With its ancestors being native Jungle Fowl of South East Asia, hens have been kept in
Grade "A" Eggs
Under EU rules only Grade A eggs are allowed for retail sale. This means that they must have
In addition Grade A eggs must be stored above 5�C and below 20�C
Eggs are sized and packed in 10 gram bands:
The average weight of an egg is about 63g and over 90% of eggs are Large or Medium with only 5% each of Very Large or Small
By weight an egg is 11% shell
58% white and 31% yolk
As an egg ages it gets lighter through evaporation and the air space grows. Hence the old water test for freshness - a fresh egg sinks and an old egg floats. When broken a fresh egg shows a clear distinction between the thick inner white and the thin outer white. With age this becomes less distinct and the egg spreads more on a flat surface.
Typically eggs reach the shops within 2-3 days of being laid.
Under EU rules they are given a maximum best before date of 28 days from date of lay but British Lion Code sets a shorter life.
Eggs are much better if kept cool, either in the fridge or a cool larder. They should be stored vertically with the blunt end upwards - this prevents the air cell trying to change ends and push the yolk off centre. And finally, keep away from anything with a strong smell.
How many eggs does a hen lay?
Hens start laying eggs when they are 20 weeks old, the numbers laid increases rapidly reaching a peak of nearly an egg a day, typically laying 300 eggs a year.
What are the hens fed on?
The hens enjoy a diet free from artificial yolk colourants. Nearly 90% of the feed consists of cereals (mainly wheat) and oil seeds (mainly Soya) which provide energy, protein and essential oils. A further 9% is limestone granules to provide a source of calcium for shells and grit to aid digestion. The remaining 2-3% includes a variety of vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure optimum health.
How are double yolkers formed?
Nearly all double yolkers come from young birds in the first few weeks of lay. Normally young hens lay small eggs but sometimes before the egg laying cycle has settled down, two yolks are released together to be combined in one large egg...a double yolker.