Blood spots in eggs

There is absolutely nothing better than a fresh egg right from the chicken coop for breakfast. It is why we keep chickens isn't it?  Unfortunately sometimes things go wrong and when you crack open your fresh eggs for breakfast, something doesn't look right! The first time I saw a meat spot in a fresh egg I knew what it was and that sometimes that happens. No worries. The first time I saw blood in a fresh egg though, I just about panicked!

What causes blood spots in chickens eggs?

Blood spots in eggs are also one of those things that just happens sometimes. A glitch in  the system per se. However, many of us have had a lifetime of store bought eggs and have never seen things like blood spots in a fresh egg, or meat spots. We only rarely see double yolkers. These can come as quite a surprise the first time you see them. 

It's not that hens that lay those commercial eggs don't have the same problems, they definitely do! However, the eggs get candled before they're packaged and shipped out to that stuff never makes it through the process. It's a simple case of out of sight out of mind. We never see these little flaws in commercial eggs so we assume they don't happen. 

Meat spots and blood spots are perfectly normal in chicken eggs. It's not something that happens all the time, but seeing them is no cause for alarm

What causes blood spots in chicken eggs?

Blood spots are the result of the rupturing of tiny blood vessels in the hen’s ovaries or oviduct. This area is full of tiny blood vessels and occasionally one will rupture during the egg making process. Many people believe that these tiny vessels rupture when a hen is startled or scared though this definitely hasn't been proven.  

What do blood spots in eggs look like?

The Poultry site says:
Blood spots vary from barely distinguishable spots on the surface of the yolk to heavy blood contamination throughout the yolk. Occasionally blood may be diffused through the albumen or white of the egg. 

This is where it gets tricky, because blood spots can be quite different. I have been able to put them into 3 categories through my experience.

The tiny blood spot.
This is generally a small dot of blood on top of the egg yolk. It can also be a small collection of blood dots in the same area. Or it could look like a small smear of blood wiped across the yolk. These eggs are edible, just scoop the blood out with a spoon or the tip of a knife.

Blood spot on the yolk inside a chickens egg.

The blood clot.
This one looks exactly as it sounds. Like a blood clot in the egg white. Usually attached to the chalaza close to the yolk. The chalaza is the white stringy tissue that suspends the yolk inside the egg. This egg is edible, just scoop out the whole clot with a spoon.

Blood clot in a chickens egg.

The bloody white.
In this case you'll open up the egg and the entire white will be tinged red. Sometimes a blood clot is present also. This is the only one that is inedible. You could probably scoop out the yolk and cook just that, but I usually just put these aside to cook for the chickens later.   

Blood in a chicken egg.

Blood spots are more common in hens that lay brown eggs than in hens that lay white eggs. They are also more common in hens that have had artificial light in their coop during winter. Heavy breed hens produce more eggs with blood spots than lighter breeds.

The old wives tale:
Many people believe that a blood spot in an egg means that it's fertile. It does not. However, that belief isn't so far off. You see that started as one of those things people thought/said back in the day. "A spot of blood on the egg just means that the rooster was there." While we now know that it isn't a sign of fertility, the blood vessel rupturing could have been caused by an overly rambunctious roosters mating ritual. So...there could be a tiny bit of truth to that tale. 

Thankfully that blood spot in your hens egg is not a cause for concern. There is nothing you can do about it and it is not an indication of a bigger problem. It's a normal glitch in the reproductive system. It might look odd, but rest assured it's completely harmless.

Want to know more about farm fresh eggs? Click here for more articles about raising hens for eggs!


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  1. I have read your article on blood spot eggs and found it very helpful. But I am wondering about small brown masses inside the egg whites. They seem firm and an be as big a 2mm. What is this the result of? and should I be concerned?

    1. Since it's in the egg white, you're probably seeing meat spots. A meat spot is when a tiny piece of the oviduct is dislodged during the formation of the egg. These are not an indication of a problem in the hen. It is safe to eat the egg, but I pick the spot out.


  2. Why are the blood spots removed? What makes them inedible? We do not remove all blood from meat or chicken so why is it inedible in eggs?

    1. I remove blood spots before I cook the eggs because blood has a metallic or iron like taste and even just a little bit can change the flavor of the egg. I suppose it wouldn't matter if you were using it in a recipe with more dominant flavored ingredients, but I notice the taste if I am just cooking the eggs plain.