If you have ever cracked open an egg from a free-range hen, you have probably noticed a bright orange to yellow yolk. My family is used to the rich-colored yolks and we don’t think twice about it. The other day we cracked open a store bought egg and a farm fresh egg in the same frying pan. We were reminded of the differences in the yolk pigmentation when we saw them side by side!
The bright orange yolks come from hens that have access to fresh greens. The yolk color comes from the carotenoids which is the pigmentation found in plant material. Most store bought eggs will have a pale yolk because the hens are not allowed access to vegetation.
While it is debatable on whether the free-range eggs have more nutritional value, there is evidence that the rich yolks contain more Vitamin A and E. I also like knowing that my eggs come from hens that are well fed! There has to be more nutrition in an egg formed from a hen that has access to a variety of foods rather than a purely grain fed hen. Of course you will have find information that supports both sides. As for me, I’ll choose the free-range orange yolks!
For more on chickens, checkout my previous chicken posts.