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The Yolk is Worth a 1,000 Words

Ever wonder why egg yolks differ in color?  Some are more yellow while others favor a deep orange.  Is the color difference important? You bet it is!

The color of the yolk of eggs says a lot about the quality of the egg. Yolk color is not determined by the breed of the chicken or the freshness of the egg.  The color is determined by the diet or feed of the chicken and ultimately the nutrition content of the egg.  Here is what the color means:

  • LIGHT YELLOW: Chickens fed white cornmeal, and the eggs have limited flavor and nutrients.
  • YELLOW: Chickens fed grain diets (wheat or barley) and eggs tend to have less flavor and lower nutrient content.
  • ORANGE: Chickens fed a mixture of grain and grass such as green plants, alfalfa, and corn. Eggs are flavorful and higher in nutrients.
  • DARK ORANGE: Chickens are true foragers and eat only grass an insects.  Chickens are usually pastured raised and have access to plant materials with xanthophylls pigment (yellow and orange pigments).  These eggs are richest in flavor and nutrients.

The quality of the feed of the animal is important to consider as an animal’s diet has a large influence on our health. If an animal has a nutrient poor diet and we eat that animal, there is no benefit and likely a detriment to our health!   As the saying goes, you are what you eat, so crack wisely!

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