The World Record For Most Yolks Ever Found In 1 Chicken Egg

When you crack an egg, you know what to expect: a sunny, yellow yolk swimming in the clear egg white. If you break enough eggs, though, you might encounter something extraordinary. Egg Safety explains that roughly 1 in 1000 eggs will contain not one but two yolks. These rare double-yolk eggs are likely to be laid by hens who are either beginning or ending the egg-laying phase of their lives, and Sauder's Eggs explains that this occurs when a hen's ovary releases two yolks in quick succession.

Typically, a hen's ovary releases a single yolk per day, which is surrounded by the albumen, or egg white, and encapsulated in a shell before it's laid. But on the rare occasion a hen releases two yolks in a short time frame, both yolks will share the albumen and inhabit a shell together. And as rare as double-yolk eggs are, it's possible to have triple or quadruple-yolk eggs, and the likelihood of each additional yolk becomes exponentially smaller. The Daily Mail says that according to the British Egg Information Service, the chances of getting a triple-yolk egg are 1 in 25 million. The record for most yolks in a single eggshell is one that has stood for nearly fifty years.

How many yolks were in the record-holding egg?

In July of 1971, Diane Hainsworth of Hainsworth Poultry Farms, located in Mount Morris, New York, found an egg that contained a record-setting nine yolks, per Guinness World Records. Eggs containing multiple yolks are perfectly safe to eat, says Egg Safety. And in addition to very young and mature hens that are more likely to produce these multi-yolk eggs, some breeds of chickens, like the Buff Orpington, are also more likely to lay these rare eggs, according to Food & Wine.

Though eggs with multiple yolks are safe to eat, you may need to modify your recipe should you encounter a double-yolker and choose to cook with it. Sauder's Eggs points out that double-yolk eggs are a bit larger than the average chicken egg, and nutritionally, they're roughly equivalent to a jumbo egg. If you're baking or preparing a recipe that calls for egg yolks, you'll want to make sure you don't throw off the ratio of protein to fat and sugar by using a double-yolk egg in place of an ordinary, single-yolk egg. And on the extremely rare chance you should crack an egg and find 10 yolks inside, you should probably reach out to Guinness.