We’ve talked before about all the positives of having your very own backyard chicken eggs; they’re delicious, fresh, organic and, to some degree, even free. But what about nutritious? Are backyard chicken eggs truly healthier or are they just more delicious? Let’s find out!
Eggs from backyard chickens (or any free-range, pasture raised chicken) are different than eggs from the store due to several reasons, but the environment is definitely at the top. In factories, the standard procedure is to keep chickens caged at all times in cages so small that they can’t even spread their wings. The cages are stacked up so all the waste from one chicken falls to the one below. This, of course, spread diseases easily. There’s no exercise, no flock to bond to.
Compare that to your backyard chickens. If you have free-range chickens they get daily exercise, running around and exploring. Even if you don’t have a large backyard they can still spread their wings as far and as often as they want to. If one of them is sick it’s usually isolated from the rest and treated immediately. They belong to a flock. Their owners usually know them by name and see them every single day to check up on their health and control what they eat. And speaking of eating…
A chicken from a factory is fed the same, cost-effective, basic feed. Backyard chickens owners however put a lot of thought and effort into feeding the right things to their flock. Their diet besides their high quality feed usually include fruits and other snacks, leftovers of real food and all the grass and bugs they can find in the backyard! Their diet is usually even customized to them by their owners according to the season and their needs. Just take a look at our store to see the quality of feed and supplements we pick for backyard chickens!
All these factors contribute to an overall excellent diet which not only has a direct impact on their health but on their eggs as well. You can prove it by getting eggs from your local farmer’s market or your own healthy backyard chickens and comparing them to store bought ones. The latter ones will have a stronger flavor and a silkier texture. You’ll immediately see the difference in color and in the strength of the shell.
There’s a clear and obvious difference between both the chickens’ health and the eggs that they produce, but what do the numbers say?
Studies by different sources concur time and time again that free-ranged chicken eggs are not only clearly different than store-bought ones in taste and appearance, but are actually healthier and more nutritious. This study shows that eggs from free-ranged chickens contain:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene
Some studies may contradict those results, and one of the reasons is the perception of “organic” and “free range”. The term “organic” only refers to the type of food they eat. “Free range” and “no cage” means that the chickens may very well be simply crowded together in a factory’s floor.
And while some there’s still room for further studies we invite you to try it comparing them yourself by getting eggs from your local farmer, or even better, by getting your own backyard chickens. Here’s what you need.