How people unaware of eggs are cheated in market?
There are different types of layer birds in our country, such as Commercial layer, Parents layer, Broiler Breeder, Layer Breeder, Desi birds, Free-range Birds etc. They produce same eggs, but are used for different purposes and sold for different price. The eggs rejected by the farms are also sold at high prices in many markets.
Price of chicken egg
Normally the price of an egg is around Rs 4-5 and Rs 8-10 for egg of country chicken. But price of egg at a hatchery can be upto Rs 18-25. The price varies according to the type of the egg.
There are many types of chicken eggs available in the market in Kerala and other states.
1.Table egg (eggs to eat)
Table egg is the white egg of white leghorn chickens and other breeds that produce table egg. It weighs between 40 and 55 grams. The price is around Rs 4-5 and the sheel colour is white.
Table eggs are produced by breeds such as Vencob, Lohmann and Hyline. They start laying eggs at the age of 16 weeks. But the eggs are sold as table eggs only after they weigh 40 grams at 18 weeks.
Only hens (female chicken) are reared in poultry farms where the egg is not used for hatching.
2. Pullet egg
Chicken start laying eggs at the 16th week. The eggs laid first are small in size. The eggs weighing below 40 grams are called pullet eggs and are sold for Rs 1-2. Also the colour of the outer shell varies according to the breed and strain.
3. Hatching egg
Hatching eggs are obtained from parent chickens. It weighs around 45-55 grams and the color of the eggshell varies depending on the breed and strain. The normal broiler hatching eggs are brownish-white in colour.
4. Farm rejection egg
Eggs that do not weigh more than 45 grams for 25 weeks are not selected for hatching and are marketed as farm rejection egg at a price of Rs 2-3.
5. Candling rejection egg
After 10 days, the eggs that have embryo growth and are going to hatch can be identified by candling in the hatchery. This is the process of keeping eggs on top of a light source. Eggs that do not hatch will be removed from the hatchery. These eggs are sold for 50-70 paise in the market.
6. Crack egg
Eggs that have a small crack on the shell are selected for hatching in parent farms. These are sold at a price of 50-75 paise and are mainly taken for using in bakeries.
7. Jumbo egg
The eggs that are unshaped or double-yolked or those weighing above 65 grams also are not selected for hatching. These are sold from the farm for 2-3 rupees. They are mainly used for bakery purposes.
8. BV380 eggs
BV380 eggs have brown shell and it is preferred by many customers because its brown colour is similar to the eggs laid by country chicken. They can weigh up to 50 grams.
BV380 chickens developed by Venkateshwara Hatcheries are not the only ones laying brown eggs.
Hyline and Lohman strains also have brown egg-laying and white egg-laying varieties. Most of them are crossbreds of the Rhode Island Red breed.
9. Eggs from birds developed by Veterinary Universities in India
The eggs laid by the chicken which are developed by the Veterinary Universities belong to this category. This includes Gramashree, Gramapriya, Suvarna, etc.
Their eggs have brownish white shell and they weigh about 30-40 grams. These eggs are sold at a price of Rs 8-10.
10. Country bird eggs / local eggs
These are the eggs laid by country/local birds. They are low yielding, free-range hens, which were first available in local level.
11. Karinkozhi/Kadaknath eggs
Eggs of Kadaknath chicken are brownish white in colour, not black as believed by many. They weigh around 30-40 grams and the price cannot be determined.
12. Quail eggs
Quail birds that are 45 days old start laying eggs. They reach the market from first lay onwards. They do not have pullet eggs, double yolked or unshaped eggs.
Quail eggs are priced Rs 2. The shell colour is a mix of ash and white. Hatching eggs are produced only if there are male birds in the cage.
It is very difficult to distinguish between these different types of eggs by the naked eye. Low weighing rejection eggs can be marketed as country chicken eggs.
Candled rejection eggs can be sold as brown table eggs. Pullet eggs can be sold for high prices. Country bird eggs can be mixed with Kadaknath eggs.
The government and food safety department should be more vigilant and aware about these practices. Only then we can stop cheating and malpractices in this field.
Many frauds take place in the market regarding the price and quality of egg. Awareness programmes should be conducted to make the public aware of the different types of egg and their quality.