This information is provided as a brochure at our farm stand. It contains a lot of useful information for those interested in the difference between farm fresh, pasture raised eggs and those found in super markets. It’s more than just great taste.
We hope you enjoy these eggs from our free-range, pastured chickens. Our hens spend their nights safe and secure in their hen house but spend their days roaming freely around our small farm, getting plenty of exercise and finding all the nutrient-rich treats they can. You may notice a few differences between our eggs and those from a grocery store.
-Our eggs were laid the week you purchased them. Most grocery store eggs were laid about 45 days prior to their arrival at the store.
-Pasture raised hens lay eggs with yolks that are deep yellow or almost orange. That intense color is from the beta-carotenes in the fresh greens that our hens eat.
-We have several different breeds of chickens laying eggs in shades of brown, blue and green. Shell color has no effect on taste. Great taste comes from the great food our hens eat.
-The white spot attached to the yolk is called the “chalazae”, which serves to hold the yolk in the center of the egg. The chalazae are often not noticeable in store bought eggs because it is absorbed by the white as the egg ages. The chalazae is a sign of freshness and not harmful or bad. It is not an embryo or sign of a fertile egg, a common misconception.
-A dark spot on a yolk is called a “blood spot”. These are very rare. Less than 1% of all eggs produced have blood spots. Contrary to popular opinion, these tiny spots do not indicate a fertilized egg either. They are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface during formation of the egg inside the hen. These are also absorbed as the egg ages, and therefore not seen in store bought eggs. A blood spot indicates that an egg is fresh. Both chemically and nutritionally these eggs are perfectly safe to eat. If you wish, the spot can be removed with the tip of a knife.
-Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel when hard boiled. Keep your eggs for a week or so before you hard boil them. Some say adding a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water will help when peeling very fresh eggs.
-A couple other small differences you may notice are an occasional bump on the outside of the egg shell or slight discoloration. Each egg a hen lays is unique, just like each tomato or each apple is slightly different. In factory egg farms the eggs are sorted for irregularities and those eggs are sold to the baking industry, so you never see these variations.
According to a recent study from Mother Earth News, nutritionally, pastured eggs have more of the “good stuff” than grocery store eggs:
7 times more Beta Carotene 2/3 more Vitamin A
3 times more Vitamin E 2 times more Omega-3s
And less of the “bad stuff”:
1/3 less Cholesterol 1/4 less saturated fat