There are so many differences in eggs, depending on what the chickens eat. I know . . some of you think an egg is an egg is an egg and for all practical purposes, that’s halfway true. There’s always a debate about “free range” and “cage free” and what it means and the more I read about it, the more I realize that in order to be labeled “free range” or “cage free”, it’s not always what most consumers think they’re getting. I’m not going to get into it here but you can google it and get all kinds of information. Be aware that anyone can write anything. I’m proof! I never know what I’m talking about and here you are . . reading my ramblings! 🙂
What’s important to me is that my chickens are happy. We know Miss Hattie is quite happy. Yesterday, almost as soon as I’d put her up, she was out again. She walks up to me and lets me pick her up. Roscoe squawks and struts around with his tail feathers all flipped up . . he hates it when I put her up. I love watching those two!
All of my red hens, except of course, Miss Hattie, stay in about a 30′ x 40′ pen. We take them out from time to time and I let them play in the garden when I’m out there with them when the plants are large enough to provide some cover from birds of prey, but they spend most of their time inside their pen. They get lots of treats — watermelon, cantaloupe, sprouts, yogurt — I do think they’re happy chickens. They’re well cared for, they’re not crowded. They love to sit on my lap and get their backs scratched.
The black chickens go into their coop at night and we lock them up for their own safety. (Same with the red chickens.) I let them out at daylight and they have the run of the place. When not peeping in my windows to see what I’m doing, they’re chasing grasshoppers, or digging in soft dirt, or making a mess of Vince’s newly spread mulch. They’re happy chickens too.
But . . look at this.
See the bright orange yolk in the back? That’s either Miss Hattie’s egg or from one of the black hens.
These are the bowls of ingredients for the Migas I was fixing this weekend. See the one orange yolk? That’s from either Miss Hattie or one of the black hens.
Who would ever have thought green grasshoppers could make the yolk so orange? 🙂 Seriously, it has a lot to do with the amount of grass and greenery they eat. We keep feed out for all the chickens but since the black hens are eating grass, leaves off my flowers and grasshoppers all day, they don’t eat a lot of the feed we provide.
The yolks from all of these eggs are pretty yellow when compared to the average store bought egg but there’s definitely a difference in the eggs from the hens who run around eating whatever they can find from daylight til dark.
If you want all the eggs to have really dark yolks get some pans and grow grass for those ‘inside’ the pen chickens, might keep miss hattie in her pen more. Or maybe it’s just love the brings her out. We have that variation too. Chickens all came from the same batch at TSC but one lays a very dark brown egg, they others are lighter and all match.
Amazing difference! I’m thinking more and more about obtaining laying hens! specailly when I saw eggs at over$ a doz this week!
It is interesting that food affects the color of the yolk. That might be more than I want to think about when I’m eating eggs. =)
Linda Smith says
The “pasture raised” eggs I purchased from the store did not look nearly as good as your eggs. I wonder what “pasture raised” really means in the egg industry? It makes me wish for the good ol’ simple days!
I even had a double-yolked egg yesterday. Haven’t had that in awhile.