First a little back story. Did you know that a well cared for hen can live as long, if not longer, than the family dog or cat? True, but they only lay for about 3 or 4 years, and you usually won't get a whole lot of eggs in the colder months. I have been getting farm fresh eggs from my parents for years, but well, their gals are getting a little on the old side. A couple of months ago they just stopped laying! Much to my dismay, I actually broke down and bought eggs at the store. Something I hadn't done in a very long time. So I really studied those eggs at Walmart, trying to make the best choice for my family. I finally chose organic, free-range eggs for almost $4 a dozen.
I should have know something was amiss when I opened the carton and all the eggs were the exact same shade of brown (can we say "spray paint!"). I guess you could say I was turning a blind eye. About 3/4 of the way through my last dozen store bought eggs I get the call I have been waiting for all winter..."The girls are laying again!" YAY!!! I was so excited when my mom brought me my fresh eggs, but I wanted to make sure the others didn't go to waste. So as we were making dinner (I can't remember what...fried rice maybe?) I cracked open the last old egg and needed one more. So into the bowl went a fresh, local, truly organic egg.
I knew there was a difference, but until I saw them side by side I didn't know how big that difference was. Keep in mind that on the outside these two eggs were the same size.
The one on the top is the one from my parent's chickens. After I saw this, I actually said, "Holy S#*t! I have got to take a pic of this! No one will believe me!" My husband was even impressed...not easily done.
Another fun fact...you can actually tell what a hen has been fed by the color of the yolk. A hen that has been fed yellow corn and has been allowed to really and truly roam and forage will have a nice, large orange yolked egg. Chickens LOVE to eat bugs and grass and anything else they can find hidden in the shallow earth. Some sources even say that these eggs contain more nutrients. I like to think that is true.
On the other hand, hens that are kept "cooped up", not allowed to forage, and are fed a diet of wheat and a little white corn have very pale yolks. Much smaller one too.
They say you are what you eat...so you have to decide...do you want to be weak, anemic looking, and tiny on the inside, or do you want to be strong, vibrant, and full of health? Hhmmm....seems like a no brainer to me.