Backyard Poultry

Chicken FAQs

Q. Is there a difference in nutrition between brown-shelled and white-shelled eggs?

A. No, there is no difference. The color of the shell is determined by the breed of hen that lays the eggs. Hens that have white earlobes will lay white-shelled eggs, while those with red earlobes will lay brown-shelled eggs. In general, brown-shelled eggs tend to be a bit larger than white-shelled eggs because the breeds that lay brown-shelled eggs are usually larger.

Q. Do I need a rooster around for my hens to lay eggs?

A. No. Hens will naturally lay eggs whether there is a rooster present or not, given that they are the correct age and have the correct nutrition. However, if you want fertile eggs for hatching, you will need a rooster.

Q. How much poultry is produced in the United States each year and what is it worth?

A. Data reported to the USDA in 2011 indicate that there were over 8.5 billion broilers produced for meat in the United States, resulting in over 50 billion pounds of meat. The value of this product was over $23 billion. There were almost 250 million turkeys produced, resulting in over 7.3 billion pounds of meat worth almost $5 billion. Finally, there were almost 92 billion eggs produced in the US worth almost $7.5 billion.

Q. Will incubation of double-yolk eggs result in “twin chickens”?

A. No. Double yolk eggs almost never hatch if they are incubated. Even though they are larger, the space inside the shell is not enough for two chicks to develop. If one does hatch, only one chick will have developed.

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