I'm sure you've seen them in the grocery store. Eggs labelled as "Omega-3" eggs. They're bursting with goodness and health and nutrition. They're easy to identify from the other eggs. They're the ones that look like Dr. Oz if you stare closely enough at them. Plus they cost about $1 more per carton. Plus they have "Omega-3" printed on the carton and sometimes even on the eggs.
Plus they taste like fish. Sometimes.
Have you ever noticed that? You eat an egg (either store bought or from your own chickens) and there's a lingering, subtle note of trout. This happened to me the other day. I cracked open an egg from one of my chickens and it tasted more like I cracked it out of the spleen of a salmon than an eggshell. It's happened to me before so I knew it wasn't my imagination. I couldn't talk myself out of the fish taste this time.
We're all pretty good at that by the way, talking ourselves into thinking bad food is actually good.
You buy chicken breasts for instance, open them up and there it is. The scent of impending food poisoning. But you just bought them so they must be fine. Plus they barely smell. Plus you could stand to lose a few pounds. Plus you're not even sure if they smell at all. Plus you just got back from being out all day running errands, and the grocery store seems so far away and you can't really be bothered to return them, plus you planned on eating chicken tonight and ... well ... maybe they didn't smell bad at all. Maybe they were fine. So you prep them, get them ready, prepare the rest of the dinner, then stand staring at the raw, stinky chicken that you know in your heart of hearts is dancing with barf bacteria.
You know if you cook them at this point you'll be so suspicious of whether they were good or not that you'll convince yourself they weren't and after the first bite you'll break out into a sweat, start feeling nauseous and just like that your mind has convinced your body you have food poisoning and you're in bed for the next day and a half.
So you throw the chicken breasts out and have carrots and anti-nauseants for dinner.
I almost did the same thing with my fish egg. I ate a bite, felt gaggy, then ended up feeding them to the chickens because I was convinced they were bad.
As it turns out, a fishy tasting egg isn't bad, it's actually very, very good.
It just tastes bad.
And it all revolves around Omega-3s. Omega-3 is a fat that's most often found in fish but it's also found in flaxseed and other things. And the interesting thing about Omega-3 fat is that it can have a fishy scent and taste no matter where it comes from. It's just a natural characteristic of Omega-3 fats. So the reason your fish tastes and smells like fish isn't because it's fish, it's because it's filled with Omega-3 fats.
Vegetables also have Omega-3 fats, just not as much as fish or flaxseeds. So if your chickens have been fed squash, lots of leafy greens or beans that could burst up their Omega-3 intake and make your eggs fishy the odd time.
There's also some research that says certain breeds of chickens, particularly brown layers, that have a gene that converts fatty acids in their diet to compounds that smell fishy. So you get a brown egg laying chicken, throw in some flax seed, greens and a few beans and you end up with more than a farty chicken. You have something fishy going on.
Which brings me to my Black and Blue Copper Marans eggs that I was mentioning last week.
People ask if they taste any different. And they do. They're the only eggs of all the chickens I've had that have ever had that weird/gross/alarming/ fishy taste. They don't have it very often, but when they have it there's no getting it past my gullet. Which is a shame of course because the fishier the taste, the higher the Omega-3s, the better the egg is for you.
Which means eggs that smell gross are good for you, chicken parts that smell gross are bad for you and if either one of them smells like Dr. Oz, you're in trouble.
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Thanks for sharing! 5 years with chickens, my morning breakfast was just ruined by a fishy egg. I could not get past it! I have 1 welsummer that lays the most beautiful brown eggs, guessing she was the culprit. Hoping it's a one time event.🤢🤢
Well my daughter just bit into a yoke (from one of our own brown layers) that tasted like not-so-fresh salmon, so this is good to know!
I don't think I've had this phenomenon since writing this post. It's so alarming, lol. ~ karen!
I've had chickens as a child (mother"s) and all my life, (57) and never had this problems before. Feeding them lots of live greens it was never a problem. I think we have been buying organic feed finally and I had heard years ago the flax seeds will do this. I have fed fish meal before and never had the problem.
It doesn't always happen, it's an occasional thing. But it does happen. :) I've had it from my own chickens a few times and from store bought eggs. ~ karen!
I know this article is old, but I have to comment. I went googling when I experienced fishy eggs. Never in my 45 years have I had fishy smelling eggs until now! It’s been twice in the last month, from 2 different grocery stores. We even raised chickens for a long time with no stinky eggs. I can’t eat them... they are going to the woods! They stink so bad like fish!
Legend has it that 007 James Bond only eats BCM eggs. I just got a Blue Marans chick. Hope it’s a girl like Josephine(!)
I hope it's a girl for your sake too! ~ karen
This is something new to me. I was surprised that some websites mentioned eggs as being an unpleasant smelling food like Blue cheese and Durian fruit. Eggs! I have eaten many eggs, store bought, free range, chicken farm, and eggs from chickens in my backyard. Never noticed any smell other than the usual egg smell, not fishy or unpleasant. The food sources of the chickens must be responsible for the bad smell.
Anyway thanks for the information about smelly eggs even though it does not apply to me.