Why do some eggs have yellow yolks, while others are orange?
Why are "home grown" or "organic" eggs more likely to have orange yolks, while large grocery store ones are yellow? I've noticed this repeatedly, based on the type of eggs I buy. Is it to do with age? Diet? Other factors?
Free range eggs tend to have a deeper orange yolk, which is apparently due to feed, conditions in which the hens are kept, and also age of the egg so freshness, too. Supermarket eggs from battery hens are also in transit longer.
I watched a program about it on tv a couple of months ago.
Yes, it is the diet of the hens who lay the eggs. Hens that get to wander, eating plants and insects, and whatever else they can find, have much oranger eggs than the hens left in cages and fed generic grain so they lay a Grade A egg, or Grade B eggs, or whatever egg size and grade the egg farmer wants to market. The types of chickens make a difference, too, in the color of the shell, but this usually doesn't affect the color of the yolk.
Our hens wander all day long and the yolks are so orange, they make our homemade pancakes look yellow!
Orange yolks come from fresh eggs whereas the older the egg the yolk gets more yellow.
Yep, what they said above is pretty much it. I just wanted to add that the color of the yolks are not the only differences you might notice. As well as being orange or brighter, healthy yolks are usually taller and stronger (they don't break as easily) than "battery" eggs. You can also see a difference in the whites: "Battery" whites often spill all over the pan, because they are thin and weak. Whites from a healthy hen will retain a distinct shape close to the yolk when the egg is cracked open. The shells of foraging hens are usually thicker and stronger too.
The vast majority of the nutrients are in the yolks, so that visual cue of a healthy egg is very important!
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