We have been selling eggs for several weeks now, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to write about our chickens, and more specifically, our eggs.
We have 25 (mostly) Rhode Island Red hens that we bought here in town this past spring. We bought 25 baby chicks and still have our original 25!! And they are thriving. We recently (this past Saturday) gained 3 adult white leghorn hens from a neighbor and farm customer. Those chickens are doing well also, and lay beautiful white eggs that look really weird next to our mix of brown eggs.
We have been very successful selling eggs and are planning to get 25 more chickens this fall!! Of course, we won't have more eggs until at least spring, but these things take time. :)
We are asked lots of questions about our eggs. Here are some of them with the answers.
Are the eggs organic?
This is a very hard topic to discuss, because technically everything we grow/produce is "organic", but we can't use the term "organic" because we aren't certified organic. We are Certified Naturally Grown, which follows the same guidelines and is even more strict in several areas. Our chickens are NOT Certified Naturally Grown. Animals/livestock are inspected and certified through another entity. CNG only deals with produce and bees/honey. Our operaiton is not large enough to involve these "entities" at this time, but at some point we may consider becoming certified. With all that being said, our chickens are fed mostly with our produce. Things that have over ripened, spoiled, or compost from our kitchen. They also have free choice feed, which is a Purina Chicken feed that is non medicated. The majority of their diet is bugs, graass and vegetable matter. So..................we are not "organic", but the chickesns eat all natural fruits and vegetables and non medicated chicken feed. :)
Why are the eggs different than store bought eggs?
The eggs look and taste different because of their diet and lifestyle. They are basically pampered. They have plenty of room to roam, and when they eat the grass bugs in a certain area, we move them so they have new, fresh ground. That, in addition to the vegetables and grain they're getting, they produce a really great tasting nutritious egg. The yolks are firmer and darker and the whites are different as well. This is all nutrition based and means they are healthy hens with a wonderfuly well rounded diet. The shells are also much harder due to the same reasons.
Do you wash the eggs?
We rinse the eggs, but don't scrub them. There's a layer on the outside of the egg and if it is removed from vigorous washing, the egg will spoil sooner.
How long will the eggs last once I get them home?
Refrigereated, the eggs will last at least a month or more and be just fine.
Will you take egg cartons and reuse them?
We LOVE getting egg cartons from you guys!! Please bring us our egg cartons back, as well as any you have bought elsewhere. We only want the cardboard/compostable ones, though. No styrofoam or plastic, please. Also, please keep in mind that we are reusing egg cartons, so don't pay attention to what's printed on it!! :) We add a label with our info and the date. Those are the only two things that apply to our farm and our eggs.
Can we go see the chickens?
When you're out at the farm for CSA or the produce sale, you can go see the chickens if you'd like. Just ask us in the farm room where they are, as we move them around quite a bit. And remember, the fence/netting around the chicken yard IS ELECTRIC!! Stay back a few feet and watch small children closely.
I hope this answers most of your questions about the eggs and chickens!! Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have more. :)
See you soon!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )