Tag Archives: free range eggs

Lesson 651 – Comparing a store bought egg to a free range egg – Part 2

The scientist in me (microbiologist) is cringing slightly at this post. There’s no double blind study, no accurate measurements, no blah, blah, blah. But then the real person who also lives inside me is saying – sometimes you just have to accept things for what they are.

One of the comments on yesterday’s post suggested that I show the difference between a store-bought egg and a free-range egg cracked and in a pan. The white of the free range egg is thicker and more firm, she wrote. Those of use who have chickens already know this, but I know that those who do not have chickens may  not really *get* this point.

I thought it was a good idea, so that is exactly what I did this morning. I took one of the remaining 11 eggs and one of our eggs that was roughly the same size and I cracked them one at a time into a pan.

Disclaimer – I hadn’t realized out pan was so warped. Guess it’s time to buy a new pan. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs, Everything Eggs

Lesson 650 – Comparing a store bought egg to a free range egg

As many of you know, I am a storyteller (and if you doubt me, ask to see my tattoo sometime.)

Sometimes stories end the way you want them to end, sometimes they don’t, but they still must be told.

Last week on my Facebook page I shared a photo of a cooked store-bought egg compared to a free range egg. “This is yet another reason for having your own chickens.” I wrote.

Someone asked me if the photo was real in portraying the difference between the two eggs (the store bought egg had a light yellow yolk, the free range a golden orange one. ) I had assumed it was but sometimes assumptions can steer you away from the truth.

I decided to do a comparison at home and to show everyone my results. Continue reading

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Lesson 346 – Have your egg and eat it too

You can just tell that free range eggs are healthier than store bought eggs – the whites are firmer and have more substance, the yolks have a deeper orangey-yellow color, and the taste, well there actually is an egg taste that you don’t get with store eggs.

Some people ask me if I’m worried about cholesterol because of the amount of eggs we eat in our household. Nope, I’m not worried a bit and my reasoning is two-fold:
1.How can a natural uncontaminated food be bad for you?
2.And think of all those farmers from years ago who ate eggs every day of their lives and didn’t have high cholesterol issues.

To be honest, I’m more afraid of a Big Mac’s effect on my health than I am of our chickens’ eggs, but other than a “gut feel” about this, I didn’t really have anything to back up my claims.

Until now.

In a recent issue of Mother Earth News – Wiser Living Series (the magazine for all of us Little House on the Prairie – wanna-bes) they published this beautiful little gem about what’s nutritionally inside of a free-ranged egg. Continue reading

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Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 246 – Are our chickens considered free-range?

Our chickens don’t like snow. They don’t like it blowing in their faces and they don’t like to stick their un-Columbia-booted scrawny yellow feet in it. As long as there is snow on the ground in New Hampshire, our chickens prefer to stay either in the hen house or in the enclosed, roof covered coop where they can huddle together in cold misery.

In the summer our birds are all over our yard, picking up bugs, worms, scratching at the dirt, and doing their thing. They are as free-spirited as they are free-ranged.

Does this mean that we only have summer-time free-range chickens?

According to wikipedia:

Free range is a term which outside of the United States denotes a method of farming husbandry where the animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner. In the United States, USDA regulations apply only to poultry and indicate that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. The USDA regulations do not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside.

While the definition of free range in the United States turns this into a bit of a joke (walking through a cramped outdoor pen for 5 minutes a day could qualify a farmer to charge you more for their expensive “free-range” birds and eggs) it makes the answer to my question quite clear, at least in one part of the world.

In the winter it is our birds’ choice to not leave the outdoors enclosed pen. Although we’ve tried on occasion to coax them out they want nothing to do with it. But even on the coldest day, our birds always have daily access to a fenced in outdoor pen. This means that although in the U.S. we are definitely considered to have free-range chickens and thus have free-range eggs. Alas though, elsewhere in the world because of our chickens’ reluctance to step forth into the yard when there is snow, our birds are considered “contained chickens.” *sigh*

Even though we feed the girls treats, place a light in the hen house on the coldest of nights, hang holiday decorations on their walls, and treat them as humanely as we would any member of our family, our birds are still considered imprisoned, because ultimately when you come down to it, a wire cage will always be just that, a wire cage.

Me go out there? Surely you jest.

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs, New Hampshire, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Chicken Challenge