What's a Double Yolk?

What’s a double yolk?
Are double yolks safe to eat?
Are double yolks rare?

Lots of questions surround double yolk eggs. Let’s explore some of them and find out all about double yolks.

What's a Double Yolk?

Double Yolks

Following are the most common questions surrounding eggs that contain two yolks (also know as “double yolkers”) :

How is a double yolk formed?

A double yolk egg is formed when two ovulations occur at close to the same time and then travel down the oviduct together, and thus both get encased in shell.

Is a double yolk egg safe to eat?

  • Yes! Not only is a double yolk egg safe to eat, but it’s more delicious if you enjoy the yellow more than the white.
  • double yolk

  • Double yolk eggs are typically slightly larger than single yolk eggs. The above image shows a typical comparison.
  • Is a double yolk rare?

  • Finding a double yolk in eggs is about 1 in 1,000. [1] But finding a double yolk in commercial eggs is much more rare due to candling, which is done commercially to spot problems like bloody eggs. This process also spots double yolk eggs and pulls them out to be sold for more money.
  • double yolk

    These eggs came from a carton of jumbo eggs we purchased from Trader Joe’s. All but two of the eggs from that recent carton purchase were double yolkers!

  • Double yolk eggs almost always come from young hens just starting to lay eggs. As the hen matures, she will normally only lay single yolk eggs.
  • Poultry genetics says there should only be one yolk per egg. There would be insufficient space for two chicks to develop inside a shell and the breed would effectively die out if the double yolk egg was a common occurrence.
  • It’s not possible to find breeds of hen that will consistently lay double yolk eggs, but you can find places that sell double yolk eggs for an increased price.
  • A place that sells double yolk eggs is Marks & Spencer, but there’s no guarantee what you’ve got until all eggs are cracked.
  • Is a triple yolk possible?

    A triple yolk egg is rare but they’ve been found, as have other multiples. The most yolks ever found in an egg was 9![1]

    Additional Information

    Does yolk color matter?

    Yolk color depends greatly on the diet of the hen. If she eats plenty of yellow-orange plant pigments, such as from marigold petals and yellow corn, the yolk will be a darker yellow than if she eats a colorless diet like white cornmeal. Artificial color additives are not permitted in eggs.

    To find the shelf life of eggs, see our egg page.

    To find out if bloody eggs are safe, see our post on blood spot eggs.

    To find out about Salmonella in eggs, see our post on Salmonella in eggs.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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