From shell to yolk, the colour of your egg may vary from one to the next. Some shells are
brown, some are white. As for the yolk, it goes from light yellow to dark orange (sometimes
even reddish orange).
Many assume that the yolk and shell are reflective of the quality and nutrition of the egg. The answer? Yes and no.
Let’s talk about the no first, which is the egg shell. When it comes to the shell, it is not entirely indicative of the egg quality. Differences in shell colour are due to differences in hen breed. Hens with red feathers and ear lobes lay eggs with brown shells while hens with white feathers and ear lobes lay eggs with white shells. Which means your brown eggs are just as nutritious as your white eggs.
What does make a difference is this: A good quality egg should have a shell that looks vibrant and inviting (whether it is brown or white) while an egg that comes from a hen with nutrient deficiencies and is stress normally has a greyish and pale shell.
Now for the yes part – the egg yolk. What determines the colour of the yolk? The hens’ diet.
Hens that are well nourished and looked after will produce reddish-orange yolks with a high percentage of nutrients and healthy fats. Meanwhile, hens with a subpar diet of just grains tend to have lighter yellow yolks with less nutritional value in comparison to the darker yolks.
What causes the reddish hue in a good quality egg? Carotenoids in the hens’ diet. A carotenoid is the pigment found in foods like carrot, red pepper and squash as well as the reddish pigment that occurs naturally in certain algae and causes the pink or red colour in seafood like salmon, shrimp, trout and lobster.
Essentially, carotenoids have strong antioxidant properties that bring many benefits to a hen like stronger heart health, better fertility and higher immunity. Think of it as a supplement for the hen (much like how we would take a multi-vit a day to support our health). The more carotenoids in a hen’s diet, the richer the colour of the egg yolk, which shows that the nutrients from the carotenoids are making their way into the egg.
It all makes sense really – the egg is the starting life for a chick, which means it needs every nutrient possible for the chick to survive and grow. So if you’re eating an egg with a rich reddish yolk that’s pack with carotenoids, you’re getting an egg with the best possible nutrients.
At OnZen Eggs, we supplement our hens’ feed with astaxanthin, which is a carotenoid naturally sourced from algae in Japan. Why astaxanthin? Because it is the most powerful carotenoid out there and our hens deserve the best.
Studies after studies have shown that astaxanthin gives chickens a better quality of life so they live better, longer and happier. In our hens, astaxanthin helps them withstand their changing environment, making them more resilient and stronger, allowing them to lay eggs that are packed with the same astaxanthin nutrients.
As a result, not only do our eggs have a vibrant reddish orange hue, they are also fresher, last longer, have a creamier texture and a major flavour boost! Aside from its colour, our eggs have yolks that are firmer – all indicative of a good quality egg.
It all goes back to what we want to advocate at OnZen Eggs: To give our customers great quality eggs packed with antioxidant goodness. And the healthier the chicken, the healthier the egg. We need to pay attention to what we’re eating is eating. Our hens are fed well, and because of this you too will be fed well whenever you eat OnZen Eggs.
Want to know if your egg came from a healthy hen? Look at the colour of the yolk!