Eggscellent Eggs!

When produced in your backyard, eggs are a perfectly balanced and super healthy food! One of the reasons I started raising hens was because I couldn’t find the eggs I wanted in the grocery store. I remembered eggs from my great-grandmother’s farm and nothing seemed to compare. So I started raising my own hens, and after the first breakfast of scrambled eggs made with eggs from my own backyard flock, I was hooked forever!

Eggs from your backyard flock are super fresh. But it is more than freshness that makes the eggs so wonderful… The yolks are bright, orangey yellow, the texture of the yolk and white is springy, and they are sweet and fully egg-flavored. This difference is because backyard chickens live a much more natural lifestyle than almost all commercial egg production chickens. Backyard chickens spend their time doing things that chickens love to do: they eat lots of grass and greens, scratch the earth, take dust baths, run and flap around, and search through the grass and scrubs for insects. It is this natural way of being – getting sunshine and exercise and a varied diet – that makes truly healthy chickens and thus lets them lay fully healthy and complete eggs just as nature intended.

There have been many tests and studies done recently comparing the nutrient levels in eggs from pasture-raised or backyard chickens with the eggs from conventional, commercial operations. Eggs from backyard flocks are much higher in omega 3 fatty acids, higher in vitamin E, higher in vitamin A, and higher in antioxidants like beta-carotene. Backyard eggs also have 4 to 6 times more of the very important nutrient, vitamin D, than conventional, commercially raised eggs! And all the nutrients in backyard eggs are in a perfectly balanced state for humans to metabolize and use them fully and correctly.

Eggs from backyard flocks also have been shown to be much lower in cholesterol and have a better balance of saturated fats than conventional commercially raised eggs. When preparing your own backyard eggs, do not feel compelled to throw away the yolk and use only the whites. Eggs are a whole and perfect food, and the yolk contains most of the nutrients. The yolk may have more fat in it than the white, but if the egg was laid by a backyard hen, the types of fats the yolk contains are good and healthy fats and are hard to find in our current foods. One of the important functions of the fats present in yolks is that they feed and nourish the brain. The fats in egg yolks have similar properties to the fats in fish, and remember fish is brain-food!

It seems almost unbelievable how such a simple act as raising a flock of laying hens in your backyard can produce a food that has so much health to offer! I grow lots of vegetables and greens and herbs, but being able to also harvest a great and healthy source of protein and fat from my backyard in the form of eggs, really makes me feel self-sufficient. Nothing beats having an omelet made only with stuff I grew myself!