The Beauty of Double Yolk Eggs

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 22, 2011
eggs 'n butter

You Don't Still Buy Eggs From the Store, Do You?

I coordinate a couple of local food clubs in my area of town, and we recently began purchasing eggs from a different farmer.  These eggs are amazing and quite unlike anything you’ve ever purchased at the store I’m quite sure – organic or not!

Ever seen double yolk eggs before, not just one in a blue moon, but LOTS of them?

The egg delivery I received this week had eggs so large that some of them looked like duck eggs.  In addition, half or maybe more were double yolk eggs!  It is easy to see why eggs like this are never in stores.  There is little chance they would even fit in a standard size carton!

In addition, eggs this size typically come from layers that are older.  Since chickens that mass produce eggs don’t live very long due to unfavorable living conditions, this would also keep egg size in check.

Three Double Yolkers!

If you’ve never seen eggs like this, why not?  Are you still supporting the industrial food complex by buying your eggs at the store, which are, in many cases, months old?

Even organic eggs from the store are no comparison.  Just get some farm fresh eggs and compare the difference.  Deep golden to orange yolks, much bigger size, stronger shell, better taste, double yolks, cheaper price  …. You don’t need any double blind studies to see and taste the difference.  Your five senses will do you just fine, thank you!

*Thank you to Paul Hardiman for emailing this mouth watering picture to me shortly after Tuesday’s pickup.   What a fantastic brunch you enjoyed, Paul!

 

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

 

Picture Credit

 

Comments (89)

  1. Jenifer Anderson April 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I buy our eggs directly from our dairy farmer, an Amish man who uses a lot of the same methods as Joel Salatin (including using the chickens to clean up after the cows). Best eggs ever. Just once, last year, I got an ENTIRE DOZEN double-yolkers. I’d love to have that happen again..

    Reply
  2. That’s why I actually returned a bunch of store-bought eggs today. I can’t wait to get my 5 dozen next Tuesday, Sarah. Now whenever I do buy eggs from the store (which is sporadic b/c of poor planning), I pity myself.
    Megan\’s last post: Why Fermented Foods

    Reply
  3. I just recently had a carton of eggs in which 3/4 were double-yolked. Now the interesting thing about this was that while they were locally-produced, they are from a brand of eggs that are widely available in our state. They do tend to have yellow-orange yolks, but nothing like the orange yolks I once got from a friend’s fully-pastured eggs.

    The other interesting thing about these eggs is that they were Jumbo eggs. I’ve never purchased Jumbo eggs before — but we eat so many, and they were the same price as the Large ones, I thought, “Why not?” My sister’s theory is that the Jumbo eggs are just frequently twins.

    So, sorry, I’m not sure how my eggs fit into the industrial food complex (while they are local, it’s a large producer), but I am not sure that double-yolks are necessarily indicative of high egg quality. They are the more expensive eggs at the regular grocery store, and are available at all the health food stores, too, sold as “Free Range.”

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I’m interested to know what you consider a large producer? By the way, it’s easy to fake out the customer with orange yolks .. just mix a bit of beta carotene in the chicken feed. The only real way to tell if the eggs are good is the strength of the shell, in my experience. If the shell is strong AND the yolks are orange, you’ve got yourself a good egg. Double yolks, are, of course, a bonus.
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist\’s last post: The Health Hazards of Cast Iron Pans

      Reply
    • Jennifer Fashian April 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

      We have some chicken raising experience – 3 years of raising backyard chickens. My experience is that the double yolks only came during the first half a year or so of our chickens starting to lay. Our neighbor also sells eggs and his double yolks come during that first year. We haven’t had a double yolk from our own chickens since those first months they layed. Seems like it’s just a fluke of the chicken getting the whole “system” worked out as they start to lay. The double yolks will also only be in those jumbo eggs, which is why you most likely never got one from the grocery store.

      Also the shells of young layers are much harder than older hens. As our first hens neared 3 years old we noticed a big difference in the shells, as well as the whites being much runnier. The chickens were just getting older. They were still free ranged and fed the same feed.

      Our free range yolks are bright orange, much oranger than our neighbor’s totally enclosed chickens. My daughter just got a double yolk today from the neighbor eggs and brought up the subject about them being twins and how that would work. Fun!

      Reply
  4. I don’t know much about chicken raising, but I’m interested to learn more. One thing that has dawned on me since joining the Real Food Movement is how far we are removed from our food source! I mean, duh, I know eggs come from chickens, but other than that… not much. I’m pretty sure we eat unfertilized eggs, right? So how does a double yolk happen? Wouldn’t that be twinning? Can an egg split into a twin without being fertilized? I guess since having identical twin girls myself, I’m more interested in twinning! Looks like I need to do some more research to satisfy my curiosity!

    By the way, when I was growing up, a double yolk for breakfast always meant you were going to have a lucky day.
    Amanda Dittlinger\’s last post: Ham Zucchini Rolls

    Reply
  5. Those look yummy! And while I know farm fresh eggs are better, they are definitely not cheaper around here. But I still buy them because I know how much better they are for me and my family. One day we hope to have laying hens, but that’s not going to work right now with a new baby due in a month.

    Reply
  6. “You don’t need any double blind studies to see and taste the difference.”
    True that! Thats why are society is wasting away in poor health, they’ve been too brainwashed by mainstream pseudo-science! Trust nature, not chemicals.

    Reply
  7. I go back and forth on whether or not I think double-yolks are a good thing when I see it in our duck flock (which used to happen a lot, especially when our current flock was under a year old–I find it interesting that you say it happens in older birds–my upcoming flock is not laying yet so I wonder if they will lay doubles when young also? I dont’ know…). I understand that, from a consumer’s point of view, the double yolk seems like more nutrition (though in my experience it isn’t really twice as much because the doubles tend to be smaller than one large yolk, at least in a duck egg–the total egg size is only slightly larger). My concern is twofold:

    1. The larger the size of the egg, the bigger the threat to the health of the layer. Hens will die if they are egg-bound.
    2. If double-yolk eggs are fertilized, they will never actually be fruitful. It is impossible for poultry to have “twins”–an egg can only support a single bird, at least as a general rule. Every once in a while, you hear a story of “twin” or “triplet” eggs, and for the most part the babies can develop fairly normally, but they will die upon hatching. Usually, if you hear of survival upon hatching, these were human-assisted hatches, which can possibly result in a weaker bird than a bird that hatches on its own. Generally, I wouldn’t allow a broody bird to sit on double-yolked fertilized eggs if I could help it, because I don’t think they are a sign of optimum fertility in the sense that the odds are they will not result in new life.
    Brandy @ Afterthoughts\’s last post: Good Friday

    Reply
  8. I actually grew up on farm fresh eggs and often had double yolkers, but haven’t had them after moving out of my parents’ house until recently when we found out that a co-worker is also a farmer. I’m not too keen on his farming practices (mainly industrial), but the eggs he gives us are from his free range flock. I loved having double yolkers again! Temporarily, anyway. They’re too big for my egg carton, which made them a pain to store. :-)

    Ever seen triple yolkers? I’ve only seen them a few times in my life, but it was the coolest thing ever! I swear my dad got a quad once when I was a teenager, but neither of us is 100% sure that we’re remembering that right.

    Reply
    • Ruth,
      My farm fresh eggs are much more expensive than store bought ones as well, but I figure, even if I’m paying $5 a dozen for eggs, that’s still less than .50 cents an egg, and when you consider the nutritional value of real free range farm fresh eggs, that still seems like a pretty good deal to me! We try to eat lots of eggs so we can cut back on meat a bit since our grocery budget is very tight right now.

      Reply
  9. Our experience has been that when the chicken first begins to lay again or starts to lay for the first time, we get the double yolks. They do eventually stop after a time and go into “normal” egg mode. We love the double yolks and our wonderful pastured eggs. The customers clambor when we start to sell them again after the girls have taken a winter break. I refuse to buy store-bought eggs.

    On the down side, I’m aware of a producer locally here that raises his chickens “free-range”. The legal means of this is that each chicken has to have access to being outside, but doesn’t say for how long. These chickens are raised in hoop houses with screened sides with dirt bottoms and fed commercial feed. In this way, the producer can lable his eggs free range. So be duped into thinking your eggs are free range. Buy right from the producer himself so you can see for yourself how your chickens are being raised. If one doesn’t greet you when you pull up, run!

    Reply
  10. Most large store eggs taste like soapy water to me now and make me want to retch. That is why we have our own chickens and duck for eggs. Oh my gosh, they are so good. In fact, my hubby is the chicken/duck man and he just bought 4 baby ducks 2 days ago. He loves duck eggs, too. Our daughter who is married will not eat any other eggs, so we always supply her family also. Can’t be beat.

    Reply
  11. Sarah, I wonder where you got your information that double yolks come mostly from older chickens? I have chickens and have had the same experience as Ann – when they’re first starting to lay, they give a lot of double yolk-ers, (along with some other crazy stuff – tiny eggs, eggs without shells, even two shell-less eggs joined by a thin tube once) and after a few months their reproductive systems seem to settle into normal mode and the double yolks become more rare. When we have a group just starting to lay, it’s not uncommon for half or more to be doubles.

    Reply
  12. Fun post! :) Thanks!
    We get at least one double yolk egg a day from our flock of chickens. It’s always exciting every time we crack one open. However, we’ve found that there are two downfalls for us when it comes to the double yoke eggs.
    Our “red star” hens (a crossbreed bred specifically for laying) lay most of our double yoke eggs. They are our youngest hens. A handful of those hens seem to lay double yokes a couple times every week. The downfall is that whenever they lay a double yoke, they skip laying an egg the next day…. The double yoke is like two eggs combined into one egg. The other downfall is that we can’t fit these huge eggs in cartons! lol! As someone mentioned before, double yokes can be a problem for breeding/hatching new chicks. This isn’t a problem for us though (at least not yet), because we don’t hatch our own chicks.
    Anyway! Despite the double yoke downfalls, they are still super cool!! They are definitely an exciting perk to raising your own chickens.

    Reply
  13. Our family thrives on our little flock’s eggs. We keep about 12 layers at a time and could sell many more if we had them. People tell us they love the beautiful, healthy, hard-shelled eggs, and the rich, bursting with flavor, yolks. I personally feel that a farm fresh egg is healthier when it is a single (normal) egg, but that’s just me. I grew up on fresh farm eggs so “double yolkers” were seen quite often. At any rate, the real point is, there is nothing like fresh eggs straight from happy hens. And people tell us that ours are the best they’ve tasted from sellers around the area. I love our chickens! At $3 a dozen they are a bargain to those we share them with.

    Reply
  14. I’m not sure what to think about double yolked eggs. Doesn’t seem normal to me.
    The problem with getting eggs from farmers around here is that they are all brown eggs and they do not have the same taste as white eggs. The other problem is that my husband has an autoimmune disease and he doesn’t like eating anything that isn’t pasturized. He’s afraid of the bacteria. Can’t say that I blame him. I know that I will not be agreed with on that.

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      The way I look at it , if a chicken is free to roam and eat and do what a chicken does and naturally produces a bunch of double yolk eggs, this sure seems normal.

      I wonder if folks consider double yolks abnormal just because store eggs rarely if ever have them? Abnormal becomes the norm in that case kind of like kids with allergies are the norm nowadays although this used to be abnormal just a couple decades ago.

      Reply
      • I don’t see my daughter’s food allergies as normal at all. My husband has autoimmune problems and she inherited the tendancy. Somewhere something triggered them. If I had known what it was I sure would have done what I could to prevent it.

        Reply
  15. I’d love to do farm fresh eggs, if there was a way to know which are fertile and which aren’t. Is there an EFFICIENT way to tell the difference?

    Reply
    • If there’s a rooster with the hens, they’re probably all fertile (unless the ratio of hens:rooster is very high). If there’s no rooster, then none are fertile :D Though most chicken farmers keep roosters in their flocks, not everyone who raises chickens does – We only have hens, since we live in a subdivision, so none of our eggs are fertile. We don’t have enough extra eggs to sell at a market, but we sell them to co-workers for $2 a dozen. Maybe you can find a friend who only keeps hens.

      If there is a chance, but not a certainty that the eggs are fertile, there’s really no way to be 100% sure if the eggs are fertile without incubating them, and then you couldn’t eat them! (Actually, you can sometimes see a very small, faint circle with a tiny dot in the middle on the yolk of a fertilized egg, but not always, and you have to break the egg – obviously that’s not very efficient either.) But fertile eggs don’t look or taste any different or have any different nutritional content from non-fertile eggs. (I know this for sure because we had a rooster for a while, but he was too big and noisy, so we gave him to the farmer we get our milk from.)

      Reply
      • Thanks Audry, Looking for someone with hens only may be a good option.

        If fertile eggs were limited to a ‘tiny’ dot, it probably wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but some of the eggs I’ve come across had more of a ‘dot’ than this ‘city boy’ could handle. Not sure why I’m able to rip a chicken leg right off and eat it, but can’t handle fertile eggs.

        Reply
  16. I get eggs from my parents’ farm and we will get double yolks occasionally. It’s always such a surprise! There’s a huge difference between store bought and farm fresh free range chicken eggs, in taste and performance in dishes.

    Sarah, I would like to discuss with you regarding your coordinating buying clubs for your area as I would like to start this up in an area of my state that has no health food stores but seems to be a huge interest for buying choices of the most healthy foods. How can we connect?

    Reply
  17. We had double yolk eggs for three weeks straight, and we eat at least 3 – 4 eggs per day in our house. I was bummed when I cracked an egg open and it only had one yolk.

    Reply
  18. I was out of my farmer’s eggs so I picked some up at Safeway (Organic “free range”). I made scrambled eggs this afternoon for my 3 year-old and he said, “Mom, why are these eggs white?” Even a 3 year-old can tell the difference between farm fresh eggs and store bought ones!

    Reply
  19. Double yolks are nice – but that picture!!!!!! The yolks are sooooooo pale!!!!! Your farmer may have double yolk layers in production but his hens are not eating enough salad – pale yellow yolks. I raise chickens and ducks and try for nearly year round pasture so the chickens are health and so are their eggs. The orange pigmentation of the yolk signifies quality and nutrition – pale yellow indicate lack of green feed and come from hens who eat mostly corn and soy based feeds without clover and bugs and the benefits of the great outdoors…..
    Happy egg eating….
    w

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist April 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Well, the shells are nice and hard and I’ve found the hardness of the shell to be a better indicator of nutrition than the yolk color. Orange is nice but I’ve come across more than one producer who plays games by putting beta carotene in the feed which turns the yolks orange. I find no problem with these yolks due to the hardness of the shell.

      Reply
      • Just because you can artificially make a less-nutritious yolk look orange, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a really nutritious one can be pale. How did you decide that shell hardness = high nutrient content? Are you somehow measuring the nutrients in the hard-shelled eggs that you eat?

        Different breeds of chickens can eat exactly the same diet and produce eggs with the same color yolks and drastically different shell thicknesses. If the chicken doesn’t get enough calcium, shell quality can suffer without necessarily affecting other nutritional qualities. Also, many chickens’ egg laying cycle is just a little longer than 24 hours – the same hen may lay an egg in the morning one day, at noon the next, and late afternoon the next, then skip a day and lay one with a very thick shell the following morning. Similarly, some hens that are just starting to lay may lay their eggs in the middle of the night, resulting in an egg with no shell, or just the very beginning of a shell at one end. The”guts” of that egg are identical to one that isn’t laid early, the bird’s body just hasn’t quite worked out its timing yet.

        Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          The yolks from the eggs I’m referring to are not pale. They are a deep yellow to orange color. Hard shelled eggs are more nutritious and hard shells can’t be faked like yolk color can. I live on a lake and we occasionally get eggs from the wild ducks that live there (they eat mostly fish and poke around for bugs on our back yard. The shells of those wild duck eggs are so hard they are practically porcelein.
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist\’s last post: The Health Hazards of Cast Iron Pans

          Reply
          • Generally, a weak shell is a sign of low calcium intake. I can always tell whether our flock needs oyster shell based upon shell thickness. I wouldn’t think that would have much to do with the nutrient content of the egg itself, though, as usually we seek out eggs for fat soluble vitamins (well…and general yumminess, of course :) ). In our flock, though, the alpha bird will steal oyster shell from the poor lowest in pecking order, so she inevitably produces thin-shelled eggs, and there’s not much we can do about it without caging her.
            Brandy @ Afterthoughts\’s last post: Good Friday

  20. We just acquired 6 chickens from a lady who had 15 she had pastured (her dogs decided to start killing them so she gave the final 6 away, a blessing to us as we have been tossing around the idea of getting chickens for several months.) We’ve had them for one week and so far had one double yolker.
    I love watching them roam around the yard and woods on our 5 acres.
    Sarah – you mentioned shell hardness – do you know if it is true that you need to give chickens oyster shells (or feed containing such) to keep their shells hard/so they won’t peck them? (i’ve heard both stories).
    Our birds thus far are not eating much of the feed we have in their house because they spend most of the day outside their pen. (Even when they are in their pen it is roughly 75×50 so there is plenty to sractch.)
    Danielle\’s last post: Golden Fillet of Trout with Wild Rice &amp Broccoli

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist April 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Danielle, I am no expert on raising layers by any means. I am more of an expert on eating them and identifying a good quality egg! LOL. That being said, most of the producers I’ve worked with over the years have given their chickens some sort of fish meal to add calcium and other minerals which does strengthen the shell considerably. There may be other ways, but I am not familiar with all the ins and outs.

      Reply
    • We recycle our egg shells right back to the chickens. They will peck at the shells with the other vegetable scraps we give them. The calcium from the shell goes right back into the chicken.

      Reply
  21. Sarah,
    I hard-boiled a dozen of the eggs we got on Tuesday. Three of them, so far, have turned out to be double yolkers. It was a fun surprise to eat into the egg and find the two balls of yolk. My two year old didn’t blink twice but the rest of us knew it was quite a sight to see! I had been just telling the kids and hubby about these eggs and then voila I got your daily blog and shared it with the family.
    Cheers,
    Andrea

    Reply
  22. Those would be nice to get my hands on since my little ones can only eat the yolks! I will say that pastured eggs in our area are still more expensive than even organic or free range eggs from the store…by more than a dollar. Guess I just need to keep looking!

    Reply
  23. i live in dubai, and usually i buy the brown eggs. well last week, i got a wonderful surprise! one whole carton of large eggs, all with double yokes! i have never seen that and it was so cool!

    Reply
  24. The first batch of chickens I ever had included some white leghorns which produced white eggs. As they grew, their eggs got larger, and eventually they produced double yolks. We were so excited! Then, because the eggs were so large, they developed prolapse, and we had to put them down, as there is no cure for this besides surgery. I think the vets were laughing at me after I called to ask what to do for them. No one would help me because it was “just a chicken”. I later found out another woman in our area lost all 72 of her white leghorns from this. I wondered if they were being bred for jumbo eggs, and this frequent double-yolk egg laying was from someone who thought big was better. Not sure if double yolks are good. I am not an expert. I never bought white leghorns again, and never had the problem again.

    Reply
  25. Hi Sarah!
    Oh I loved the double yolk eggs that one of our chickens churned out the first year of laying! My hubbie even got a tripple yolk one once! Like winning the lottery! Can’t wait to get them here and see if we can’t strum up that luck again!
    Thanks for all your shared wisdom!

    Reply
  26. Sarah, my family has been raising free range chickens for 3 years now and it has been an awesome experience! I get 3 dollars a dozen for my eggs, while feed has gone up from 7 dollars a bag to 11! (People still act like 3 dollars is too high!) I only occasionally have a double yolker, but it really is a treat! The thing that I have wanted everyone to know is that your eggs are PERFECTLY safe if you DON’T wash them! They have a cuticle on them that protects them from everything! I saw a study where a man wanted to see how long his eggs would last without washing and still be good. He kept a dozen in a cool, dark closet for 6 MONTHS and they were still edible! He ate an egg every other week until they were gone! People from Europe have told me that the eggs are on the bread aisle! (Unrefrigerated!) People look at me like I have 2 heads when I ask if they want them washed or unwashed! (Of course, if they are dirty, we don’t sell them!) Wow, have those chickens taught us a lot!!! Thanks for your support!!! We need more farmers and ranchers!!! God bless!

    Reply
  27. Oh! I forgot to mention that you can test the freshness of an egg by putting it in cold water; if it floats, throw it out! It should be heavy and stay put or raise up only slightly. Also, if you want to check for fertility, use a flashlight to “candle” them and look at the egg in a dark room. This takes some expertise and training, so at first it will be hard. Anyway, just wanted to share! (:

    Reply
  28. I took the plunge about 13 months ago and started keeping chickens, and I love it! I have never had double-yolk eggs, though. I’ve heard of it before, even a triple-yolk, but even double-yolk is rare, according to my reading. I wish I knew your farmer’s secret! I’m guessing it’s a genetic anomaly. Six of my 20 hens are older (3-4, I’m not sure exactly), and their eggs are enormous, but all single yolks. Very yummy yolks from free-ranging hens who get supplemental organic (soy-free usually) layer pellets and occasional treats from me.
    I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love chickens! Now I need to find more egg customers.

    Reply
  29. I must be lucky! I buy eggs from the grocery store (Hickman’s Eggs), and find double yolks regularly. While I would love to purchase farm fresh eggs, t’s not an option at this time.

    Reply
  30. We have our own chickens and we get some double yolks and have gotten a triple yolk- that egg was HUGE.

    Reply
  31. Hello…. I am from the states, and I live in Mexico. I purchase every week large brown eggs from my farmers market, across the street from my house, … these eggs are double yolk, every one of them, and they are delicious…….

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist December 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

      It’s ok to not refrigerate eggs! The only reason most people do it is because they buy them from the store and they are already 6 weeks old! If you get them fresh from the farm, no need to refrigerate.

      Reply
  32. I’d never even *heard* of double-yolkers until I had been keeping chickens for more than a year. Then last summer I got a Black Copper Marans pullet and a BCM/Black Marans cross pullet. When they began laying, for awhile all they laid was double-yolkers! Not any more, once they settled into a routine, I guess. I get some from older hens occasionally. I usually keep those for our own use, as they don’t fit in our recycled egg cartons. One of my egg customers did remark during that period that she had one carton that was at least half double-yolkers!

    Reply
  33. I buy local farm fresh eggs but when I run out I buy publix greenwise organic cage free and the shell is always very thick. I give my 7 month old an egg yolk every morning and this morning cracked open a double yolk from the greenwise eggs. I had never seen that before but remembered seeing this post. so maybe the publix greenwise eggs are a good back up when you run out of farm fresh eggs?

    Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!