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It’s happening again – we are finding double yolks in our eggs. My mother always thought it meant good luck, but does it?
With the odds of cracking open a double and triple (yikes!) yolk eggs are about one in one thousand, it’s understandable that there would be myths and superstitions surrounding this event.
Wiccans believe that the double yolk is a sign of good fortune, but the Norse thought it was a sign of doom – death was imminent for someone in the family. The most common myth is that someone in the family will get pregnant and have twins, or someone in the family will be getting married soon because of a pregnancy.
None of these occurrences have a time limit on them, and all could happen in a reasonable amount of time. But to attribute it to a double yolk egg, well, seems like a bit of a stretch.
Double yolks are caused the same way twins happen. The ovary releases two eggs too close together. In mammals, the result would be twins. For hens, the closeness of the release allows one shell to form around the two eggs forming a double yolk egg.
This typically happens in young hens whose system is not synced up properly or in older hens that are nearing the end of their egg laying days. In either case, it is the metabolism of the hen that causes this occurrence.
If the egg were fertilized, the result would probably be two dead chicks instead of twins since the egg shell itself could not expand to meet the growing demands of the chicks. The hens, themselves, could become egg bound or suffer from a vent prolapse.
There are some hens that have a hereditary trait to lay double yolkers. This would be more common in heavy breeds such as the Buff Orpington.
Safe and healthy?
If you get a double yolk egg consider it a protein bonus and scramble it up, but, if it happens when you are baking, it would not count as two eggs because the amount of egg white is less and could alter the taste of whatever you were baking.
In any case, enjoy your eggs and don’t be overly concerned about the superstitions surrounding double yolks.