Large eggs promoted as having one or more features beyond conventional white or brown shell eggs (specialty eggs) were evaluated for quality and price in a national retail study. Subtypes of specialty eggs included: nutritionally altered eggs, organic eggs, fertile eggs, eggs from welfare-managed hens, or hens fed all-vegetable diets. Extension Poultry Specialists in California (CA), Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas conducted a survey of egg quality and price and compared 246 dozen specialty eggs with 390 dozen conventional white shell eggs during the summer of 1996. Age of the eggs based on carton dating indicated specialty eggs were older (16.5 d) than white eggs (11.7 d). Average egg weights for specialty compared to white were 60.2 and 59.6 g, respectively. Interior egg quality evaluations including albumen height, Haugh units (HU), and percentage HU <55, indicated white eggs were superior (5.0 mm, 67.5, and 10.6%, respectively) compared to specialty eggs (4.7 mm, 63.8, and 16.3%). Although the percentage of cracked eggs was similar between specialty and white eggs (5.4 and 5.7%), the percentage of leakers was threefold higher for the specialty eggs (1.0 vs. 0.3%). Egg price was substantially higher for the specialty eggs, averaging $2.18/dozen with a range from 0.88 to $4.38, compared to white eggs, averaging $1.23/dozen and ranging from 0.39 to $2.35.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology