Blog Life on the Farm

Fresh Eggs and Flavor

We keep a variety of chickens including Golden Copper Marans, a Cream Legbar, several Easter Eggers, Exchequer Leghorns, a Barred Plymouth Rock, and two Welsummers. They lay eggs that are white, buff, blue, olive, light brown and dark brown. We have always loved the variety of eggs our girls produce. We have been keeping hens for ten years now and have had a few different varieties in the past as well.

Normally, we love our eggs with their bright orange yolks and firm whites. During the spring, summer and fall, our hens lay more eggs than we can reasonably consume, and it’s fun to be able to share them with family, friends and co-workers too.

A few times we have noticed that the eggs have had a peculiar, fishy taste and smell to them. Previously, we have solved this problem with a thorough investigation into the ingredients in the organic food that we feed them. The food that laying hens eat definitely lends its flavors to the eggs.

This year, we noticed a fishy taste in some of our eggs. However, this time, these girls have only ever eaten an organic chicken feed that is free of any kind of fish products and we have never fed them any seafood item. Contrary to what I have read by multiple reliable sources, it turns out that fishy tasting eggs can be genetic and related to shell color. Specifically, research shows that fishy-egg tainting is recessively inherited when brown-shelled layers are fed canola meal.

For now, we are feeding the brown-shelled eggs to the Sloughis and to the chickens. (They love scrambled eggs.) Once our current chicken food supply is exhausted, we will replace it with something that does not have canola in it to see if that helps. Until then, we have very happy Sloughis and hens…and we are back to enjoying scrambled (blue and white) eggs for breakfast!