Farm Fresh Pastured Eggs
We raise several different varieties of hens. This helps spread the natural laying rate out over most of the year. It also gives us White, Brown, Green and Light blue eggs. We sell them in mixed dozens with several colors in each dozen.
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And to answer an often asked question: Only the shells are colored and once cracked into a dish our colored eggs look and taste the same as the white eggs. Well, the same as the white eggs we produce. When it comes to comparing them to store bought eggs, the difference in quality is easy to see.
You can see the difference.
When you crack one of our eggs in a dish next to a store bought egg, you will see drastic differences. You can immediately see that the yolk on our egg stands up instead of laying there deflated like a store bought egg. The white of our egg also stands up and holds together instead of running all over the plate. And the yolks on our eggs are a deep orange, rather than the pale yellow to which you may have become accustom.
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What causes these differences in quality?
The freshness and the conditions under which the Laying Hens are raised are what affects the quality and determines the health benefits of eggs.
While eggs can remain safely in your refrigerator for a couple weeks after you buy them, the older they become the more the quality suffers. When you take into account that eggs from a commercial factory farm are gathered and shipped to a processing plant, cleaned, graded, sorted, packaged and placed in a large cooler to keep until a large enough number are assembled to fill a semi-truck. They are then again shipped hundreds and even thousands of miles to the warehouses of your local supermarket chain. And then put on other trucks for delivery to you local supermarket where they sit in the refrigeration units until they are rotated out to the display cases where you can buy them. Since each of these steps can take a considerable amount of time, its hard to say just how fresh eggs might be when purchased from the supermarket. If the visual comparison with our eggs is any indicator, they aren't very fresh at all.
Our eggs are collected several times a day to ensure that they are as fresh as possible. As they are cleaned, they are carefully inspected. Any eggs that are suspect are removed and if found to still be good, are recycled through our mobile, fully-furred, alarm system (Tasha, the guard dog). They are cooled in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and delivered to our customers as soon as possible.
The conditions normally found in a commercial laying house are not what you would consider humane or healthy. They are big business and run as such, pushing the hens for maximum production and then discarding them. They are so closely packed together in unsanitary conditions that there is a need to constantly medicate their feed to prevent rampant disease.
In contrast, our hens are raised outdoors. During the day, they are out in the sunshine ranging the fields and woods of the ranch. In addition to free access to a mixture of whole grains and commercial rations, they forage insects and green plants and grasses. The green plants and grasses are an important part of their diet, as not only does it supply trace vitamins and minerals, the chlorophyll they contain acts as a natural cleanser for the hens.
The laying hens are managed in a portable laying house. This 20 foot by 10 foot structure contains 40 nest boxes and roosts to handle the entire laying flock. The two long sides and the roof are metal with the ends being protected by cattle panel gates. The opening in the cattle panels are large enough to allow the hens unrestricted access in and out, but small enough to offer another layer of protection against larger predators. During inclement weather one end is closed up with a wooden wall. Like the broiler pen, it has no floor and is moved every few days to eliminate any manure build up. A 330' run of portable electric netting encircles the laying house to provide predator protection. During the day the hens range outside the netting and across the fields. When the laying house is moved, the netting is moved as well allowing us to range it across the whole farm.
If you would like to see a more detailed comparison between our hens and those in a commercial operation you can select the below link, but be warned commercial conditions are not pleasant:
Comparison of Layer conditions
Health Benefits of Pasture raised eggs
The health benefits of Pasture raised eggs stems from the higher percentages of good fats that they contain due to the healthy diet to which the hens have access. This diet results in high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats that your body needs.
There are many kinds of fats in the body. Some of the most crucial fats that your body can not manufacture itself are the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. If the ratio of Omega-6 fats to Omega-3 fats exceeds 4 to1, people have more health problems. This is especially meaningful since grain-fed animal products can have ratios that exceed 20 to 1, whereby the ratio for grass-fed animal products is down around 3 to 1.Eggs Fat Ratios:
are Omega-3 Fatty Acids Important For Your Health?
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for normal growth and play an important role in the prevention and treatment of:
It has been estimated that only 40 percent of Americans consume a sufficient supply of these nutrients. Twenty percent have levels so low that they cannot be detected. Switching to grassfed animal products is one way to restore these vital nutrients to your diet. When we switch from grain-fed to grassfed animal products, we are simply returning to the diet of our long-ago ancestors, the diet that is most in harmony with our physiology. Every cell and every system of our bodies will function better when we eat products from animals raised on grass.
- Other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders
Follow this link for more information on the benefits of Grass Fed and Pastured animal products.