As common as eggs are in the diet, most people know very little about them. Let us learn some interesting facts, trivia, and general information on eggs.
Female birds are born with the ova for as many eggs as they could potentially lay in their lifetime. For chickens this is usually around 4,000, however most hens used for laying are slaughtered before laying 1,000 eggs as the lay fewer eggs after their second year.
Female birds produce eggs even without males, however the eggs will not be fertile.
Some birds lay only one egg, and hatch it, while others lay a clutch of eggs, one egg a day, before incubating them all. All eggs hatch one the same day as calculated from the day incubation began. In chickens this is 21 days, in ducks it is 28 days.
In the USA alone there are 280 million hens that lay 250 to 300 eggs each per year, for a total of 75 billion eggs.
It is not the color of chicken that determines egg color, rather it is the color of the ear of the hen that laid it.
In the UK customers tend to prefer brown eggs, in Canada and the USA, it is white eggs that are preferred.
Some chickens lay blue eggs.
To determine if a chicken's egg is fresh put it in water, if it floats it is older, if it sinks it is fresher.
The color of the yolk is determined by the quality of food, better food means a deeper yellow yolk. In the battery hen industry hens are sometimes fed food coloring to make the yolk more yellow.
Egg white coagulates at a slightly lower temperature than egg yolk, making it possible to cook the whites and leave the yolk runny.
Egg Nutrition – As Per Chicken Eggs
The nutrition in a chicken's egg varies with the diet the hen was fed. Many people have also suggested that not only are pasture raised free range eggs more nutritious because the hen was fed a better diet, but also because she was raised “stress-free”.
Eggs are one of the few foods that contains Vitamin D.
The yolk contains Vitamin A, D, and E.
An egg yolk of a large egg averages 60 calories, while the white has 15 calories.
One yolk contains half the daily recommended intake for choline, a nutrient for brain development.
The yolk contains all the fat, most of the nutrients, but just less than half of the protein.
There is no nutritional difference between eggs with white shells and eggs with brown shells, unless determined by a diet difference in the birds that laid them.
Other Egg Facts
Century eggs, also called “hundred year old eggs”, are not 100 years old, they may be a few weeks, or months old, having been stored in clay, wood ash, salt, lime, and straw.
Egg whites can damage some paints used on cars, as such “egging” is considered vandalism in many areas.
Ostriches lay the largest eggs of any bird, they may be up to 20 times the size of a chicken's egg, and can weight 1.5 kg.
The smallest egg is laid by the bee humming bird, it weighs half a gram.
Eggs are not just laid by birds, they are laid by insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, molluscs, and there are even a few mammals (monotremes) that lay eggs.
Other Reading - The Nutritional Differences Between Chicken Eggs and Duck Eggs