmark. Only the outer layer of the shell is coloured. The brown eggshells contain a pigment called protoporphyrin, which can create a range  colours from yellow to reddish and brown.

Shell thickness

The shell thickness and thus strength depends on egg size, breed, the age of the hen and feed composition. The content of calcium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin D are particularly important. The older the hen is, the thinner the shell. The older the hen is the thinner the shell usually, as the hen does not convert the calcium to the shell as easily.  

The eggshell The shell represents about 10 % of the total weight of the egg. It consists mainly of calcium carbonate, with small amounts of magnesium carbonate

and calcium phosphate. It is porous: 8-10,000 pores ensure that oxygen can enter the egg and COand other gases can escape. The shell can be white or brown – depending on the breed. A white hen lays white eggs and brown hens lay brown eggs. White hens that lay brown eggs do exist but this breed is currently not being used for production in Denmark. Only the outer layer of the shell is coloured. The brown eggshells contain a pigment called protoporphyrin, which can create a range  colours from yellow to reddish and brown.

Shell membranes

Underneath the shell there is an outer and an inner shell membrane. The outer membrane, which is immediately inside the shell, is the most resistant. Besides serving a protective role, the shell and the shell membranes also have a biological function; namely to regulate evaporation and air circulation, but also to prevent microorganisms from entering the egg. A colourlesswax membrane called the cuticle surrounds the outer shell. It is highly alkaline and therefore acts as a acteriostatic agent – i.e. it prevents bacteria from reproducing.

Air cell

When the egg leaves the hen, it has a temperature of 39 °C. As it cools, its contents contract, allowing air to penetrate through the shell. In the heavy end of the egg, the outer and the inner shell membrane split apart, and the air cell is formed here. The older the egg is, the larger the air cell, as water continuously evaporates from the egg during storage.

Egg white

The egg white makes up approx. 60 % of the eggs weight. It consists of 88 % water and 12 % dry matter, primarily protein. The egg white is made of three parts: an inner and an outer liquid layer and in between those a more viscous liquid part. The egg white is heat regulating, adjusts the humidity and supplies nutrition to the chicken foetus. It also prevents external bacteria from penetrating the yolk.

Bacterial retardant properties

The egg white protects the yolk, for example due to its contents of the enzyme lysozyme, which splits the beta-(1.4)- glycoside bond in the cell wall of gram-positive bacteria; this destroys the bacterial cell. The protein ovotransferrin is also a bacteriostatic agent, in that the binding of iron to ovotransferrin limits the possibilities  or certain bacteria’s growth.

Colour of the egg white

The egg white’s pale yellow-green colour is due to the presence of riboflavin (vitamin B2). Completely fresh eggs contain lots of small air bubbles that can give the egg white a dull milky appearance. This is because of carbon dioxide that has not yet leaked out through the shell. The older the egg, the more transparent the egg white.

Alkaline pH value

Egg white is one of the few alkaline food products that exist. In a freshly laid egg the pH value is approx. 7.6, but it increases during the first 1-2 days to 8.6 and then to 9.7. The rate at which the pH value increases depends on the storage conditions. The higher the temperature, the faster the increase in pH value.

The yolk

The yolk is a single cell that represents about 28 % of the weight of the egg. The nucleus, called the embryonic disk, can be seen as a small white spot on the outside of the yolk when the egg is opened. The yolk is surrounded by a protective membrane, the vitelline membrane, which becomes weaker the older the egg is.

The yolk has much lower water content than the egg white, just under 50 %. About 2/3 of its dry matter is fat and 1/3 is protein. The fat content consists primarily of triglycerides, cholesterol, and the phospholipid lecithin. The amount of fat and cholesterol and the composition of the fat are influenced by diet.

The chalazae

The yolk is held in place by two screwshaped strands of egg white – the chalazae, which are formed from egg white proteins. The chalazae are most visible in fresh eggs and can be hard to spot in a boiled egg.