The Delicious Warmth of Eggs


What no one prepared me for was how warm fresh eggs are. The first time I picked up a just laid egg, what charmed me most was how warm it was. The internal temperature of a hen is between 105º and 113ºF (41º to 45ºC). Compared to a human’s body temperature, it’s like a steam bath. Eggs come out steaming. You can see the moistness steam off them before the hen sits back down, and in seconds, they are dry to the touch. Hens sit while they wait for their eggs to roll out of them. But just before they lay them, they stand up, close their eyes, take some deep breaths, and push the eggs out of their cloaca. Is it painful? I don’t know. There is some visible stress, but it is nothing like twelve hours or more of hard labor. The warm egg falls into the nest and dries by the time the hen sits down.

When I go collect eggs, I’ll frequently find a nest with four or five fresh eggs, with the last hen having left the nest just moments ago. Having been kept warm with hen after hen sitting on the same nest, when I reach for the eggs, the whole nest is toasty, with the last egg the warmest of all.

This is just between you and me, but one of the most delicious things in the whole world is a super fresh, still warm, raw egg. The warm, buttery yolk of such an egg has so much flavor. They are good alone, or one top of hot rice with a few drops of soy sauce.

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