Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:08 pm
For a few years, I bought Eggland's Best, believeing their claim that these eggs are more nutricious than ordinary eggs. I do believe that the diet a chicken is fed determines how healthful the eggs are. But, other factors, such as excercise should be taken into account. Back to Eggland's Best: I feel uncomfortable with them. The shells are paper thin, which signals a problem to me. A good egg ought to have a good shell. EB's eggs must be lacking in something.

I have had this on my mind for a long time. Lately, I have been getting some free range eggs from vegetarian fed chickens. The eggs are very good, seems like, and the shells are very hard.

What about it? Am I on the right track?
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:13 pm
Thin egg shells is usually a sign that the hens are being fed a diet which makes them lay more frequently, and so the shells don't develop as they normally would. The eggs we got from our hens when i was a boy, if unwahsed, would keep for days without refrigeration, except in the hottest weather. Of course, they held up well to handling, too.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:17 pm
@edgarblythe,
Eggland's Best are factory farmed. It's not really one company, but an umbrella company for many producers. They make many claims, but they are really no better than any other supermarket type egg.

Go for the free range, Edgar, but you don't want vegetarian chickens. Chickens are meant to eat bugs and a healthy free range chicken will eat plenty of them. I agree shells should be hard and the yolk a bright orange (not yellow) that stands up high and does not break easily.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:18 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
What about it? Am I on the right track?


I'd say so. Don't know anything about the EB brand. I buy my eggs at the local Saturday morning farmer's market. These are all from free-range chickens, obviously hand-packaged and the difference between these and supermarket eggs is tremendous.

Btw, if the shells on your EB eggs are as thin as you say, it indicates a serious calcium deficiency in the chickens' diet.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:19 pm
Here's good example of color difference between a commercial egg and a free range:

http://www.genrecookshop.com/2eggs1107b.jpg



0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:22 pm
My pet chickens, Herietta and Lulu (now deceased) ate lots of crickets and whatever else they could find. They never knew a fence, until I had to move. They laid some delicious eggs every day. If I could return to that situation, I gladly would.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:34 pm
I had a weird experience with an egg this week. We bought omega-3 eggs and I had a hard boiled one and it stunk like fish. I'm allergic to fish. I'm going to find me a farmer!!!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:37 pm
I recently read a report (& I'm sorry, I can't locate it now) which suggested the number of "free range" eggs available on the Oz market far exceeded the the realistic possibilities, given the actual number of free range chooks in Australia. I still continue to buy free range eggs, because the ghastly realities of battery chicken farming are completely abhorrent to me, but ....? Confused
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 04:29 am
@msolga,
Many terms with regard to consumer products are ill-defined or undefined. Egg farms, for example, in the United States provide a minimum amount of space for their hens--9"x9"x9". If someone puts their hens in a cage which is 9"x9"x12", they might then call them free range chickens (this was reported in the U.S. media in one notorious case). One finds such fuzzy definitions equally in the use of terms such as organically grown (what plants, indeed, are not organically grown?) and "all natural." To be sure of getting "free range" eggs, one needs to know the farmer and to have assured oneself that that farmer is trustworthy.

Both GW and i have pointed out one clue that should leap to one's mind immediately--thicker egg shells--and GW points out another, the color of the yolks. It ain't easy, though.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 04:44 am
@msolga,
Free range is kind of a joke. They will have a large pen that holds about 1000 chicken and this pen has a small attached "Yard". The whole thing is on wheels and is moved about the chicky paddocks every day or so. (The pewns have a big clevis loop that a tractor will back up and hook up on their draw bars and then the driver will move the pen. The average "Free range" operation is about 30000 chickens aso these pens get moved on a schedule. The thing is, they define free range as captive fenced in , tightly packed chickens . So they will saw off the tops of their beaks to prevent the chickens from butchering each other.

Our 12 chickens just walk all over the fields and , when they feel the need to expell an egg, they hot foot it back to their cages and squeeze one out. WE keep a batch of feed near the laying areas and they prefer a snack after they lay.

Our eggs are as orange as an orange and stand high and proud and are very full flavored.
To underscore what set was saying, the food mix used in commercial feeds for market layers are loaded with oxytocin, this makes the damn chickens lay more frequently so the shells get thinner.

I once helped a neighbor who had a commercial chicken operation. HE had 60000 chickens delivered to a new building that was not finished yet. SO the pullet brooder just dumped the 60000 chickens on his parking lot. I helped feed them for the week or so that it took to finiosh building his new building.

LAughs ensued when we were loading the chickens into their cages. (The cages were so small that the chickens could only face one way. There was a feeding mechanism that came along with a chain driven doohicky that dropped feed int front of each cage. When the chickens were firt installed, this machine was not operating properly . Instead of dropping feed in feront of the chickens, it would lop off the head of any chicken that had its head sticking out of the cage when the feeder thing went by/ It took several days and several hundred dead chickens later to fix this. BEcause of that experience, eve only raised our own chickens and let them have the run of the fields. We lose one every so often but not 100's in a day from some stupid chain driven machine.

EAT MORE EGGS (but grow yer own)
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 07:18 am
Quote:
EAT MORE EGGS (but grow yer own)

Or know the farmer.
Yes, you have to know where you eggs come from. Like the word "organic", "free range" can mean very little. Having a small flock has become a sort of status hobby in the US. Most towns allow it if you don't keep a rooster. I even know a couple in Brooklyn who have three hens pecking around their little brownstone backyard.
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 10:44 am
This is the problem we have here in Ontario re: farm fresh eggs:

Quote:
Farm fresh eggs. That’s right, it took 50 pages of paperwork but John is finally legally allowed to sell his “own” eggs at the market. For those of you who aren’t aware, the Ontario Liberal government passed a law a few years back that prohibits farmers to sell their eggs off the farm unless they’ve been graded by the egg board. The problem with this is not only the cost to the small farmer, but that when you take your eggs in for grading they get dumped in with everyone elses so organic farmers can’t get their own eggs back to sell. John has managed to find a grader who will do his small batches, ensuring that you get the freshest eggs from hens who live in the fresh outdoors and are never fed GMO feedstock.

http://www.the-hen.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=594&Itemid=51


I never see eggs offered at a farmer's market. Unless you have the time and a vehicle to travel out into the country, you're out of luck. Unless, as Greenwitch says, you want to "grow" your own. There's quite a debate these days about whether urban areas are appropriate:

http://www.windsorstar.com/Backyard+chickens+called+productive+pets/2180747/story.html

I have to say those Chantecler chickens sound pretty interesting. Although, by the time we're reading to consider a few chickens we'll be living in the land of coyotes and foxes and bears, oh my...
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 05:44 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Both GW and i have pointed out one clue that should leap to one's mind immediately--thicker egg shells--and GW points out another, the color of the yolks. It ain't easy, though.


Well at least I sort of seem to buying something close to the real thing. The shells & the yolks appear right-ish!
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 05:49 pm
it's amazing the difference when we get eggs from my uncles chickens when compared to store bought

the shells are thick, the yolk is a deep yellow colour, and the flavour is unbelievable
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 05:50 pm
I will have to stick with the eggs I buy now, for the present. They have a very thick shell and the yolk stands up high. I haven't really noted how yellow or orange they are. Will look closer next time. I agree that chickens are not strictly vegetarian by nature, but at least when they are vegetarian fed by a large company, I can be reasonably certain they will not be fed the throwaway parts of animals.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Nov, 2009 06:09 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Free range is kind of a joke.


No doubt, farmer. But at the very least, when I'm buying "free range", I'm assuming that the conditions that those eggs were produced under aren't the very worst ones - the disgraceful battery chicken factories. I honestly don't know why they haven't been banned by now. No animals should have to endure such a cruel hideous existence. And as for eating the chickens from those hideous places .....! Never. Not if I can help it!

But it's bewildering. We have the choice of cage/battery eggs, barn-laid (which the RSPCA endorses (& even markets!), free range, open range, grain fed, organic ... etc, etc ... It really is time that some proper market controls were applied to the industry. It's a farce.

Quote:
Our 12 chickens just walk all over the fields and , when they feel the need to expell an egg, they hot foot it back to their cages and squeeze one out. WE keep a batch of feed near the laying areas and they prefer a snack after they lay.


Lucky chickens!
I grew up on a farm. The best eggs & the happiest of chickens, I know! Smile

Quote:
EAT MORE EGGS (but grow yer own)


Good idea! But, my local council might have something to say about my growing my own, in my own backyard. Not allowed (in the inner urban area where I live, anyway). I'm actually eating fewer eggs these days, but paying more for them. And crossing my fingers I'm getting what I've paid for! Wink
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 10:23 am
The first time I realized that all eggs are not the same was when I did a little house sitting at a place with a chicken coop. I collected the eggs and was free to eat them will I stayed. Not only are the yolks a deeper, more orange color, but they also have a much thicker yolk and white.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 10:58 am
@littlek,
The difference in the yolks and the consistency of the egg white in commercial eggs is a product of the feed the inmates of egg farms are fed. It's not just the egg shell that is affected.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 11:59 am
@Setanta,
some commercial operations feed their egg layers with marigold petals in with the feed so that the yokes arent too insipid.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 12:54 pm
@farmerman,
If you buy chickens to keep around the yard, but you don't have them penned in, what keeps them from wandering off?

Several of my neighbors seem to have small clutches of chickens which hang around their houses and peck around the ground, but I always wondered why those chickens don't just roam through the neighborhood.

Someone once told me that Chickens eat Ticks, so people sometimes keep chickens so that the tick population around the house stays low. I'm not sure how true all that is, but I heard it from a stranger so it must be true.
 

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