Free Range Eggs - Ours Are Great
20 May, 2013 - 10:04
For as long as we have been on the farm, we have had free range chickens and farm fresh eggs. A few years ago we stepped it up and built a protable hen house that can be moved around on pasture as needed so the chickens have fresh forage.
Our chickens also have free choice NON-SOY, NON-GMO feed. Our feeds have natural ingredients including peanuts and whole grains such as flax, milo and sunflower seeds. They also get natural ground oryster shell for calcium for their egg shells. We do not add any supplements to enhance the color of the yoke. You can buy marigold extract from China (supplementd in feed) and artifically make the yoke deep yellow. You can also feed regular GMO chopped corn and accomplish this. In summer, our yokes are naturally deep yellow as the chickens have a lot of green grass. In winter, they are less yellow and we give them alfalfa hay to gvie them fresh forage. The actual fact is the color of the yoke does not affect the nutritional value of the egg at all. It just reflects what the chickens eat.There is also no difference in the nutritional value of a white versus a brown egg. Personally I am prefer brown or colored eggs.
We also had a decision to raise heritage breeds of chickens. These lay less eggs per year, but are very healthy and reflect the background that they bring to our flock. Our eggs are all colors; dark chocolate, brown, green, blue and a few white from our Polish chickens. Most farms use genetically modified layers that are normally either red or black and lay more eggs annually. They are called sex-inks. I do not find them very interesting.
The ony problem with raising heritage breed chickens on special feed milled 250 miles away is cost. We have to get $5/dozen for our eggs to make the same as we would using straight run chickens and soy-gmo based feeds. Natural quality has a cost and a benefit. With our eggs, we think you get what you pay for.