Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Missy's Homestead: Cage-Free is the way to be

I love eggs.  I can eat them all the time.  Before I met my husband I didn't really pay attention to where my eggs come from or what type of environment the chickens were being kept in. Greg was very adamant  that we always buy eggs that came from happy happy chickens.
Often times farms keep their chickens in tiny little cages where they just sit and lay lay lay.  Not a happy environment for producing the best eggs.  A few terms you see now a days are "Cage-Free" and "Free Range" which are suppose to mean that the chickens are allowed to freely roam about. In other words happy chickens.  However, currently there is not much regulation on how free range or cage free these chickens have to be in order to qualify for that term.  The best way to ensure that you are getting the best quality eggs (from happy chickens) is to go to your local farmers markets and buy them directly from the farmers themselves. Another great thing about organic eggs is that you can keep them on your kitchen counter instead of in the fridge.  Eggs that are processed for the grocery store get treated with products that break their natural inside seal.  Organic eggs do not have this problem and so their natural casings can keep the egg fresh on your counter.  (Crazy sounding?! I know).

When I (and my friends!) finally completed the goal of the chicken coop this past fall I was elated!  Fresh eggs all the time.  I couldn't wait for our first egg.  And then I realized that we had purchased our chickens too late in the year and that they would probably not start laying eggs until this coming spring of 2013.  Well guess what!??! Recently one of our little chicken ladies has started laying eggs!  They are pretty small but the yokes are a deep yellow and super rich.  Greg made up a batch of friend eggs the other day and sent me a picture.  He said they tasted delicious. Best eggs he has had in a long time.  (When I get back to the homestead I want to do some side by side comparisons of the store bought eggs to the eggs that are laid by my little flock.  I think we will be shocked at how better our home eggs are than from the store.)

Now I know not everyone can have chickens.  There is not always the time, room or money.  However, you can try to buy farm fresh eggs.  And if you can't do that try to buy Cage Free/Free Range.  Even though it can cost a little more those eggs will be better.  Because they came from happy chickens.

Okay until next time,

Consume More, Buy Less, Buy Farm Fresh.


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