Whether chickens are raised using a special chicken cage or they are free-range chickens, the eggs they make are wonderful products that have many interesting facts about them, such as the possibility to check their freshness by using a bowl and cold water, or checking if they are boiled or raw by spinning them.
Chicken eggs are the ones that are most widely used by people for cooking purposes out of all available egg types around the world. They became so popular for two main reasons, one of them being how easy it is to breed and care for chickens, and secondly because chicken eggs are tasty and full of important nutrients while being well-digested by most people.
This highly appreciated product is a miniature wonderland that provides the future chick with all of the necessary nutrients it needs for optimum development and survival in the first hours after hatching. While still inside the egg, chicks learn how to communicate with their mothers, as hens talk to their young before hatching.
Scientists have been studying them for many years now, and what they found out is quite amazing. However, there are many interesting facts about chicken eggs that people have discovered by simply using them generation after generation in their everyday life, as part of their daily food. So, let’s take a closer look at these facts discovered by people.
The shell covering the egg has thousands of tiny pores on its surface that people discovered to have many uses. First of all, these tiny pores allow the exchange of air, thus oxygen, between the egg and the surrounding environment. This means the baby chick will have a constant oxygen supply while inside the egg, getting it used to the surrounding air quality.
This also means that if you keep eggs in a bad-smelling environment, they will borrow that bad smell, which will then make them smell bad when being used. This is one of the reasons people chose to use carton cases for egg storing, as it prevents them from borrowing the surrounding smells. It is advised for us to keep them the same way in our fridge before using them.
The eggshell is also a great source of natural calcium. Many free-range chicken breeders will actually wash, dry, crush the eggshells and add them to their chicken food, as a way of adding natural calcium to their diet. The same practice was used many years ago in the case of children suffering from calcium deficiencies in their bones, before modern medicine created calcium supplements.
Believe it or not, the color of the eggshell depends on the color of the hen laying it, therefore hens that lay white eggs have white feathers and ear lobes, while colored hens will lay brown eggs. Also, brown-colored eggs are larger than white eggs or Easter eggs, making them more sought-after for daily use for cooking than white eggs.
Also, if you go close to a hen’s nest about three days before the chicks are to hatch, you will be able to hear them chirp from inside the eggs. This is particularly fun for young children, but we need to pay special attention to the hens while doing this, as they can be ferocious mothers that will attack anyone getting close to their nest.
How can we tell if an egg is fresh or not?
There are several traditional ways you can use to find out or at least get a hint of just how fresh an egg is. The first one, and one of the most commonly used ones, is checking the freshness using cold water. The way to do that is by taking a regular bowl, adding cold water inside, filling approximately half of the bowl, and putting the egg inside.
Fresh eggs will stay on the bottom of the bowl, on their side. Eggs that are older than two weeks, but have been stored in proper conditions temperature-wise will touch the bottom of the bowl, but their bottoms will be facing upwards. These are the ones you can still use for baking, but should not be eaten as hard-boiled or scrambled eggs.
Eggs that have gone bad will float on the surface of the water in the bowl. These are to be thrown away, as they pose a threat to the person’s health if they are to be eaten, either baked or boiled. It’s always best to check the freshness of an egg before using it, even if they are bought from the supermarket and have a valid expiration date stamped on them.
The catch here is to make sure you let the eggs get to room temperature before using this testing method and to only use cold water. This is a key factor if you want to accurately determine if that particular egg that looks so appealing to you is a safe bet or not. There are many risks associated with eating less than fresh eggs, so you’d better test it first.
You can tell if an egg is hard-boiled without cracking it
Did you know that you can tell if an egg is hard-boiled even without cracking its shell? Although it sounds pretty amazing, it is actually a common practice in kitchens around the world. So, how do we do that? When eggs are hard-boiled, the mass of albumen and yolk inside them becomes hard, and this gives them a compact mass with a weight center that makes them spin perfectly.
It’s mostly physics here, so if you spin a raw egg, the uneven mass inside it will make it spin slowly in uneven movement. However, if you spin a boiled egg, the compact mass inside it will allow it to spin nice and even, for a long time. Thus, you reduce the risk of having to crack an egg just to find out it leaks all over when you were quite sure that was the boiled one.
Moreover, you can store hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for several days before eating them, so by using this testing method, you no longer risk mixing them up by mistake with your raw eggs. This is also a fun trick to teach your kids, as they will be mesmerized at the way the boiled egg spins perfectly across the kitchen counter.
Eggs for kids
Chicken eggs are some of the few foods out there that naturally contain vitamin D, which is naturally produced by our bodies in the presence of direct sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible for the proper use of calcium in the human body, therefore it is essential for young children that are still getting taller, as their bones need to grow and become stronger.
In the summertime, while children are outside, playing in the sunlight, this process naturally takes place, but what do we do in the wintertime, when sun exposure is quite limited? The answer to that is to feed them eggs. Besides being very tasty, and available for cooking in a wide variety of ways, eggs contain many essential nutrients, high levels of protein, and vitamin D.
The only catch here is to only feed the eggs in the first part of the day, ideally for breakfast, due to the high levels of the protein that take a long time to be digested and metabolized by our bodies. By feeding eggs in the morning, when the body is most active, you give the body the chance to fully use all of the wonderful nutrients found in them.
The egg yolk
The egg yolk is a wonder of nature in itself. One interesting fact about egg yolk that most people do not know about is that its color depends on the hen’s diet, and it is also an indicator of how healthy the hen that laid it is. And according to that, you can even tell how rich in nutrients it is. So, the hen’s diet is a key factor in the egg’s quality.
There are substances you can add to the chicken’s diet to make the egg yolk dark yellow to orange, thus giving the impression of nutrient-filled, pleasant-looking egg yolk, but all of these substances are forbidden, as they are not healthy and can be quite misleading as far as the end-user is concerned.
There are also certain foods that can be added to the hen’s diet to make the egg yolk coloring more intense, such as carrots, that have high levels of beta-carotene, and that will give the egg yolk a dark yellow to orange color. As opposed to the chemical substances previously mentioned, carrots are all-natural and filled with vitamins, so that’s ok.