If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
LOCKNEY – During these trying times people are going back to a simple way of life. People are baking at home, and many are planning out their homegrown gardens. So why not get hens?
I have never had a farm fresh egg until I was grown and out on my own. I’ve always had a love for animals of any kind, so it was natural for me to get chickens when I had my own place right out of college.
Let’s explore a few references in free-range chicken eggs and store-bought ones. First off, I should begin explaining what each type of egg actually means. Free-range eggs are produced by hens that allowed to forage for their own food. These are hens are sometimes given supplemental food to make sure they are consuming enough food. My free-range hens are only locked up in chicken coop at night to protect them from predators.
Regular store-bought eggs are usually laid by birds that are kept in small cages or in a cage free chicken house. Cage free chicken houses are usually the large operations where these hens are raised in large hoop-shaped chicken coops and usually have hundreds of hens in the coop at a time. These hens are fed pelleted food. The hens are usually living in crowded conditions and not live a natural lifestyle at all.
If the hens are not allowed to live a natural lifestyle, which is pecking the ground, foraging for food, eating lefty greens and getting natural proteins from bugs, then you are probably not going to have the best tasting egg.
If you happen to be given a dozen farm fresh eggs, you’ll notice the yolks are a deeper yellow color. They look richer and healthier. They taste that way too.
Another difference in free-range eggs and store-bought eggs is shelf life. Some people assume that all eggs have the same shelf life. Store bought eggs generally were laid at least three days before they make it to the store.
It depends on how fast the store gets them to the floor for you to buy as far as how old they once they are on the shelf.
Would you believe that the nutritional value of farm fresh eggs is different from store bought eggs? According to the USDA farm fresh eggs have less cholesterol and saturated fat. They also have more omega-3 and vitamins A, D, and E. That all really makes since if you stop and think about it. If you consume eggs from free-range hens that have eaten a healthy diet and had a chance to room and exercise, the bird will be healthier and should pass that along to their eggs.
So many different kinds of hens, so many different kinds of eggs. For example, if you have Bantams hens, you’ll get tiny white eggs. If you prefer big brown eggs, you’ll want Rhode Island Red hens. You can even get blue and green eggs. Those are laid by Araucanas.
If you live inside the city limits, we encourage you to check the city laws before going out to purchase hens.