Topic Options
#69385 - 03/16/04 10:24 AM Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?
Larissa Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 174
Loc: Oregon
This is not something that I'll have to be concerned with for awhile since my girls are quite young. But I was just wondering this morning-- since old chickens are tough and not great to eat, how good are eggs from old hens? Are they still just as good as a young hen's or do they get kind of funky and taste different?

I know that some of you folks must have some pretty old hens out there that still give you an egg or two occaisionally. Can you taste any difference?

I intend to keep my girls for as long as they want to live, (I've only four) but I also want to be able to appreciate their eggs for as long as they willing to provide them.

Just curious...

#69386 - 03/16/04 10:51 AM Re: Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?

As far as over all eating quality goes, the egg from an old hen is the same as an egg from a pullet. Hatchability of eggs from old hens can decrease but they are just as good for consumption. As long as the bird is well cared for she will continue to produce quality eggs into old age, there will just be fewer each year.

#69387 - 03/18/04 07:24 PM Re: Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?
Ratbird Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/18/03
Posts: 324
Loc: California
And they get bigger!!! You might have to wait longer for each egg but they turn into real torpedos! YUMMMM!!! laugh

#69388 - 03/18/04 07:38 PM Re: Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?

The quality of the egg will undoubtably be proportionate to the health and physical condition of the bird - strong vigorous bird+good diet=great eggs regardless of age. Certainly the QUANTITY of eggs will decline with age, but if you keep them well, the quality will maintain.

#69389 - 03/18/04 08:01 PM Re: Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?

I have older hens and have not noticed a decline in quality. I did read about this subject and the writer has a different view.


Pullet Eggs are Best
During the first 13 weeks of its egg-laying life and until it reaches 31 weeks of age, pullet hens produce their best quality eggs. After that, quality begins to drop off. Because the hens are still quite small, their eggs are generally small, but can be graded into pee wee, small, medium and large sizes. According to Moses, these are the only eggs to buy. He promotes the benefits of pullet eggs to anyone who stops by his stand at the market long enough to listen:

"Soufflés will rise higher!"

"Ice cream will be more luscious!"

"Omelets will have a lighter texture!"

He also readily points out that many chefs around the Bay Area see a noticeable difference in recipe performance when they use pullet eggs. He's so passionate about promoting pullet eggs that he teaches an egg appreciation class to budding chefs at the California Culinary Academy.

Consumers have been conditioned to think that "bigger is better" so they go for the large and extra large sizes in the supermarkets. These eggs are likely to be from older, adult hens and will be lower in quality than the smaller eggs from the adolescent pullet hens

#69390 - 03/18/04 08:52 PM Re: Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?
CJR Offline
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8501
Loc: Montana
Sorry, I do not buy that. Well fed and managed birds lay eggs with more volumne of white when they are mature, so I do not believe his suffles will be as fluffy as with mature pullet/hen eggs! Wonder what he says about "fertile" eggs? Actually, there is no difference in their performance, taste, either! Pullet eggs may have larger yolk to white ratio, and, for some, that might affect flavor. I like them all equally!
There is nothing nicer than a fresh egg, but few would be able to tell any difference from one 3 weeks old, if properly stored.

Interesting, the "food" beliefs that we live by! Really nothing to get excited about. CJR

#69391 - 03/20/04 01:59 PM Re: Eggs from old hens. Still just as good to eat?
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Well, I have hens in their late teens and they still lay nice eggs...bake up well and even hatch reasonably well.


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Foehn 
Who's Online
0 registered (), 62 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box