I think I need more chickens. No, I know I need more chickens. My four layers just can’t keep up with my consumption of eggs.
With very few options for breakfast these days (per my Anti-Candida Diet), eggs have been my mainstay. I’m glad, at least, I like eggs. And they are very filling. Three eggs can keep my belly quiet for a couple of hours. With this diet, that’s marvelous. It gives me a couple hours to come up with an idea for the next meal.
Because I’ve tried a few grain free recipes of late that require a monstrous amount of eggs, I used up my supply. Yes, I do get more each day, but I sell a dozen to my cousins every 2 weeks. I need to save at least 4 days of eggs to get them what they need. So, off to the store I go to buy cage free, non-antibiotic, vegetarian fed eggs.
Okay, let me just say first off, ‘Vegetarian Fed?’ Are you kidding? I’m telling you, those egg marketers are geniuses. They’re counting on us to not really think that through. Of course, they’re betting our first thought will be, ‘Yeah, I don’t want the chickens eating meat products. yuck.’
Do you know what pasture raised chickens eat? Bugs. Worms. And lots of ’em. And I hate to spill the beans, close your ears Egg Marketers, <whisper> that’s meat. Yep, and do you know what makes eggs taste divine? Chickens that eat meat. I know, it sounds a bit crass and unrefined and oh, so unhealthy, but it’s true. You want an egg that will knock your socks off? Eat a pastured chicken’s egg. Say that sentence three times fast.
Can you find the real egg?
You won’t believe the difference in yolk color. Instead of that lemony runny yolk you get from store bought eggs, you get an almost neon orange. It will be like looking at a tiny sun. At first, it will look wrong to you. You’ll think something is very wrong with your egg. You will be tempted to throw it away. Don’t do it!
The other thing you will notice first up, is it won’t run all over the place. It will stand firm.
And then the taste. Ohhhh. You’ll never want to go back.
And not just for the taste either. When compared to eggs currently sold in grocery stores, research has shown that pastured eggs have
• 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 and 4-6 times the vitamin D
You know, you could easily have your own yummy eggs each day without driving anywhere. You too could have your own chickens. We did it when we lived in the suburbs.
In Portland you can have up to 3 hens,
“ A person keeping a total of three or fewer chickens, ducks, doves, pigeons, pygmy goats or rabbits shall not be required to obtain a specified animal facility permit.” (City of Portland Code & Charter)
This is a similar design to our chicken ‘tractor’. We spent about $100 to build it.
Of all the animals we have right now, the chickens are the easiest to maintain. Although, if you ask my 10 year old, he might state otherwise. He’s in charge of feeding and watering. But really, they are the nicest birds and pretty much take care of themselves. We clean out their chicken tractor once a week (they only sleep in it at night) and then make sure they have food, water and oyster shells.
Oh, and occasionally we have to chase them out of the neighbor’s yard. Our neighbors are retired, and I think, enjoy the show. Who wouldn’t? I mean, come on, what’s more fun than watching the Peters family run around trying to catch 5 hens and a rooster. We aim to please.
If you live in a suburban neighborhood, I don’t recommend letting your chickens romp around your neighbor’s yard. As I discovered, not everyone sees free lawn fertilizer as a benefit.
Anyway, get yourself some real eggs, people. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t know where to find some pastured eggs? Give a holler to your friends on Facebook. Somebody there will know. Or try this: Local Harvest. Plop in your zip code and they’ll come up with some options for ya.
Wanna take the plunge and raise some chickies yourself? Stop by The City Chicken. She’s a real smartie when it comes to poultry. And she has some great pictures of chicken tractors that would be super easy to build. My favorite is the one made out of a mini storage container. Go ahead. Take a look. You’ll have fun.
-The Goat Lady