Why Do Chickens Get A Bloody Egg?

If you keep your own flock of backyard hens for a long enough period of time, you’ll probably come across a variety of strange eggs, including a bloody egg. You’ll probably find a wide variety of eggs in your chicken nesting boxes, ranging from small fairy (or wind) eggs to enormous eggs, wrinkled eggs, speckled or streaked eggs, malformed eggs, thick-shelled eggs, thin-shelled eggs, and more.

Given that a chicken lays an egg approximately every 26 hours and that the process her body goes through to do so is so intricate and requires such fine coordination, it is understandable that occasionally the appearance of the egg can be off. Strange events can also occur inside the egg. Eggs with no yolk, eggs with two yolks, white strands, red spots, bullseyes, and more are quite frequent occurrences.

You may also want to read about the best chicken laying mash.

Unusual eggs

You probably won’t find any eggs that are unusual when you buy chicken eggs from a commercial farm, unlike when you buy eggs from your own farm. It’s not at all because your chickens are defective; rather, it has to do with how commercially available eggs are chosen.

Commercially sold eggs are candled, which means a bright light is shone into the egg to check for impurities or anomalies within, in addition to being visually inspected and sorted by color and size so the entire carton is made up of nearly similar eggs. Those containing anything unusual are separated and not packed in a carton to be delivered to the shelves of the grocery stores and placed up for sale. They might instead be incorporated into animal meals. It’s possible, however, that when you start keeping backyard hens (or purchasing eggs from a nearby farm or farmers market), you may find a small surprise inside each egg. Blood in the egg might be one of these surprises.

It’s a common misconception that the presence of blood in chicken eggs indicates a viable egg. The opposite is true, as you can see. In actuality, a white “bullseye” on the yolk of an egg is the primary indicator of fertileness. This target is the minute amount of rooster DNA, which has no impact whatsoever on the flavor or nutritional value of the egg. It simply implies that if the egg is incubated for the required 21 days at the proper temperature, it will hatch.

Bloody Egg
When you see a bloody egg, you will see strains of blood in the yolk.

Blood in chicken eggs, bloody eggs

A blood artery has ruptured when a chicken egg develops a crimson patch of blood. Each egg has blood capillaries that, if fertilized and then incubated, will eventually develop into lifelines for the growing embryo. Yet, even infertile eggs have tiny blood arteries that hold the yolk in place. A red blood spot will appear inside the egg if one of these blood vessels is ruptured during the laying process. This can occur if the hen is startled while developing the egg or if she is handled aggressively. The albumen, the “white” of the egg, can occasionally have blood stains as well as many blood spots. The restult is a bloody egg.

An estimated two to four percent of eggs that are laid have blood spots. There are numerous potential causes of blood in chicken eggs. Blood in chicken eggs can be genetic, can result from illuminating the coop during the winter, from not giving the chicken enough time in the dark to create enough melatonin, or from excessive vitamin A and K intake. Although they are uncommon, more severe reasons can include fungus, poisons in the feed, or Avian encephalomyelitis.

But, blood in chicken eggs is typically nothing to worry about. An egg you find that has blood in it is edible. The blood spot is totally edible, but you can choose to remove it with the tines of a fork or the tip of a knife before boiling the egg if you’d like. Even a bloody egg white is still edible, despite being admittedly a little disgusting!

Facts about eggs

Facts about eggs are fascinating and useful to know if you keep hens for their eggs. You must determine whether the eggs you gather from your chickens are safe to eat, as well as whether they are safe to give or sell to friends, neighbors, or at a farmers market, based on factors such as blood in chicken eggs, bullseyes on the yolk, the ropy chalazae, which are protein strands that anchor the yolk in place, and how to tell if eggs are bad.

You’ll be glad to learn that an egg’s taste and edibility are unaffected by the chalazae, blood spots, or bullseye. You don’t need to worry about candling the eggs you sell to see whether they have any unusual contents. To prevent bloody eggs you should provide your chickens with a good layer food.

While we’re on the subject, chicken eggs of various hues taste and appear the same inside. The freshness of the egg and the chicken’s general diet, not the chicken’s breed or the egg’s color, define an egg’s flavor.

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