"Organic" Eggs Have Very Weak Shells

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 12, 2016 8:35 PM GMT
    I have been eating eggs as a protein source, and have been buying "organic" eggs. The shells always fall apart into many pieces when cracking them. These chickens are calcium starved, and don't develop strong shells. Apparently growers feed them only vegetarian food, take them on frequent walks, and sing to them.

    All very nice, but I guess no one told these new age chicken wranglers, that chickens are not vegetarian animals. In the good old days, before chickens grew up in factories, when they lived on farms, most of their diet would be insects and various worm-like creatures.

    What brain dead new age bureaucrat came up with the idea that to raise chickens "organically," you had to starve them of their natural diet and feed them only vegetable based feed?
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    Feb 12, 2016 8:39 PM GMT
    Depends on the chicken farmer it seems. The ones I get from FoodMaxx have much thicker shells than their least expensive large eggs.

    It also seems to me that the brown eggs have thicker shells but that could just be that particular brand/farmer.
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Feb 12, 2016 8:47 PM GMT



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    Feb 12, 2016 9:11 PM GMT
    When we raised our own chickens, we got all sorts of weird "sport" eggs, but all in all the shells were pretty thick. Raising any kind of animal on a monotonous homogenous diet can lead to poor results, unless you've got some kind of genius PhD nutritionist behind you. Disease and other health issues can also lead to thin egg shells.

    Note, when I throw out the egg shells onto the compost pile, that's the first thing that the birds go for. Like twinks rushing for free jello shots at the club. In fact, I'm going to go do that right now. There are four or five peacocks eyeballing me through the office window... they think it's snack time or something.
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    Feb 12, 2016 10:36 PM GMT
    I've heard the quality of an egg is evident from the color of the yolks. I compared the color and flavor of cheap regular store bought eggs to my neighbors fresh chicken eggs and there did seem to be a big difference. Her eggs were darker and much tastier.
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Feb 12, 2016 11:18 PM GMT
    I noticed that too Then I looked closer and noticed there so many grade levels of organic eggs. Free range isn't even the best because they're probably not actually grazing open grass. Look for pastured at about $9 a dozen...or raise in back yard.
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    Feb 13, 2016 2:17 AM GMT
    HikerSkier said
    ...chickens are not vegetarian animals.

    I never gave much thought to what chickens ate. I assumed it was seed or grain, corn or something like that, what farmers are pictured throwing to them from baskets in the old days, or is put into feeding troughs today.

    So I researched it online. Learned that chickens are naturally omnivores. And eat insects, worms, as well as small lizards and even small mice, in addition to vegetable matter. I don't know if "organic" chickens are getting all that.

    In any case, I don't pay extra for so-called organic anything. I think it's largely a scam. Not that other foods are totally healthy. Big Ag in the US may well be poisoning us for profits. But I'm not convinced we're helping ourselves by going forced organic, either.

    So we use own own methods, that I won't spend time here describing and then debating and justifying. Except to say we are cognizant of certain risks, and try to avoid them, I believe with some degree of success.
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    Feb 14, 2016 12:50 AM GMT
    Usually on a small farm chickens get a diet of some sort of commercial feed in addition to what they can forage...
    As they say, "You'd be amazed at what you will eat after it's filtered through a chicken".

    1035313-1.jpg

    Hens that have calcium deficiencies in their diet will have problems with weak shells. Anyone who knows anything about chickens knows this... Oyster shell supplement cures that problem...
    Mana%20Pro%20Oyster%20Shell%2010-30-15.j
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    Feb 14, 2016 1:03 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    HikerSkier said
    ...chickens are not vegetarian animals.

    So I researched it online. Learned that chickens are naturally omnivores. And eat insects, worms, as well as small lizards and even small mice, in addition to vegetable matter. I don't know if "organic" chickens are getting all that.


    So you dnn't really know why chickens can have weak shells.

  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1034

    Feb 14, 2016 1:07 AM GMT
    It has also been found that chickens who are restricted to coops and live placid, sedentary lives without much barnyard time lay thinner-shelled eggs than "free range" chickens who have more natural stress in their lives. This was a problem for egg farmers because many eggs would break before going to market. They had to come up with ways of stressing out their couch potato chickens so they'd lay eggs with thicker shells.

    My aunt raised game hens. They had a ton of room to run around in, and a varied diet. The eggshells were anywhere from tan to olive green, and very thick. The yolks were very yellow. They were the best tasting eggs I've ever had, much better than anything you can buy in a store. But their meat was very tough and dark. This probably had more to do with the breed of chicken than their diet.
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Feb 14, 2016 5:33 AM GMT
    A comparison of nutritional data for caged versus free range eggs found, on average, the free range eggs had:
    Twice as much omega-3 fatty acids.
    Three times more vitamin E.
    Seven times more pro-vitamin A beta-carotene.
    A quarter less saturated fat.
    A third less cholesterol.

    From:
    http://www.healthambition.com/caged-versus-free-range-eggs-nutritionally/
    and
    http://news.psu.edu/story/166143/2010/07/20/research-shows-eggs-pastured-chickens-may-be-more-nutritious

    Despite demonization by the cholesterol racket, eggs are increasingly recognized as a near perfect food. And with 2 to 7 times the nutrition value as commercial eggs, premium pastured eggs are still a bargain.

    Side benefit...they're humane and profitable
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    Feb 14, 2016 11:27 AM GMT
    That's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.

    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?
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    Feb 14, 2016 1:45 PM GMT
    __morphic__ saidThat's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.

    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?


    Crack and peel while still hot under cool running water. Also, you may be over boiling them.
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    Feb 14, 2016 2:50 PM GMT
    desertmuscl said
    Art_Deco said
    HikerSkier said
    ...chickens are not vegetarian animals.

    So I researched it online. Learned that chickens are naturally omnivores. And eat insects, worms, as well as small lizards and even small mice, in addition to vegetable matter. I don't know if "organic" chickens are getting all that.

    So you dnn't really know why chickens can have weak shells.

    Oh, of course I know why. I was merely confining my remarks to the subject of chickens being vegetarians. Which has already been speculated MIGHT be causing their shells to be thin.

    That's due, as we all know, to chickens being liberals, rather than rugged conservatives. And having supported Obama in the last 2 Presidential elections.
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    Feb 14, 2016 2:50 PM GMT
    desertmuscl said
    Art_Deco said
    HikerSkier said
    ...chickens are not vegetarian animals.

    So I researched it online. Learned that chickens are naturally omnivores. And eat insects, worms, as well as small lizards and even small mice, in addition to vegetable matter. I don't know if "organic" chickens are getting all that.

    So you dnn't really know why chickens can have weak shells.

    Oh, of course I know why. I was merely confining my remarks to the subject of chickens being organic vegetarians. Which has already been speculated MIGHT be causing their shells to be thin and weak.

    Thin shells are actually due, as we all know, to chickens being weak liberals, rather than rugged conservatives. And having supported Obama in the last 2 Presidential elections. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 14, 2016 2:56 PM GMT
    __morphic__ saidThat's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.

    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?


    I find that boiled eggs are easier to peel when they're cooked by plunging the eggs into already boiling water. Putting eggs into water and then bringing the pot to a boil seems to adhere the egg to the shell.
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    Feb 14, 2016 3:12 PM GMT
    __morphic__ saidThat's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.

    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?

    I hard boil them with a microwave device I got from Nordic Ware. Not to be confused with any device from NordicTrak, which is likely to break your eggs to smithereens.

    The microwave gizmo is actually steaming the eggs, and designed to shield them from direct microwave exposure. What I find nice is that I just set a known time for our microwave power (7:30) and I can walk away, no monitoring required. I let them sit until they cool, then into the fridge. It can make 1 or up to 4 at once, but I always do 4, to keep cooked eggs on hand, and I've learned the correct setting on the microwave timer for that number. Otherwise I'd have to remember different times for different egg counts.

    The shells peel off so easily and consistently, it's no work at all. I crack them around the middle, and the shells usually slip off in 3 large pieces. I'm sure it must have something to do with the steam, rather than immersion into boiling water, but I'm no expert cook.
    710U3JdpLL._SL1500_%201_zpsw3eggavb.jpg
    The cover dome is fitted inside with a non-sparking metal to block the microwaves. Water is added below the removable egg tray, to a marked line. The entire item is dishwasher safe. You should be able to find it on Amazon or similar for around $10.
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    Feb 14, 2016 6:52 PM GMT
    BTW, while I was answering this thread earlier, I realized we were out of hard-boiled eggs, that I like to keep on hand in the fridge. So I cooked 8 more using that microwave thingie. Ate 1 for a noon snack.

    The other 7 I marked with a non-toxic refrigerator pen, using today's date, 2-14. This let's us identify the uncooked eggs from the hard, and when they were done. Around here, with all his baking, the raw eggs usually go faster than the cooked. And he tends to keep the raw in their original date-stamped carton, but not always. Marking pen is our insurance against a tragic (but admittedly comical) mistake. icon_redface.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2016 7:23 PM GMT
    51bc9888dbd0cb1fd1000f38._w.1500_s.fit_.
    Isn't it time we talked about Egg Cups?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2016 7:34 PM GMT
    Radd said51bc9888dbd0cb1fd1000f38._w.1500_s.fit_.
    Isn't it time we talked about Egg Cups?

    You go first...
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    Feb 14, 2016 8:19 PM GMT
    __morphic__ saidThat's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.
    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?

    Plunge them into ice cold water (with ice cubes in it) when you take them out of the boiling water. When you boil them, don't put them in the cold water and then bring it to a boil; let the water come to a boil, then add the cold eggs.

    There's an article in this month's Cook's Illustrated magazine about how to hard boil eggs so that they're easy to peel.
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    Feb 14, 2016 9:12 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    __morphic__ saidThat's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny part, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.
    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?

    Plunge them into ice cold water (with ice cubes in it) when you take them out of the boiling water. When you boil them, don't put them in the cold water and then bring it to a boil; let the water come to a boil, then add the cold eggs.

    There's an article in this month's Cook's Illustrated magazine about how to hard boil eggs so that they're easy to peel.

    ok. I'll try that.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Feb 15, 2016 10:17 PM GMT
    Morphic, when you crack the eggs tap them on the big end of the shell. There is an air pocket there and when you crack the egg it semd s puff of air under the shell to loosen it.
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    Feb 16, 2016 11:41 PM GMT
    __morphic__ said
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    __morphic__ saidThat's why I stopped eating eggs recently. It's such a pain in the ass to remove the shells off the boiled eggs. Also, I hate if the very thin skinny part, layer between the shell and the white part, goes inside my mouth. So I try harder to remove everything off the white portion. I lose almost half of the white part in the process.
    What's the best way to peel off the boiled eggs?

    Plunge them into ice cold water (with ice cubes in it) when you take them out of the boiling water. When you boil them, don't put them in the cold water and then bring it to a boil; let the water come to a boil, then add the cold eggs.

    There's an article in this month's Cook's Illustrated magazine about how to hard boil eggs so that they're easy to peel.

    ok. I'll try that.


    If you are going to hard boil eggs, first punch a tiny hole in the end, so that steam pressure gets relieved when it nears the boiling point. (Recommends Jacques Pepin).
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    Feb 16, 2016 11:46 PM GMT
    HikerSkier saidIf you are going to hard boil eggs, first punch a tiny hole in the end, so that steam pressure gets relieved when it nears the boiling point. (Recommends Jacques Pepin).

    I never hear or read that any more. They used to sell gizmos for easily doing that. I think it was more to reduce or prevent the eggs from cracking while in the boiling water.