Double Yolkers: A Real Phenomenon

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

04 August 2014

It’s quite obvious by now that we love eggs. We would happily gobble up these wondrous little ovals of goodness for breakfast, lunch and tea (and dessert). So nothing pleases us more when we crack open our favourite protein packed produce to reveal that there is not one, but TWO delicious golden yolks sealed inside!

‘Double-yolkers’ as we like to call them, are not a totally rare event, and are said to occur in approximately 1 in every 1000 eggs.

While many have experienced this very eggs-iting occurrence, many others have not- so before you go running for your carton of fresh eggs and get cracking, read on for everything you could ever want to know about this doubly delicious phenomenon.

double yolk egg cracked on to a plate

What causes a double yolker?

A double yolker occurs when two separate egg yolks are released into the hens oviduct too close together and so end up being encased together in the one shell. This can be due to a hormonal change or imbalance that causes the yolk to release too early.

Eggs with a double yolk are more commonly produced by new layers, whose laying cycles are still a little irregular, or those that are nearing the end of their laying lif, whose routine is not as normalized as it once was.

However, double yolks can be hereditary in chickens, with some breeds tending toward them in the same way that twins might run in a human family. You are more likely to find them in breeds that are considered good layers such as Rhode Island Reds, ISA Browns and Plymouth Rocks.

You shouldn’t worry about the regular occurrence of double-yolkers among your chooks- they are not a sign of health issues, nor cause pain for your girls, and they are 100% safe to eat!

Physical appearance

Double yolkers are unidentifiable- you have to wait until you crack an egg to know if you have been graced with the presence of two yolks. However, the egg will generally be larger in size to accommodate twice the yolk and double the goodness!

What do they mean?

There are many different thoughts on what is believed a double yolk means, with most choosing to believe that it will bring good luck!

Some older traditions maintain that it heralds the birth of twins or new life in a family and prosperity, while others believe double yolkers to be a symbol of bad luck, and predict a death in the family- quite the contrast!

We’re choosing to stick with the symbol of good luck, because we don’t believe there to be anything bad about having double the yolk for your morning meal!

Have you ever cracked a double yolker- or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to experience a triple or quadruple yolk! Post your photos to our Facebook page- because one thing we know, a double yolker sure is no yolk!

Sources and further reading

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