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Posts Tagged ‘Pasture-raised eggs’

The USDA has just adjusted the official nutritional information about eggs after testing a random sampling of eggs throughout the country. The last time they did this was in 2002. Present-day eggs average 14% less cholesterol and 64% more vitamin D than previously measured. Everything else is about the same. Nutrition labeling on eggs will soon reflect these new data.

According the American Egg Board, “Some researchers believe the natural decrease in the cholesterol level of eggs could be related to the improvements farmers have made to the hens’ feed.”  Well, duh! And what would happen if we let hens eat living plants and bugs out in the sun?

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Pullets

Today was graduation day for a batch of six-week-old chicks. We moved them out of the brooding house and into the long greenhouse where they will spend the rest of the winter. They have plenty of straw and hay for bedding, plus some heat lamps for warmth. In the spring, they should start laying just as the weather gets warm enough to bring them out to the pasture.

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Egg Benefits

I am delighted to report that our winter season eggs have maintained an incredible taste advantage over those industrial-farmed eggs you find in the supermarket. Our hens are still foraging outside every day in their winter paddock, and we still feed them all-organic feed with no antibiotics and no hormones. At night, the hens sleep in their hoophouse with natural sapling roosts and deep straw bedding. I feel good about the health benefits of the eggs and about the welfare of the hens, but when I hear my family ooh and aah over breakfast—that’s what it’s all about!

Check out these photos by Sara Maxwell

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This weekend we moved the chickens into the hoophouse, where they will spend the winter. They are only laying about a dozen eggs a day, but that should improve a lot when we add lighting to their house. They will still have an open door to roam outside during the day all winter long. However, bugs are getting scarce and green grass won’t last much longer. If you would like to experience the deep orange yolks of pastured-raised eggs, stop by soon. When the green grass is gone, the yolks will look like “regular” eggs.

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We have posted before about the controversy over the National Organic Standard strengthening its outdoor access requirement. But we just found this great video by the Cornucopia Institute that explains the issue superbly. Cornucopia has also published a full report on the matter, including a really useful list of how all the organic egg  brands measure up. Interestingly, the only national brand that gets top marks is Vital Farms (sold at Whole Foods). Last I checked, they were getting $5.99 a dozen. This report might jack that price even higher!

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Eggs!

Today I discovered the first two eggs laid by our Rhode Island Reds–a feeling that took me back to the Easter-egg hunts of my childhood. Eggs for breakfast tomorrow!

The hens are only nineteen weeks old, and we did not expect them to start laying for two more weeks. Now we have to scramble (so to speak) and set up their laying boxes and adjust their feed from a growing ration to a laying ration. OK, I promise that will be the last egg pun.

Once the hens are laying in full swing, we will post pricing and pickup details on the “To Order” page, so please check back in a couple of weeks.

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