Imagine my surprise this week when not one, but two of my breakfast eggs contained two yolks!
I’d never seen one before, much less two in one week.
Unlike my grandmother who was very superstitious, I’m not a superstitious guy, but surely two double yolked eggs in one week had to mean something, so I started snooping around.
Facts first of course, just like human eggs, the odds of a double yolk in a chicken egg is 1 in 1,000. That’s about the same odds as your esposa having twins.
The hens most likely to produce double yolked eggs are hens that have just started producing eggs. Seems their biological clocks are working overtime to get them to producing, and sometimes they just double UP!
You see, a hen’s reproductive system is pretty simple plumbing. It consists of an ovary and on oviduct.
The ovary contains undeveloped egg yolks, and the number of yolks or ovum contained there represent the total number of eggs a chicken can lay in her lifetime.
These get released into the oviduct as each yolk develops.
This usually happens about an hour or so after the last egg was laid. But with the young hens, well two yolks are released within a couple of hours, and viola! a double yolked egg!
I looked to see what folklore would say.
The Encyclopedia of Superstations by Richard Webster, which is an actual thing, BTW, says that eggs with two yolks are a sign of good luck. Well, unless you’re in Yorkshire, and then of course, it’s a warning of death.
He also went on to say that the Romany Gypsy folks believed finding a double yolk in an egg means someone in the immediate family is preggers, and preggers with twins.
I have not asked around…
The Norsemen of old were wary of an egg with two yolks as were the gloomy barbarian tribes of Germanic origin; they totally bought in to the “someone’s gonna die” belief.
But for the most part, it was viewed as a moment of good fortune. Cultures native to the Orient, mainland Asia, and the Sub-Continent all viewed it as a good thing. Most of Western Europe felt the same way. Some bought into the “twins theory,” but most were just happy there was more to eat!
I’ll go with that!