Runny whites

by Glo

Question

I have been doing some research on "runny whites" and the conclusion is it may just be the genetic make-up of the hens.

My question is, can you provided me with the name of a breed that is known to have a firm albumin? Yes, these are fresh eggs. Thanks

Answer
Albumin is mostly water which would provide all the water needed by the chick as it develops in the egg and enough hydration to sustain it for its first day of life outside the shell.

So, to a certain extent, albumin is a watery substance. There are three layers of Albumin, an inner liquid surrounding the yolk, the dense Albuminous sac, and the outer liquid.

The dense Albuinous sac should be about ½ to 2/3 of the total Albumin. Besides supplying water to the developing chick, the Albumin serves as a shock absorber, protecting and helping keep the yolk or developing chick at the center.

I’ve noticed that most generic store bought eggs seem to have a weak or almost non existent Albuminous sacs.

The breeds of hens that lay these eggs vary, but are called Production bred, meaning they have been genetically programmed (bred) to produce the most eggs in the shortest time.

Judging by the quality of generic store bought eggs, I think these hens are not bred to produce the best quality eggs, but in their defense, most never see the light of day or a fresh blade of grass.

I’ve always been a fan of the Heritage Breeds for the variety of egg shell colors, health and elegant feathering.

Heritage Breeds live longer healthier lives, when well cared for, outliving Production bred chickens with the same care.

Heritage hens can continue to produce a good number of eggs for about 5 years, compared to the 2 – 3 years of Production Bred hens (even with the same care in the same flock).

I’ve never made a thorough comparison study of this, but I would imagine Heritage Breeds would produce a better quality viable egg with a good Albuminous sac.

These breeds are more often used for breeding future generations, which would require the best quality eggs, with the best Albumin, to successfully bring in the next generation.

I’ve had many chickens in my life and very few Production Breds. I currently have a few Production Bred hens that were mixed in with some adult flocks I bought last year.

My chickens free range and have a good balanced diet and stress free life.

All my hens produce nice thick yolks and dense Albuminous sacs, so I believe there is the possibility that diet can effect the quality of that sac, as well as the color and consistency of the yolk, and shell quality and color.

I hope this helps. I’m just sharing my experience and a little research. There are many Heritage Breeds and good blood lines of these will probably get you the egg quality you are looking for.

I prefer having a mixed flock and my favorites are: Americauanas, Marans, and Speckled Sussex. Many reputable hatcheries sell Heritage breeds, but may also sell Production bred varieties of the same or similar breeds, so it’s important to specify what you want.


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