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Question for those who raise chickens for eggs:

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I've been buying yard eggs lately from a farm market, and loving them. But there has been such a wide variation in the smell and texture of the eggs, I'm wondering what constitutes a "bad" egg that shouldn't be eaten. For example:


The texture varies wildly--some are thin and watery and the yolk breaks up as soon as it goes into the bowl. Others are so thick that they stick in the shell & I have to scrape them out with my finger. Even then I still can't get it all out if it's too solid.


Their is sometimes a smell--sort of funky or gamey. Once it actually smelled rotten.


Only once there was a definitely rotten egg: black inside.


Can anyone advise on what is normal variations in smell/texture, and what should not be eaten?



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All of mine have yolks which do not spread (spreading indicates an older egg). I have never cracked open a smelly egg or an rotted one. If the eggs look clean but smell wrong, i wouldn't eat it. Sometimes dirt or poop gets on an egg. Wipe that away (rather than wash) and cook well. Washing eggs is not a great practice as the shells are porous and bacteria can enter. If you cook well, that should not be a problem, however.


I have tossed eggs. Sometimes chickens go broody and take eggs and hide them out of the mainstream of the coop and pens. It pains me when I find that as they must be sent to compost. I have many chickens, so I have gotten into the habit of daily scanning the entire coop for any clutches of eggs. I have no way of telling how long the eggs have been in the clutch sometimes, so one needs to check frequently.

Edited by LibraryLover
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Guest aquiverfull

We raise chickens for eggs, and I would definitely say those don't sound fresh. We keep our chickens in a pen, so that the egg laying can be well monitored. Our eggs are picked up every evening and cleaned off and refrigerated, so that we can insure they are fresh eggs.


When I cook the eggs, if something doesn't look/smell right, I throw it away immediately. It's not worth the risk of food poisoning in my opinion. We raise Barred Rocks, Americaunas, New Jersey Giants, Rhode Island Reds, and have raised other breeds in the past. The colors and textures on the shell do vary. I do find that the yolks are a yellower color than store bought eggs, and the whites are generally thicker. I would recommend that you find another source if possible. If not, just be careful.

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Ick! I would definitely look elsewhere to find my eggs or let your source know what you're finding. We've never had eggs like you've described. We gather every day, clean, pencil on the date, and refrigerate.


A good way to check if your egg is bad, before breaking it, is to put it in a bowl of water. Good eggs sink. Bad eggs float!

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