Aren’t eggs amazing things, self contained ovals of wonder they are incredibly nutritious, have a great shelf life and can be cooked in a multitude of different ways.
A friend of ours has recently become the proud owner of a flock of 7 laying chickens and boy… do they lay! On average this small flock lays 35 eggs a week, which has translated into us receiving about 12 freshly laid eggs each week when our friend comes over for a visit.
Being a city girl all my life I have become accustomed to picking up my regulation sized eggs from the supermarket in their neat cardboard containers. The fresh laid version has shown me the difference! Our fronds chickens are still fairly young and have not been laying for all that long yet so as a result their egg sizes tend to vary quite a bit. We have had the occasional humungous egg that turned out to be a double yolkier, a tiny robin sized egg that was all white with no yolk whatsoever and variants of all sizes in between!
Cracking our first fresh laid eggs was quite the education on the difference that sitting around on a shelf does to eggs. The first things we noticed was how round and firm the yolk was. Instead of looking like a lightly rounded semi circle as you would expect, the yolk was a vibrant orange that proudly kept its spherical shape with only a slight flattering where the yolk met the plate. I’ve also found that separating yolks from whites is much easier when the eggs are fresh.
As I mentioned the eggs are not a uniform size yet which makes baking with them a slightly tricky proposition; baking is a science and requires the right ratio of ingredients in order to tun out well; too little egg and your cake is going to be dry and chewy; not what you want to serve up or send to the community bake sale!
When using irregular sized eggs I have taken to weighing them to get better results. It has been oddly satisfying, in a mathematical kind of way, to get the right combo of smaller eggs to equal the appropriate amount of standard sized eggs. With chickens that have just started laying the shells of their eggs can sometime be thicker than more established hens so you may need to adjust your calculations slightly to take this into account but i have not hadn’t any major problems so far.
The official egg sizes in the UK are Very Large, Large, Medium and Small. If you have an old recipe book you may find that egg sizes are listed as numbers rather than size. The weights listed below are of the egg including shell.
Very Large eggs weigh 73g and over and may be listed as Size 0 and Size 1.
Large eggs weigh between 63g and 72.9g and may be listed as Sizes 1-3.
Medium eggs weigh between 53g and 62.9g and may be listed as Sizes 3-5.
Small eggs weigh under 52.9g and may be listed as Sizes 5-7.