I take pride in providing my girls with the best possible care. Part of that care is ensuring that the eggs they produce are safe to eat. So, you can imagine my shock when I cracked open an egg and saw a tiny spot of blood on the yolk.
At first, I was concerned, but after doing some research, I found out that it’s actually a common occurrence.
In this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned about blood on egg yolks and whether or not it’s something to worry about.
What Causes Blood on Egg Yolks?
While blood on an egg yolk can be concerning, it’s important to understand what causes it. In most cases, the cause is a ruptured blood vessel in the hen’s reproductive tract while the egg is being formed. This can result in a blood spot on the yolk or even throughout the egg white. Although it may be alarming, it’s important to note that blood on egg yolks is not harmful to either humans or hens.
It’s important to differentiate between a blood spot and a developing egg, as they may appear similar. If you crack open an egg and see veins in the yolk, it means the egg is fertilized and is developing. However, blood spots are just tiny ruptured blood vessels and do not indicate a fertilized egg.
There are a few other factors that can cause blood spots on egg yolks. One is age: as hens age, their egg quality may decrease and result in more frequent blood spots. Another factor is stress on the hen, which can occur due to various reasons such as a change in diet or environment.
It’s worth noting that blood spots are more common in brown eggs than in white eggs. This is because brown eggs are laid by breeds of hens that are larger and have more blood vessels in their reproductive tracts, making them more prone to blood spots.
While blood spots are generally harmless, some people may find them unappetizing. If this is the case, it’s recommended to simply remove the spot with a spoon or knife before cooking the egg. Alternatively, some people prefer to use eggs with blood spots for baking rather than for eating as a whole.
How to Check for Blood Spots
It’s always a good idea to check for blood spots before using eggs in your recipe. One simple way to do this is to crack each egg into a small cup first. This way, you can easily check for any signs of blood before adding it to your recipe. If you see any blood spots or discoloration, you can simply discard that egg and move on to the next one.
While it may seem like an extra step, checking for blood spots can prevent any unpleasant surprises while cooking or eating. Blood spots can be alarming to see, and while they are not harmful, some people may prefer to avoid them altogether. Additionally, if you’re serving your dish to others, it’s always best to ensure that there are no blood spots or other abnormalities present.
In addition to cracking eggs into a small cup, you can also hold them up to a light source to check for any signs of blood spots. Simply hold the egg up to a light bulb or other bright light source and look for any discoloration or abnormalities. This method can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with a large batch of eggs and want to check them all quickly.
What About Store-Bought Eggs?
It’s not uncommon to wonder about the safety and quality of store-bought eggs, especially when it comes to blood spots. While some people assume that store-bought eggs are unfertilized, it’s actually possible for them to be fertilized.
Commercial egg farms may keep roosters with their hens to ensure fertilization, which can lead to the development of fertilized eggs. However, it’s important to note that consuming fertilized eggs is perfectly safe, and many people even find it to be a fun experiment to hatch store-bought eggs.
When it comes to blood spots in store-bought eggs, the same rules apply as with eggs from backyard flocks. Blood spots are not harmful and do not indicate a fertilized egg unless developing veins are present in the yolk. To be sure, you can always crack your eggs into a small cup before adding them to your recipe to check for any blood spots.
While blood spots on egg yolks are not harmful, they can be unsightly and may cause concern for some people. Here are a few prevention tips to help minimize the occurrence of blood spots in your eggs:
- Healthy Diet – One of the most important prevention tips is to ensure that your hens are getting a healthy diet. A diet that is high in calcium and other essential nutrients can help prevent thin shells, which can lead to blood spots. It’s important to note that a balanced diet is also important for the overall health and well-being of your hens.
- Clean and Safe Nesting Boxes – Keeping your hens’ nesting boxes clean and free from sharp objects is also crucial. Sharp objects, such as nails or wire, can cause injury to your hens’ reproductive tracts, which can lead to blood spots. Keeping the nesting boxes clean can also help prevent the spread of bacteria and infection.
- Regular Vent Inspection – Regularly checking your hens’ vents for signs of injury or infection is another important prevention tip. Injury or infection in the reproductive tract can also lead to blood spots.
- Adequeste Space – Finally, providing your hens with adequate space to move around and exercise is essential. Stress can also be a factor in the occurrence of blood spots, and ensuring that your hens are comfortable and happy can help prevent stress-related issues.
In conclusion, blood spots on egg yolks are a common occurrence and are not harmful to either you or the hen. While they may be unsightly and cause concern for some people, they are not an indication of a fertilized egg. By following the prevention tips above, you can help minimize the occurrence of blood spots in your eggs. And, if you do happen to crack open an egg with a blood spot, rest assured that it’s safe to eat once it’s cooked.