Let's talk eggs. It's simple: the commercial egg is the result of exquisite control of the laying hen. Its physiognomy, diet and environment are all selected with one goal in mind, to get a lot of cheap eggs. The bird's health and comfort, the effect on the environment, and the taste of your egg are secondary. I will not go into detail on the issue of inhumane methods; it's ugly. Raise that egg the right way, and you get a better tasting egg you can feel better about.
You can control early onset of sexual maturity and egg-laying, how much square footage a bird will need to stay alive, whether it has a beak, what it eats and how much it moves. You can feed a strict ration designed to get the largest number of eggs possible before the hen is too stressed and worn out to be useful and is taken out of production to become soup (a thought to keep in mind when soup-shopping). You can compensate for providing an unhealthy environment with medications. I am not sure how you compensate for stinking up the neighborhood with what an egg factory smells like. You can produce a homogenous cheap egg with utter control focused on that one objective, but not a good egg. When the natural happens, when you do not micromanage the chicken's day, when you let the chicken stay in charge of what to feed herself and how to produce an egg, you get magic. You get a bright orange-colored yolk that stands up as a fresh egg yolk should. It tastes like something, not just whatever you cooked it with. It is an egg to be reckoned with.
Incidentally, all our eggs are fertilized - at least, that's how the roosters are telling it. However, there is no basis for most of the folklore about the value of fertilized eggs, except that they do not keep as long, as in, not for weeks and weeks like the ones in the store. What you may have heard about the health benefits of range-free eggs and meat is true. The fat is different in both the eggs and meat, and much better for you.
Our eggs are not homogenous. They are the product of relative independence on the part of the birds. We provide water, pasture and free-choice access to good quality feeds to supplement what the birds find for themselves. They are, of course, more dependent on us in the winter. The first sign of spring at my house is not a robin, it is a chicken throwing the bark mulch from my garden onto the lawn in search of bugs.
The birds decide what to eat and, weather permitting, they are out scratching for delicacies in the lawns, gardens, and pastures all day. They, and their eggs, are the products of diversity.
To begin with, they donít all look alike, not the chickens and not the eggs. The eggs are different colors, ranging from a pale cream, through taupe and buff to cafť au lait, with the occasional pastel thrown in for fun. Some are white; we include them for variety.
I donít know exactly who lays what, except that I can correlate eggs to a short list of breeds based on egg color. As far as I am concerned, those chickens are on their honor to act like chickens, which means they will lay eggs. My job is to provide an environment that will permit them to lay more, rather than less. I get enough eggs. Youíll get enough eggs.
A word about Duck Eggs . . . Maybe they are not for everyone. They are large and quantities for baking must be adjusted. They donít fit in the egg box very well. However, they are good, and look mighty handsome in a skillet. The nutritional value differs slightly from chickens, as does the appearance and taste. If you are interested, let me know. I will happily sell them by the egg, rather than by the dozen if youíd like to give them a try.
Call or write if you need eggs. Iíll talk to the ladies. Seriously now, you will find ordering and contact information at Products & Prices.