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We had six eggs from each of the 14 pastured flocks tested by an accredited laboratory in Portland, Ore. The chart lists the individual results from each flock. We think these dramatically differing nutrient levels are most likely the result of the different diets of birds that produce these two types of eggs. Factory farm birds never even see the outdoors, let alone get to forage for their natural diet. Both organizations need to come clean. The Egg Board statement goes on to say: They think they can simply ignore the growing body of evidence that clearly shows that eggs are superior when the hens are allowed to eat their natural diet. Cite some science to support your assertions! Poultry and Egg Association offers the same misleading statement on its website: Free-range eggs are from hens that live outdoors or have access to the outdoors. The nutrient content of eggs from free-range hens is the same as those from hens housed in production facilities with cages. But the most ridiculous online comments turned up at www. The claim only means that the hens have access to the outdoors, not that they avail themselves of the opportunity. The hens produce fewer eggs so they are more expensive; higher product costs add to the price of the eggs. The nutrient content is the same as other eggs. Chickens will spend almost their entire day ranging around a property scratching and searching for food. Even as tiny chicks, they are naturally curious and will begin eating grass and pecking curiously at any insects or even specks on the walls of their brooder box. Supermarket Guru did get one thing right, though. As usual, you get what you pay for. If you buy the cheapest supermarket eggs, you are not only missing out on the valuable nutrients eggs should and can contain, you are also supporting an industrial production system that treats animals cruelly and makes more sustainable, small-scale egg production difficult. You can raise pastured chickens easily right in your back yard — see our recent articles about how to do it here. Or you can find pastured eggs at local farmstands and farmers markets, or sometimes at the supermarket. Tell the store manager you want eggs from pastured hens, and encourage the manager to contact local producers. Best of all, the eggs taste better, are better for you, and add amazing flavor and color! Plus, I appreciate knowing how fresh they are. Now that I get the added benefit of less cholesterol and all the nutrition, I am simply delighted. Langdon, Misty Meadows maniac. Her study also tested pastured chicken meat, and found it to have 21 percent less fat, 30 percent less saturated fat and 50 percent more vitamin A than the USDA standard. The eggs had similar levels of fat and cholesterol, but the pastured eggs had three times more omega-3s, percent more vitamin E and 62 percent more vitamin A than eggs from caged hens. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan. You misunderstood their point. The industry definition of free range is "access to the outdoors". What they described is exactly what happens in industrial egg farms that claim free range. If you want to buy free range you need to find a local farmer and ask questions. Find out what free range means to them. Check out their farm. But don't just trust a label on a carton of eggs at the grocery. They go back and get drinks and lay eggs but all of my chickens really enjoy the free range. And my family and neighbors like the taste of the eggs they produce. Most of the articles we listed in the "Mounting Evidence" sidebar should be available online if you paste our sentences into Google. And at least one citation has been posted in the comments below. There is nothing more relaxing than starting a day with a cuppa on the back verandah and watching my girls feed that also includes my ducks.. Any chance you could provide a proper citation for it? I watch them run around, chase each other, find prime bug and greens spots. One of their favorite greens is clover. It has to be good for them, I ran out of eggs one time, after selling them all off mistakenly leaving us with none. So had to crawl into the store and get a dozen. Cracked those eggs and the yolks were just a light yellow. Next day did a side by side comparrison to one of our fresh laid eggs and our yolks were a vivid orange, not even yellow compared to store bought. I cannot make a "white" cake with them, they turn it yellow! The taste alone tells us all we need to know, they taste better, but we know they are much better for us, and we are putting that many less caged birds out of the equation. We change our water out every morning and evening. I've heard of chickens ceasing to lay on a high-corn diet. Check out the nutritional content of your feed. They get really grouchy and slow down significantly if we run out of scratch and try to get by on layer feed alone until we make it to the feed store, so we learned our lesson and try not to ever let that happen. Aside from layered feed, we do give them bread and wild bird seed. They stopped laying, so we have just been giving layered feed thinking they were not getting their nutrition. What do you think is wrong, or is this normal and they are finished laying? Also, how often should we change their water? Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 25, pp Accepted for peer-reviewed publication Oct 8, I also have pastured poultry and would like to be able to list the nutritional content of the actual eggs produced on our farm. I just cited it in an article I have posted here: Our newly hatched chicks do receive an organic chick starter, but once they are feathered out enough to stay warm, they are out to pasture with only a once-daily coffee-can of organic grain per 50 birds to keep them tame. Our hens often sneak out and hatch a clutch on their own, and raise the chicks to adult size just fine. Everywhere we walked, we would literally kick up dozens with each step! The neighbors use conventional agriculture, while we are organic. The grasshoppers, of course, preferred our place because we do not spray. We went to the local swap meet and brought home turkeys, guineas, and chickens. When we brought them home, we were going to wait a while to release them, but they were stretching their necks through the cages trying to get at the grasshoppers, so we turned them loose. Man, they went crazy chasing down all the grasshoppers! It took them an entire summer to accomplish their feat, but they eventually ate most of the 'hoppers. We have had relatively few hoppers ever since, but unfortunately, the poultry also eat the good guys, like preying mantis and spiders. It says that USDA eggs have 0. And just as an FYI, omega-3 fatty acids are about the best thing that "modern medicine" has to reduce very high triglycerides google Lovasa for the medicine. Glad to know that raising my own poultry will help me keep more of this in my diet. We have always had all kinds of bugs in and around our house. We bought the granddaughters baby chicks this year at a grand opening of a new farm store. This is the 1st year we had barely noticed any bugs of any type and that includes spiders that always hang from our oak trees. My sons have complained for years about them, saying we need to spray or something. Well, turned out the chickens were the only something we needed. No grasshoppers, spiders, earwigs, crickets and even my small frogs. I have to be very careful about the frogs. I usually water the yard after dark so the chicks are roosting and the frogs can try and get flying bugs. This is the best way for anyone to control the pests around their homes. While I do give them a commercial feed as a suppliment, they eat very little of it per day. So I wold venture that TRUE free- range birds might actually cost LESS since not only do they eat very little feed, they take very little maintenence since they do the majority of their bowel movements spread out over many acres, and I don't need artificial light or heat on them. They know what dark means - it is time to head back home to go to bed. And here is the final rebel thing I do I heaven forbid let a HEN set, hatch, brood, and raise a clutch whenever she has a mind to. No incubator, no brooder, the chicks never display any of the vices well - known in brooder raised birds like pecking and even killing each other. The chickens are healthier because they get sunshine and fresh air and grasshoppers, and the eggs are just better. Everybody knows farm eggs are better than store eggs. In the meantime each of us is equipped with a miniature lab to test food quality--it's called the olfactory-gustatory-visual system. The rich color of the egg yolks and and superior taste tells us that eggs from pastured hens are better.
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