Lesson 650 – Comparing a store bought egg to a free range egg

As many of you know, I am a storyteller (and if you doubt me, ask to see my tattoo sometime.)

Sometimes stories end the way you want them to end, sometimes they don’t, but they still must be told.

Last week on my Facebook page I shared a photo of a cooked store-bought egg compared to a free range egg. “This is yet another reason for having your own chickens.” I wrote.

Someone asked me if the photo was real in portraying the difference between the two eggs (the store bought egg had a light yellow yolk, the free range a golden orange one. ) I had assumed it was but sometimes assumptions can steer you away from the truth.

I decided to do a comparison at home and to show everyone my results.

The first thing I had to do was buy some store-bought eggs. Honestly, it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve bought eggs from the grocery store. I hardly knew where to find them. I picked up a carton of large white eggs and tucked it underneath the rest of my groceries just in case I ran into someone I knew.

Buying store-bought eggs just seemed so treacherous to my girls.

This morning I went out to our coop and tried to find an egg that matched the store’s eggs as closely as possible.

Our is the dirty, slightly blue/green tinged egg, the store’s egg is the pristine white one.

I then cracked one egg into one bowl and the other into another.

This is what I got.

Store = left, Ours = right

Not that dramatic of a difference until you put them both together (here’s where I tell you that the store egg’s white was extremely watery and was tinged yellow – hmmm could that have been from the marigold petals that chickens are fed to “color” their eggs?)

In this shot you can clearly see the difference between the two eggs. One yolk is fuller and the color is darker and more robust. The other egg is a little deflated and the yolk has wrinkles indicating that it’s probably not the freshest thing ever. Now remember, unlike factory hens, our chickens are not fed anything that has dye in it. The yellow coloring in our eggs is all natural.

Although you can see the difference, I had hoped it would have been a little more dramatic.

Still, it’s enough for me to never buy store eggs ever again.

Anyone need 11 eggs?



Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs, Everything Eggs

10 responses to “Lesson 650 – Comparing a store bought egg to a free range egg

  1. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    I haven’t bought eggs from the store since I discovered I could buy local, free range eggs from the dairy farm where I buy our milk. I also have local friends who sometimes give me eggs from their hens. I can attest to the huge difference in both color and consistency … AND flavor.

    The local, free-range eggs are so brilliantly yellow (it’s like a rich, sunflower yellow) that they actually change the color of my pancake batter!

    I’ll never go back to store bought!

  2. Great analogy … and simple.
    Ever since I became a “backyard farmer” I refuse to purchase store bought eggs.
    There IS a difference, no only by looks; texture, taste and knowing it is as fresh as a walk to the coop and picked from the nesting box (can’t get any closer than that!).
    When my hens are molting – recently 5 out of 8 – and I was left with less than my minimum qty of eggs (I take 2 boiled ones every morning, plus Yougurt, nothing else, had kept my weight in check and shed some 15 pounds when I started this 😉 ) I still rather not have eggs that to buy at the store. Someone once told me the avg shelf life it has (wah?!?? ! up to 6 months?!?!).
    So no thanks for the offer of the other 11 eggs as I know where they are coming from 🙂

  3. You didn’t mention shell quality.

    Years ago, when I had to leave my small farm and move to the city for a new job, I bought the first dozen eggs I’d purchased in several years. When I plucked the first store-bought egg out of the carton, the shell was so thin that I punched my thumb right through it. It made me so mad that I took the remaining 11 eggs out into the yard and threw them at a tree.

    They just don’t give the industrial hens one whit more than they absolutely must have to sustain life — and that includes enough calcium to make strong shells.

  4. Piper George

    My understanding, as a novice chicken keeper, is that it does depend on what you feed them – ie ours have a fair amount of grain, espcially in winter to keep them warm which does keep the yolk more yellow. But there is nothing like the taste of a fresh laid home grown egg – so much creamier than store bought!

  5. Although my wife likes to get “just enough” eggs, but not too many, I sneak a few away to raise money for my secular “church.” Our hens are non-denominational; they don’t care what I use their eggs to raise money for.

  6. You should put them next to each other in pans and see how the store bought one spreads throughout the entire pan and the free range one stays pretty tight.

  7. Great post! People used to store bought eggs tend to think an egg is an egg, why does it matter where it comes from. But it does matter! Not only do fresh eggs from your backyard or local farm look better, they are healthier too! Studies have shown they have higher levels of beta carotene, vit D, and others plus lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat compared to store eggs.

  8. I’ve noticed any batter I make or anything tends to turn orange now I use free range. Yesterday I made a banana loaf and dough seemed thicker. Should I use a little more milk, do you know?

    • Wendy Thomas

      Good question.

      Baking with fresh eggs can be a tricky thing. When I hand out our eggs, I tell people to avoid the very large ones for baking as they tend to be double yolkers. An extra yolk can certainly affect the end product.

      That being said, you are absolutely correct. A thicker egg makes for thicker (and more yellowish-orangish) and cakier batter. Not the worst thing, but if the batter is difficult to blend or stir, I’d just add a bit more liquid (milk or water not oil) to thin things out.

      Just realize that you may need to adjust your baking time as needed.


  9. Pingback: Ovatarian Ovation! Yay Eggs! | Kerian's Kitchen

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