I always look for the biggest eggs I can buy in the store. I was wondering, with all the turkeys raised to feed our once-a-year habit, why don't poultry producers make turkey eggs available? They have to be bigger than chicken eggs, right? Do they taste different?
-- Displaced Sandy Eggan, Las Vegas
Ummm...they taste like chicken. No, really. They do. They taste like chicken eggs. And they're about 1-1/2 times the size of the average chicken egg. But the poultry game is fairly simple: chicken hens give us eggs, turkey hens give us Thanksgiving. From the point of view of the turkey wrangler, marketing the eggs would be just an expensive complication. Turkeys are at least three, four, five times the size of the average laying hen, therefore require more food and space. They lay maybe half the number of eggs a well-bred laying hen does, and they don't start laying until a relatively old age. And if you sell off all your turkey eggs, then your turkeys, you're out of business. Most turkey eggs go to make post-holiday replacement birds. Laying hens of the chicken variety have been bred to make eggs (and later, commercial chicken soup). Turkeys have been bred to have big chests. You'll have to find your own turkey-egg connection, because they're not going to show up on the grocer's shelf.