Thursday, January 3, 2013

Eggs! Free Range and Loving it!

We love fresh eggs! When we moved out of the city eleven years ago, a priority was to buy chicks so we'd have fresh eggs. The taste of a fresh, free range egg is outstanding.  At one point during the last 11 years, we had to buy eggs at the grocery store. Not realizing that I was serving store-bought eggs, my children balked and said, "Something is wrong with the eggs! They taste terrible!"  That was it. We now eat fresh eggs from our own hens, or we go without. Not until 2012 did we start selling eggs to others, realizing that we could provide these wonderful, healthful eggs for people who couldn't raise their own.

Wondering what we would call our eggs, we began researching the common names people give to eggs. There are "Cage Free,"  "Free Range,"  "Pastured Hen Eggs," etc. When you research these titles, you might come to think, like we did, that a governmental title means little as long as the operation is still industrialized. With this in mind, we'd like to explain what you are buying when you buy our eggs.

First of all, we raise our own chicks, buying day-old chicks from a reputable hatchery. We request that the hatchery NOT give inoculations before shipment. We carefully control the environment of our new chicks, and we handle them frequently as they are growing because we want our hens to be friendly since we have constant contact with them in the yard.

We never give our hens vaccinations or chemical wormers. The hens are free to eat what they like, roaming in the yard, although we do have fenced boundaries to keep the chickens safe. We move these fences from place to place in our attempt to improve our soil's fertility as well as to give the hens fresh grazing grounds. We believe that rotational grazing keeps the hens healthy while increasing the productivity of our land.

You can look online to see for yourself that fresh eggs from pastured hens that are out in the sunshine are far superior nutritionally. For instance, eggs from pastured hens contain 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical grocery store eggs, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene. ( Once you try fresh eggs from hens who live in the fresh air, you'll be able to taste the difference.

So, we want to encourage you to support local farmers who work hard to bring you the freshest, best tasting, most nutritious eggs possible.