Ask an Egg Farmer: Eggs

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My daughter took me to a trendy breakfast place and they brought me eggs that looked like they were a prop in a comedy play – they did not look right for Alberta in February at all. I grew up on a farm and we had our own eggs that were dark yolk in summer and lighter in winter. What is up with that?


The colour of an egg’s yolk depends on what the hens eat.  In western Canada, most hens eat a wheat-based diet, which results in lighter yellow yolks.  In eastern Canada, most hens eat a corn-based diet, which results in darker colour yolks.  If hens have outdoor access where they can eat grass, bugs and anything else they can get their beaks on, the yolks tend to be darker.  Farmers can modify the composition of the hens’ feed to help those hens produce eggs with a particular colour yolk.  Egg yolk colours are measured and some restaurants will only purchase eggs that have a certain colour range, to ensure the eggs they serve are consistent in colour, year round.

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