Egg Mysteries

The late Pete Younger

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#31
Chicken and egg.

My Granddaughter is working on school project about eggs, she came across the following and asked me if I knew what it was all about, I had to confess I hadn't a clue.


Hatching chicken eggs


The mamals or ovens of Egypt are scarcely above nine feet in height, but they have an extent in length and breadth which renders them remarkable, and yet they are more so in their internal structure. The centre of the building is a very narrow gallery, usually about the width of three feet, extending from one end of the building to the other, the height of which is from eight to nine feet; the structure for the most part of brick. the entrance into the oven is through the gallery' which commands the whole extent of it, and facilitates the several operations that are necessary to keep the eggs to the proper degree of heat. the oven has a door, not very wide, and only as high as it is broad; this door, and many others in use in the mamals, are commonly no more than round holes.

The gallery is a corridor, with this difference from our common corridors, which have only one row of rooms, whereas that of the mamal has always two rows of them on both sides; namely, one on the ground floor, and another above. Every one upon the ground floor has one above, perfectly equal, both in length and breadth. The rooms of each row on the ground floor, are all equal, in length, breadth, and height. Reaumur observes, "We know of no other rooms in the world so low as these, being only three feet in height." Their breadth, which is in the same direction with the length of the gallery, is four or five feet; they are very narrow in proportion to their length, which is twelve or fifteen feet.

Every one of these rooms has its door or round aperture, about a foot and a half in diameter, opening into the gallery, the hole being wide enough for a man to creep through. All the eggs to be hatched are first ranged in these rooms. Four or five thousand eggs are put into each of them. These are the real ovens, so that the whole edifice, which is denominated a chicken oven, is an assemblage of many ovens set together, side by side, opposite and over each other, and in the course of the process a part of the eggs are warmed in the upper rooms, after having been previously in the lower.

Forty or fifty thousand eggs are hatched at once, or another account extends the number to eighty thousand. The eggs are spread on mats, flocks or flax, in each room upon the ground floor, where they contract their first and general warmth, during a certain number of days.

The heat of the air in the inferior rooms, and consequently that of the eggs, would rise to an excessive degree, were the fire in the gutter incessantly kept up. They keep it up only an hour in the morning, and an hour at night, and they style these heatings the dinner and supper of the chickens; they receive, however, two more meals, that is, luncheon and afternoon meal, the fire being lighted four times a day.

On the day on which they cease to light the fires, some of the eggs of each inferior room are always conveyed into the room above; the eggs had been too much heaped in the former, and it is now time to extend and give them more room.

The proper number of eggs from each inferior room having been removed into the room above, all the apertures of the rooms and of the gallery are closely and exactly stopped with bungs of tow, excepting perhaps, half the apertures in the arches or ceilings of the upper rooms, which are left open in order to procure there a circulation of air. This precaution is sufficient to preserve in the ovens, for many days together, the temperature which has been obtained; which indeed would be the case with ovens upon so considerable a scale in any country, more especially one so hot as Egypt.

Three hundred and eighty-six ovens are kept in Egypt annually, during four or six months, allowing more time than is necessary to hatch eight successive broods of chickens, ducks and turkeys, making on the whole yearly three thousand and eighty-eight broods. The number in different hatchings is not always the same, from the occasional difficulty of obtaining a sufficient number of eggs, which may be stated at a medium between the two extremes of forty and eighty thousand to each oven.

The overseer contracts to return, in a living brood, to his employer, two-thirds of the number of eggs set in the ovens--all above being his own perquisite, in addition to his salary for the season which is from eighty to forty crowns, exclusive of his board. According to report, the crop of poultry thus artificially raised in Egypt was seldom if ever, below that ratio, making the enormous annual amount of ninety-two million six hundred and forty thousand.

The chickens are not sold from the stove by tale, but by the bushel or basket full!
 
A

Anonymous

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#32
Double Yolkers

You could say this is really just another coincidence, but I thought I would start it as a new thread, as it is really an example of something that's just incredibly unlikely.

Last month I bought a box of 6 extra large eggs from Somerfields supermarket.
They were all double-yolkers.
I cracked them in three sessions for three separate cooked breakfasts, I was amazed each time another double-egg slid out into the pan.
Subsequent purchases of the same eggs have yielded no more double yolkers, so I have come to realise just how rare my box might have been.
I am normally chuffed to get just one of these treats.
The cooked breakfast god must have been smiling down on me.
 

river_styx

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#33
The eggs which Tesco sell as farm fresh come from a farm quite near to me and are actually over two weeks old before they get onto the shelves.
(obviously not all of the eggs they sell come from this one farm)
 

Imperial_Call

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#34
Double yolks are caused by a young hen who hasn't quite "gotten her act together yet" to put one yolk per egg - or so I hear - a whole box of them is pretty unusual
 

stonedog3

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#35
I /think/ I've seen boxes which seem to offer a minimum of, say, 9 yolks in a 6 egg box...

Just on the supermarket shelves, next to all the others.

If I did, would you have to screen by scanning against a light? or select from hens who have yet to suss things out (love that description Lobelia!)? or....? or....?

Kath
 

liveinabin

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#36
Waitrose sell double yolkers. Boxed and labelled as such!
We used to have loads of them when I was a tot. Dad was a blacksmith and sometimes people would pay him with produce rather than money. At that time people didn't wamt to by double yolkers so we used to have them.
 

carole

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#37
Haven't seen a double-yolker for yonks.

I can remember once when I was a kid seeing a triple yolker . . .

Carole
 

marion

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#38
I remember once a whole batch of large eggs in my local safeway were double yolkers , I was eating them for a couple of weeks! It was great! Next batch was normal. I remember when my mum bred chickens (scary giant marans like dinosaurs) we had twin chicks but they died at hatching time.
 
A

Anonymous

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#39
I did wonder if they had been put together on purpose.
It makes sense that the eggs would be checked for quality with a light source, so perhaps those involved put the double ones all together, just to amaze and delight people like me !
 

elvissa

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#41
I always feel excited when I eat a KitKat that's entirely chocolate with no wafer in it. Sometimes you have about half a wafer. Also, sometimes the wafer is lying on its side, so you get an odd shaped Kitkat. The odd wafers happened a lot when the Chunky KitKat was first launched. Rather like the young hen, I suspect they were working on the new design!

(I would like to mention that KitKats are the only product made by Nestle that I eat, and only occasionally... Unfortunately, my cat will only eat Felix, which is made by Purina - part of Nestle... It's so difficult - should I make my cat eat Whiskas if only to engage in ethical shopping? Anyway, I reckon cat food's tested on animals!) ;)
 

TheQuixote

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#42
two-egg surprise

Dinner lady Ann Cockcroft made an eggs-traordinary discovery as she was cooking breakfast recently.
The 56-year-old cracked open an egg to find another one, perfectly formed inside.
An expert with almost 30 years in the egg industry said coming across one egg inside another was extremely rare.
Ms Cockcroft from Gosport, Hampshire made the find as she was preparing scrambled eggs for workers at a branch of supermarket chain Waitrose in the town last month.
"I have never seen anything like it," she said. "You expect to get the odd double yolk, but to find a whole egg inside another one is just incredible."

Wolverhampton Express & Star, Friday October 24, 2003 p17
 

lopaka

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#43
Bringing a sour note to things, but has anybody else ever heard the folklore/superstition that finding a double yolk means an immanent death in the family?

OTOH, I'vesuffered two deaths in my immediate family this year and never in my life seen a double yolk.

BTW, the process of checking eggs for quality, fertility, etc. is called candling. I believe unless you get them directly from the farmer all eggs sold in the US must be candled.
 

liveinabin

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#44
The hubby once opened a boiled egg, when he was a boy, to find it to find it was fertalised. It was full of blood. Stuff of nightmares I think!
 
A

Anonymous

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#45
Cracked open a free-range egg once to find it not only fertilized, but a fully formed (near to hatching, I would say) chick inside. Very dead, of course. Poor mite. :( How on earth did that get past the quality check?
 

Yithian

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#46
Mickleditch said:
Cracked open a free-range egg once to find it not only fertilized, but a fully formed (near to hatching, I would say) chick inside. Very dead, of course. Poor mite. :( How on earth did that get past the quality check?
I'm not that squeamish but i think that may make me sick.

I've be entrusted with the shopping today (rare occurence - apparently i spend too much!) and i've got half a dozen 'extra-large free range organic' eggs - here's hoping i get a double. Is there any correlation between egg size and the chance of a double yolk i wonder?
 

TheQuixote

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#49
Customers hatch rare 'blue' eggs

A farm raising free-range chickens says it may ban cockerels after two of its supermarket eggs were hatched by customers.

Deans Foods in Nottinghamshire raises rare Oakham Blue free-range chickens and sells the eggs to Tesco.

Two of the eggs were recently hatched by customers in Cheshire and West Yorkshire who had broody chickens.

A Deans Foods spokesman said: "We are going to rethink our policy of running cockerels with the flock."

[...]


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/3977759.stm
Published: 2004/11/03 10:05:40 GMT

© BBC MMIV
Nice...
 
A

Anonymous

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#50
I once opened up a soft-boiled egg, only to find it was green inside. And the smell - phew! Bleugh. Talk about nauseating.

Couldn't get the smell (or memory of the smell) from my mind for hours.

Yeurch.
 

rynner2

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#51
SHOPPER'S SURPRISE EASTER EGG

11:00 - 14 April 2006
Shopper Michael Morris was stunned when he cracked open an egg to find a yoke and white - plus another egg complete with shell. The 67-year-old bought a tray of extra large eggs from a farm shop and picked out a three-and-a-half-incher to make an omelette for his lunch.

But he was left amazed when another smaller egg dropped into his mixing bowl.

The egg-within-an-egg has been described by experts as "exceptionally rare".

Retired lifeguard Mr Morris, of Hayle, West Cornwall, said: "I was told in the shop the egg might be a double yolker because it was so big, but this was just bizarre.

"I smashed the large egg on the side of a bowl and as well as a single yolk, another complete egg came out. I've never seen anything like it before. The odd thing is it happened at Easter. I didn't have the heart to eat it."

Evelyn Denton, a spokesman for the British Egg Information Service, said: "It is extremely rare but can happen when a young hen lays. An egg forms in the shell gland but is not laid, then another eggs forms around it.

"It is just one of those things and the hen will probably only make one like it in her life. The egg on the outside should be fine to eat. I've only heard of one or two reports before."

Michael will give both shells to granddaughter Sophie, six. "She's mad about painting egg shells," he said. "So these should keep her occupied for a while."
http://tinyurl.com/hu643
 

emmbob

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#53
We get our eggs from the local outdoor market and they're nearly always double yolkers... they also always seem to have a seam around the middle, like two half eggshells have been glued together. That solves the mystery and yet opens up into so many more. I'm surprised you can get them at the supermarket as I was always under the impression that double yolkers wouldn't be "standard," and the supermarket wouldn't take them. My mum used to help pick potatoes years ago and we'd always get the odd shaped ones that 'wouldn't sell.'
 

rynner2

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#54
Pair shell-shocked at massive egg

A Cornish chicken has surprised its owners by laying an egg the size of a tennis ball.

The 8oz (210g) egg is four times the size of a normal chicken's egg, boasting an 8in (20.3cm) circumference.

David Hewitt discovered the monster egg in the hen house at his farm at St Wenn. He said he has found large eggs before but never one as big as this.

The egg, which was laid a week ago, is to be drained and displayed at the Royal Cornwall Show.

Mr Hewitt's wife Julie said: "My husband came running in from the chicken house yelling 'look at the size of this'.

"I went and weighed it, it was 210g - it is huge."

She said the egg was perfect, with a point and a rounded end and no blemishes or soft spots.

"It's just a very perfect, round, large egg."

The couple, who have kept chickens for 25 years, do not know which of their 30,000 birds was responsible for laying the enormous egg, but said all the flock appeared to be well.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/7389906.stm

Not to be confused with...

Ostrich egg: A family dinner for £15.99
By Stephen Adams
Last Updated: 3:28AM BST 03/05/2008
It is "perfect for a very large family" - an ostrich egg 24 times the size of a normal hen's.

Nigel Howard
The eggs come from free-range birds on a Lincolnshire farm
Waitrose, the supermarket chain, has just started selling the eggs which can weigh in at almost 4.4lb (2kg).

Diners are advised that a simple tap of a spoon is unlikely to break the shell - a roasting spike or a domestic drill is more suitable.

And those hoping to "go to work on ostrich egg" might think twice and save that particular treat for the weekend, as they can take an hour to boil.

Article continuesadvertisement

They can also be hard-boiled, scrambled and fried - with a very large frying pan - just like chicken or duck eggs, said a spokesman.

"They are also very good for meringues because the white is much lighter than chickens' eggs," she added.

Waitrose has introduced the eggs, which cost £15.99, at 19 stores and hopes to attract cooks looking to experiment.

The eggs, from specialist egg supplier Clarence Court, come from free-range birds on a Lincolnshire farm which only lay once every three days or so.

Lisa Rowe, director of Clarence Court, said: "The largest egg of any bird species, this product promises to be talking point at very large breakfast tables across the country."

Recipe suggestions include sliced ostrich egg with a sauce of pine nuts and tarragon and - for the brave - Ostrich Scotch Egg.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... 15.99.html
 

rynner2

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#55
Pair shell-shocked at massive egg

A Cornish chicken has surprised its owners by laying an egg the size of a tennis ball.

The 8oz (210g) egg is four times the size of a normal chicken's egg, boasting an 8in (20.3cm) circumference.

David Hewitt discovered the monster egg in the hen house at his farm at St Wenn. He said he has found large eggs before but never one as big as this.

The egg, which was laid a week ago, is to be drained and displayed at the Royal Cornwall Show.

Mr Hewitt's wife Julie said: "My husband came running in from the chicken house yelling 'look at the size of this'.

"I went and weighed it, it was 210g - it is huge."

She said the egg was perfect, with a point and a rounded end and no blemishes or soft spots.

"It's just a very perfect, round, large egg."

The couple, who have kept chickens for 25 years, do not know which of their 30,000 birds was responsible for laying the enormous egg, but said all the flock appeared to be well.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/7389906.stm

Not to be confused with...

Ostrich egg: A family dinner for £15.99
By Stephen Adams
Last Updated: 3:28AM BST 03/05/2008
Nigel Howard

The eggs come from free-range birds on a Lincolnshire farm
Waitrose, the supermarket chain, has just started selling the eggs which can weigh in at almost 4.4lb (2kg).

Diners are advised that a simple tap of a spoon is unlikely to break the shell - a roasting spike or a domestic drill is more suitable.

And those hoping to "go to work on ostrich egg" might think twice and save that particular treat for the weekend, as they can take an hour to boil.

They can also be hard-boiled, scrambled and fried - with a very large frying pan - just like chicken or duck eggs, said a spokesman.

"They are also very good for meringues because the white is much lighter than chickens' eggs," she added.

Waitrose has introduced the eggs, which cost £15.99, at 19 stores and hopes to attract cooks looking to experiment.

The eggs, from specialist egg supplier Clarence Court, come from free-range birds on a Lincolnshire farm which only lay once every three days or so.

Lisa Rowe, director of Clarence Court, said: "The largest egg of any bird species, this product promises to be talking point at very large breakfast tables across the country."

Recipe suggestions include sliced ostrich egg with a sauce of pine nuts and tarragon and - for the brave - Ostrich Scotch Egg.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... 15.99.html
 

LaurenChurchill

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#56
TheQuixote said:
Customers hatch rare 'blue' eggs

A farm raising free-range chickens says it may ban cockerels after two of its supermarket eggs were hatched by customers.

Deans Foods in Nottinghamshire raises rare Oakham Blue free-range chickens and sells the eggs to Tesco.

Two of the eggs were recently hatched by customers in Cheshire and West Yorkshire who had broody chickens.

A Deans Foods spokesman said: "We are going to rethink our policy of running cockerels with the flock."

Nice...
Wouldn't that be a pretty obvious result? Why would they run roosters with them anyway?
 

liveinabin

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#58
I had a double yolker from a supermarket half dozen the other day.
Not had one of those in years!
 

LaurenChurchill

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#59
nyarlathotepsub2 said:
Roosters defend the hens from predators.
I would think that any defence afforded by roosters would be minimal, assuming predators like foxes, cats. feral dogs etc. and would make the risk of supplying fertilized eggs to the supermarket too high to be worthwhile.

On the other hand, the only other answer I've come up with is the sexual satisfaction of chickens. Which is a little silly :lol:
 

nyarlathotepsub2

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#60
LaurenChurchill said:
nyarlathotepsub2 said:
Roosters defend the hens from predators.
I would think that any defence afforded by roosters would be minimal, assuming predators like foxes, cats. feral dogs etc. and would make the risk of supplying fertilized eggs to the supermarket too high to be worthwhile.

On the other hand, the only other answer I've come up with is the sexual satisfaction of chickens. Which is a little silly :lol:
http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~mnkylab/pub ... mCog05.pdf

Roosters spurs are a good defense against smaller predators (weasels, etc.), and provide early warning to the flock from aerial predators such as hawks.

If you're free ranging your flock, you want roosters.

The fertilized eggs in question should have been caught at the light box, not by banning male birds.

There are anecdotal tales I've seen where all-female flocks start producing fertilized eggs - it appears that a few of the hens switched genders!
 
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