double-yolkers

Last night I was cooking buckwheat pancakes (galettes de sarrasin) from Brittany with an egg-and-ham filling. The first egg I used contained a double yolk, a fairly rare occurrence, at least in my kitchen! Then came the second pancake and, unbelievably!, a second egg with a double yolk! This sounded too unbelievable to be…unbelievable! The experiment stopped there as no one else wanted another galette, but tonight, when making chocolate mousse, I checked whether or not the four remaining eggs also were double-yolkers…and indeed they were. Which does not help when separating yolks from white, by the way. Esp. with IX fingers. At some stage, during the day, I remembered a talk by Prof of Risk David Spiegelhalter mentioning the issue, even including a picture of an egg-box with the double-yolker guarantee, as in the attached picture. But all I could find first was this explanation on BBC News. Which made sense for my eggs, as those were from a large calibre egg-box (which I usually do not buy)… (And then I typed David Spiegelhalter plus ‘double-yolker” on Google and all those references came out!)

4 Responses to “double-yolkers”

  1. This is indeed under at least partial genetic control. Selecting for large eggs brings in a correlated response in incidence of double yolks. Selecting for double yolks seems to work as well:
    DOI:10.1080/00071667708416407
    There is possibly some physiological mechanism that relates size and double-yolk-ism.

  2. I recently had an entire carton (a dozen) of double yolkers. Nigella Lawson has this to say on the issue: “Double yolks are supposed to be more common in younger hens that haven’t fully established their laying cycle and as the hens get older they will tend to settle into laying single yolked eggs. This may explain a full carton of double yolked eggs as one would assume they all came from a fairly new flock of laying hens.” – http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/Double-Yolked-Eggs/2931

  3. A close friend of mine has a chicken farm, and while the vast majority of their chickens output single yolk eggs 99.99% of the time, a couple years back they had a group of 10 or 20 “sibling” chickens (ie same genetics), who would put out double-yolks 95% of the time. And because eggs are packaged sequentially, if you have one double-yolk, you’re very likely to have an egg from one of the siblings (likely another double-yolk) in the same carton.

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