How to Know did Your Eggs are Fresh or Expired or Come from a Sick Chicken?


Eggs are always a healthy choice from a dietary viewpoint, but if the eggs are not fresh, they can seriously damage your health. So it’s vital to know did your eggs are fresh or not or did they come from healthy or unhealthy hens. Research backs up the importance of good nutrition in chickens. The nutrients enjoyed by a well-fed chicken are passed on to their eggs. To get these nutrients, a chicken must have access to free space to move and fresh air. A chicken locked in a tiny hatch for its entire life simply will not have the same quality of eggs as free-range chickens. A report from the Oxford Journal notes that increasing a chicken’s intake of beta carotene increases the amount of beta carotene in its eggs.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY CHICKEN

A healthy chicken has healthy eggs. A well fed chicken’s nutrients are passed onto its eggs. A chicken eats whatever it needs such as meat, snakes, bugs and rodents. They should not be restricted to a vegetarian nutrition only. The nutrients enjoyed by a well-fed chicken are passed on to their eggs. To get these nutrients, a chicken must have access to free space to move and fresh air. A chicken locked in a tiny hatch for its entire life simply will not have the same quality of eggs as free-range chickens.

If you want to be certain that you are buying quality eggs you should be aware of the following:

  1. Shell thickness and density: If the egg shell is strong, meaning it is not easy to crack, the egg is healthy. 
  2. Yolk color: Egg yolk color can range from pale yellow to almost orange hue. The color of the yolk is influenced by the type of feed the chickens have ingested. If the egg yolk is yellow or bright yellow, the egg is not healthy to be consumed. A deeper yellow and dark yellow or orange indicates that the eggs are healthy. 
  3. Yolk thickness: You should also look at the thickness of the egg yolk when confirming the quality of an egg. Yolks of healthy eggs are thicker and rounder. 

HOW TO TEST WHETHER THE EGGS ARE FRESH OR NOT

Eggs are often still good to eat long after the date on the packaging says to throw them out. If you want to test how fresh they are before finding out the hard way, here are a few methods for testing them.

The Float Test


Just fill a bowl with cold water and place your eggs in the bowl. If they sink to the bottom and lay flat on their sides, they're very fresh. If they're a few weeks old but still good to eat, they'll stand on one end at the bottom of the bowl. If they float to the surface, they're no longer fresh enough to eat.

The Candling Test


Additionally, there is the candling method, which is used primarily for testing egg quality before putting eggs on the market, but it could help determine freshness too, though it's more difficult to see at later stages. Some just put a flashlight right next to the eggshell to light up the insides, but historically, a piece of cardboard with a small hole in it was used, with a light source behind it and the egg in front.


Above you can see a fresh egg (little air space, slightly visible yolk), a slightly old egg (larger air space, slightly darker yolk), a nearly bad egg (really dark yolk, spotty), and a spoiled egg (mixed in yolk, lots of dark) using the candling technique.

The Plate & Sniff Test


If you don't need the shell intact, you can also crack the egg onto a plate or other flat surface to test how fresh it is. If it's fresh, the yolk should be bright yellow or orange and the white shouldn't spread much. If you're not sure, give it a good sniff: fresh eggs shouldn't have much of a smell at all.

If the egg is older, the yolk will be flatter and the white will be much runnier. An egg that spreads out when cracked isn't necessarily bad, though, just older (and again, good for hard-boiled eggs). If it's gone bad, you probably won't even need to do the sniff test—even slightly rotten eggs will have a very strong, distinct smell you'll notice right away.



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