This time of year marks a very special time for us here on the farm, double-yolker time!! Every spring we start a new flock of laying hens and every spring without fail, we come across quite a few double-yolked eggs. So what's up with all of the double yolks?
Double-yolked eggs are rare in commercial egg production due to candling before packaging, but about one in every 1,000 hens lays a double-yolked egg. In backyard or small flocks though, eggs are typically ungraded, allowing those eggs to make it to the consumer. Eggs from young hens often have double-yolked eggs due to their immature reproductive system which is getting into the swing of laying one egg about every 25 hours. Just like a human female, all of the eggs a hen will ever lay are already inside her when she is born. Early on in the hen's first few months of cycling, the reproductive system just isn't in rhythm yet and she often releases two yolks that travel down the oviduct together, becoming encased in shell as they make their way towards the vent.
In some cultures double-yolked eggs are seen as a sign of fertility, a sign of an upcoming union between two people, good fortune, or double your expectations. It's always fun to get a double-yolker and kids really love seeing the two golden orbs sitting high in the pan. It's a surprise every time and if they carry good fortune, well that's even better!
So what about baking? It has been said that double-yolked eggs are excellent for baking as they add a richness to your baked goods that is usually achieved by using duck eggs. If you are unsure about using the double-yolkers, it is suggested that the white from another egg to balance out the fats will do the trick. I say go for the richness!
Some have asked us if it is safe to eat a double-yolked egg. Yes, completely! Lucky you, you got some extra nutrients!