Pullet Eggs: Big Things Come In Small Packages

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At this point we hope that you’ve been fortunate enough to have the delightful experience of tasting a truly fresh, pasture-raised chicken egg. The yolk’s deep, golden hue met with a rich and creamy consistency can leave most first-time-tasters wondering how they got duped into buying the blander (and far less humanely raised) grocery store eggs all their lives. Well, believe it or not, there’s yet another level of eggy bliss: pullet eggs.

Coveted in farm-to-table restaurant communities, pullet eggs are valued for their bolder flavor and velvety texture. Their small size actually increases the yolk to white ratio (one of the reasons pastry chefs love them), allowing the yolk to take a more significant role in the overall taste experience. In fact, the beloved Josh Ozersky once called them “avian caviar,” in reference not only to their elevated flavor, but the simple fact that these smaller sized eggs are much harder to come by than standard large chicken eggs, making them a rare and exquisite treat. Why are they rare? So glad you asked…

Pullet eggs, or Farmer’s Eggs as they’ve come to be known, are the first few eggs that a chicken lays in its lifetime. Only when a farmer brings in a new brood do we see them, and a small few will be laid per chicken at that. This alone explains why so few exist but what may still be a mystery is why you have probably never seen them. Simply: marketing.

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Happy Chickens at Happy Chick Farms in Lockhart, TX

Most consumers don’t know what they are (or just how totally delicious they are!) because, over time, the demand for large or extra-large eggs has become so natural. Consider: recipes never call for small eggs and if you saw small eggs next to extra-large eggs at the grocery store, you’d probably wonder why someone would ever bother with those shrimpy little micro-eggs (ahem, see above for your answer). That added to the fact that there are only a few laid in the lives of each hen, means that selling them to consumers requires maybe more effort than it’s worth for the farmer. As a result, pullet eggs frequently get tossed aside into the compost, which is not only food that could be eaten by a more knowledgable consumer, but leaves behind an opportunity for farmers to find more ways to profit.

Creating awareness of the value of pullet eggs also allows yet another place in which our community can support food sustainability in using all edible product that the animal produces. In the same way that the snout to tail movement has opened our eyes to the ways in which we’ve previously wasted deliciously unusual cuts of meat or organs due lack of education, participating in the purchase and consumption of pullet eggs supports all of the natural steps of the whole and true laying cycle of a chicken.

For all of these reasons, we’re thrilled to be able to offer Farmhouse Delivery members the opportunity to purchase Happy Chick Farms’ certified organic pullet eggs for a very limited time. If you’re worried about cooking with smaller eggs, don’t be, we’ve got you covered:

Typically, it’s a safe bet to just add one egg to whatever the recipe calls for. But, just in case, here’s an easy-to-follow chart when cooking with pullet eggs:

1 large egg   –  1 pullet (small) egg  –  1 medium egg  – 1 extra large egg

2 large eggs – 3 pullet (small) eggs – 3 medium eggs – 2 extra large eggs

3 large eggs – 4 pullet (small) eggs – 3 medium eggs – 3 extra large eggs

4 large eggs – 5 pullet (small) eggs – 5 medium eggs – 4 extra large eggs

5 large eggs – 7 pullet (small) eggs – 6 medium eggs – 4 extra large eggs

6 large eggs – 8 pullet (small) eggs – 7 medium eggs – 5 extra large eggs

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