First of all, WHAT IS A BLOOD SPOT?!
Do not panic. If you’ve eaten eggs from your own chickens before, chances are you’ve seen a blood spot. If you’ve only eaten eggs purchased at the grocery store, and you’re making the switch to “homemade” eggs, then you’re in for a few surprises! That’s because commercial eggs are screened for perfection, and any unusual eggs don’t make it to shelves. In reality, eggs are individually made in an intricate and complex process, and sometimes come out looking a bit strange. One of the many fun features of being a chicken keeper!
Blood spots in eggs are exactly that; tiny spots of red blood that you’ll see when you crack open a fresh egg. All eggs, fertilized or not, contain tiny blood vessels that anchor the yolk inside the egg. In a fertilized and incubated egg, those blood vessels will deliver nutrients to a growing chick embryo. There is common misconception that seeing a blood spot in the egg means it is fertilized. This is not true. Both fertilized and unfertilized eggs can have blood spots.
Blood spots occur when one of those tiny blood vessels is broken during the laying process. This is most commonly due to a hen being startled while laying her daily egg.
Blood spots are fairly common, and not cause for concern. They are perfectly safe to eat, although you may want to scoop the discolored bit out with a spoon for aesthetic purposes.
If you notice quite a bit of blood, or blood spots accompanied with other unusual egg characteristics, you may want to evaluate your hen’s health. Infrequent odd eggs are normal, but ongoing odd eggs can be an indicator of disease or nutritional deficiency.
If you are actively monitoring your chickens’ health, and feeding them a balanced feed like Ace Hi or Kelley’s lay feeds, designed specifically to meet the needs of egg laying hens, then you should have a happy flock!