Sunday, December 25, 2011

Inside Out

What's all the ruckus about eggs from your own chickens?  An egg is an egg.  Under the proper conditions it will grow into a chicken.  No big deal (other than the miracle of this whole process under any circumstances).  Or not.

Now that at least one of my girls has moved into puberty and ovulation, my list of Things I get to do today includes telling you what the big deal is.  There are even pictures (worth a thousand philosophical tweets) to help you get the full message.

A hen in my hen pen grazes on greens every day.  To be healthy she needs her grain, grits and oyster shells, but to be contented she needs to scratch the dirt and duff, eating from it whatever she pecks and pleases.  To be blissfully happy, she gets the greens.  You can see the evidence of the variety in diet by the color of the yolk.

Store bought: Big and pale

A store bought egg, even those that say cage-free, seldom, if ever, comes from a chicken who gets fresh grass or greens on her daily menu.  Visually, here is the difference.

Dark yoke in the egg  from my hen
Healthy, contented and very happy hens wander about the whole back yard (aimlessly it seems, but they are really just using their beak as a directional device: here some grass, there some dirt, over there some chicken feed. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.)
Side-by-side comparison of two eggs.  Next time you turn an egg inside-out, check for a green-grass center.
The orange-yoked egg from my hen is small (the hens first attempt
 often produces a little egg) compared to the yellow-yoked store egg.

1 comment:

  1. and taste, too! maybe it's just because the color is so much richer that i think it also tastes so much richer...but taste, oh yes, it tastes better, just like a home grown tomato or zuchini or green bean, or..... home grown beats store bought every time!