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240 Million Laying Hens Produce Some 50 Billion Eggs In The US

egg day

June 3 is an excellent day to practice egg puns and recognize National Egg Day.

One of the most perfect foods, eggs are packed with protein, amino acids and have no carbohydrates or sugar.

As far as versatility goes, there may be more ways to cook an egg than shrimp. From the humble, hard boiled egg to the elegant souffle, eggs Benedict and Florentine.

Even within the good old breakfast standbys like fried eggs, we have options. Over easy. Well done. Sunny side up. Basted. And a side of bacon with that!

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Then, of course, it’s portable. Slap it between some toast and off you go.

Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have been eaten by mankind for thousands of years. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes. Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, quail, roe, and caviar, but the egg most often consumed by humans is the chicken egg, by a wide margin.

  • Egg yolks and whole eggs store significant amounts of protein and choline, and are widely used in cookery. Due to their protein content, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid. Despite the nutritional value of eggs, there are some potential health issues arising from egg quality, storage, and individual allergies.
  • About 240 million laying hens produce some 50 billion eggs each year in the United States. That’s roughly one hen for every man, women and child in the country.
  • White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes. Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. There is no difference in nutrition between white and brown eggs.
  • An average hen lays 300 to 325 eggs a year. A hen starts laying eggs at 19 weeks of age.
  • The hen must eat 4 pounds of feed to make a dozen eggs.
  • While it is customary to throw rice at weddings in many countries, French brides break an egg on the threshold of their new home before stepping in for luck and healthy babies.
  • The egg shell may have as many as 17,000 tiny pores over its surface. Through them, the egg can absorb flavors and odors. Storing them in their cartons helps keep them fresh.
  • Eggs are placed in their cartons large end up to keep the air cell in place and the yolk centered.
  • Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator
  • Eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for at least 4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date.
  • Eggs contain the highest quality food protein known. It is second only to mother’s milk for human nutrition.
  • The largest single chicken egg ever laid weighed a pound with a double yolk and double shell
  • The most expensive egg ever sold was the Faberge “Winter Egg” sold in 1994 for $5.6 million.


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