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what difference (nutritional facts) TRUE free ranged eggs vs store egg

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm just wondering about the nutritional values of the two...like the differences etc between our lovely back yard chicken eggs vs the store eggs ( organic, free ranged, omega 3 and regular)

I started a Animal Cruelty Awareness Club in my college and I want to give a presentation on raising your own chickens big_smile just wana give a quick tip/fact about the eggs they produce.

If you guys have actual stats and nutritional labels/facts etc please share with me !!

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I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

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Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
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post #2 of 20

Good luck finding them. The diet of a true free range bird can vary seasonally and regionally. So that will be hard to determine. A hen with 10 acres of desert in Arizona vs a hen with 100 sq feet in a lush garden have a different diet. That said. True free range hens need to be fed a balanced ration they can eat as much as they want of in case they cannot find what they need. Furthermore, sometimes they are true pigs and will fill up on "unhealthy" snacks and not eat a balanced meal like kids eating lots of candy!

Nutritionally, what goes in comes out, but the basic stats are probably about the same across the board because what's in them is enough to make a whole new chicken.

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I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

thats true, i didnt really consider that, I automatically assumed that everyone's chicken have green grass plenty of bugs and good sunlight/weather for their chickens lol

Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

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Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

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post #4 of 20

In some arguments, a cooped up chicken is a safer chicken too. No fear of being killed by a predator, chased by something that wants to try to kill them, no risk of bad weather, or getting worms and other parasites from the ground, or diseases from wild birds. That said, my birds love to free range even though some have been killed doing so. :p

Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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Need egg candling reference pics? Click HERE!
2011 Coop build! Click Here!

 

I'm no expert, there is always something to learn, and my birds are livestock, so... yes, I may be quite blunt. wink.png

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post #5 of 20

advice on feeding poultry in general. Its implicit point of viewcharacteristic of agricultural colleges and extension service agents for several generations nowis based on two unspoken assumptions: First, that the home flock is a miniaturized analog of commercial operations. The work of ag colleges such as Texas A & M is bent toward the support of the poultry industry, and simply assumes its models of confinement and mass-produced feeds. When they turn their attention to the home flock, they apparently have not a clue that other, more natural paradigms are possible. Second, as in the quotation above, proper formulation of feeds is an extremely exacting science that must be carried out with laboratory precisionthe balancing of vitamins, mineral cations, and the major nutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrate must be fine-tuned to the last degree, otherwise growth and health of the birds are compromised. Thus the formulation of feeds is rocket science, best left to the lab-coated experts, since we befuddled homesteaders are certain to get the ratios and balances wrong, and our birds will suffer for it.

If we start with this point of view, then of course we are best advised to Feed only recommended, good quality, all-in-one manufactured feeds. (Fred D. Thornberry, also of Texas A&M, The Small Laying Flock, Feb-Mar issue. Emphasis added.) Further, we are likely to take on faith (as Prof. Thornberry obviously does) that the feeds on offer in the market are good quality; and that as Prof. Cartwright assures us they are fresh, so long as we do not permit them to become stale or rancid, for example through exposure to heat.

The counter to such claims and assumptions from the poultry intelligentsia is a study of the actual ingredients and processing of industrial, mass-produced feeds. They are anything but fresh. The naturally stable nutrients in a whole seed such as wheat, corn, or bean begin to oxydizego stale or rancidas soon as the seed coat is crushed. That is why I make my feeds in small batches (only enough for two to four days)commercial feeds bought at the local co-op may have been milled months previously. But the story is worse than that, since so many of the base ingredients do not even start as whole grains or beans at all. At the beginning of feed formulation, they are already quite stale (oxydized) byproducts of the production of other commoditiesthe milling of grains for refined flour, feather meal from huge broiler processing plants, soybean meal from the extraction of oil, etc.which have been extensively (and intensively) processed with heat, drying, and high pressure (to say nothing of possible industrial residues, such as hexane in the soybean meal, a chemical solvent used in the extraction of the oil). Especially troubling are the fats used in feeds. Fats are indeed an essential major nutrient, but Prof. Cartwright apparently assumes that all fats are equal. The truth is that much of the fat in feeds is likely to be the vegetable oils from fast-food fryers. Such fats are in the industrial recycle bin precisely because they have reached the point of rancidity, and the further processing of feed makes them more so. If there is anything nutritionists agree on, it is that consuming rancid fats is bad news.

Prof. Cartwright warns against giving our birds any feed supplemental to the magic formula in the feed bag: If you have a good ration that fulfils all of the dietary needs of broiler and roaster chickens or turkeys, do not alter it. Specifically, he warns against giving fresh foods, e.g. Adding green chops, lettuce or other low nutrient ingredients to the diet. If providing a little green chop for the birds creates imbalance, how much worse to put the flock out on pasture, where they can eat grasses and clovers (more low nutrient ingredients) and earthworms and insects (certain to change the ratios of proteins and fats in that perfect balanced feed we should be offering them)!

How would the natural chicken feed herself?
But suppose we start not with laboratory analyses or large-scale feeding studies of confined flocks, but with the assumption that any agricultural enterprise should imitate natural systems. Then our first question is: If left to its own devices in a free-ranging situation, how will a chicken feed itself? Will it seek out feather meal, oil extraction residues, byproducts of flour milling? No, it will eat green growing plants, wild seeds, and animal foods such as earthworms and insects. In other words, it will eat live foodsexclusively. Whatever the touted virtues of mass-produced, ultra-processed feeds, they are anything but alive.

Please understand that this is not a diatribe against Prof. Cartwright, nor an attempt to impugn his good intentions. Indeed, I agree with his fundamental observation, A balanced approach to nutrition is the key to optimum growth. I just start with a different assumption: The more our chickens eat like a completely free-ranging chicken would eat, the more naturally balanced its diet will be.

I also agree that feeding our poultry must not be haphazard. Certainly we must learn all we can about the fundamentals of nutrition. Prof. Cartwrights advice, for example, that young growing birds must not be fed a commercial layer feed is extremely importanttheir developing reproductive systems can be seriously compromised by the extra minerals in the layer ration. He warns us against succumbing to the mindset, If a little is good, a lot is even better. A good example is selenium, one of those essential nutrients which in excess concentrations is toxic. If crab meal is a component of feed, we must restrict it to no more than 2-1/2% of the total mix, because of its high selenium content. Oats and barley are excellent whole grains to feed in moderation, but feeding in excess of 20% of feed total (alone or in combination) will cause poor digestion and runny droppings. Whole flax seed is a valuable addition in small amounts (I limit to no more than 4%)but when Omega 3 became a buzzword, some folks started feeding as much as 15% and throwing their birds fatty acid profiles all out of whack.

I imagine Prof. Cartwright would object: Hey, boy, we have science on our sidewe have studies A, B, and C which prove x, y, and z! My intention here is to urge the homesteader not to be intimidated by this claim of the experts to being scientific. You are the expert when it comes to the health and well-being of your flock! My advice to you is: Learn all you can about the basics of nutrition; be willing to experiment; and observe the results. Then, if necessary, adjust. I gave runny droppings as an example. Learn what the poop from a healthy bird with an efficient digestive system looks like. If you make a change and start getting a lot of smeary, off-color, smelly poopsback off and try again!

Scientific?
As for scientificwe homesteaders can be as scientific about our feeding as anyone. Isnt the heart of the scientific method the observation of actual results in the real world? I have indeed fed my flock precisely as Prof. Cartwright adviseswith the best the local co-op had to offerfor more than a decade. And for as long now, I have pastured them and fed them feeds I make myself from primary ingredients. My assumption, however, is that the feeds I make are of only secondary importance. Far more important than any sought-for balance in the formulation itself is maximizing their access to live foods. I do this primarily by putting the birds on pasture during the green season. I am also experimenting with waysproduction of fly maggots as a potent source of protein in the summer, and of earthworms as supplemental feed in the winterto increase the amount of live animal foods they eat.

In the years I have taken the feeding of my flock into my own hands, flock health has improved; I frequently get 100% hatches from the eggs I set; and mortality in the brooder phase is lower. Results like that are scientific enough for me.

I also imagine Professors Cartwright and Thornberry pointing out that, after all, the feeding programs they outline get resultsimpressive weight gain in broilers, lots of eggs from layers. Yes, and it is possible with similar industrial methods to market a strawberry that is intensely red, plump, and hugeand has no discernible flavor. Every reader of these pages is acquainted first hand with the insipidity of supermarket chicken, the paleness, lack of viscosity, and tastelessness of supermarket eggs. You can achieve the same results with your own flock, confining them and feeding industrialized feeds. Those in a position to know tell me all the time that my eggs and poultry are the best theyve eaten in their lives.

Please remember that ag-college studies on poultry nutrition have been done on flocks raised in the commercial paradigmalmost no studies have been done on a feeding program for birds on pasture. Until such studies are done, we should be skeptical of the astounding claim that a dry, dusty meal in a bag is a more perfect food for a chicken than an earthworm.

post #6 of 20

We have just completed testing eggs from four flocks raised on pasture the results revealed that compared to supermarket eggs from hens raised in cages, our free-range eggs contained only about half as much cholesterol, were up to twice as rich in vitamin E, and were two to six times richer in beta carotene (a form of vitamin A). For essential omega-3 fatty acids (vital for optimal heart and brain function), the free-range eggs averaged four times more than factory eggs.

....
Our results are summarized below, compared to the official factory-egg nutrient data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (See full details of the test results at www.MotherEarthNews.com/eggs.)

Were
not the first to report data showing that raising hens in cages produces substandard eggs. In 1988, Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet, found that eggs from pastured hens in Greece contained 13 times more omega-3s than eggs from U.S. supermarkets. In 1974, a British study found that eggs from pastured hens had 50 percent more folic acid and 70 percent more vitamin B12 than eggs from factory-farmed hens. In 1997, a study in Animal Feed Science and Technology found eggs from free-range chickens had higher levels of both omega-3s and vitamin E than those from hens maintained in cages and fed commercial diets. Most recently, in 2003, Pennsylvania State University researchers reported that birds kept on pasture produced three times more omega-3s in their eggs than birds raised in cages on a commercial diet. They also found twice as much vitamin E and 40 percent more vitamin A in the yolks of the pastured birds.


Researching this article, we came across this statement on the Web site of the American Egg Board: The nutrient content of eggs is not affected by whether hens are raised free-range or in floor or cage operations.

Because the egg board has a $20 million annual budget and a nutrition advisory committee of seven physicians and professors, one would think we could trust what it says. But when we asked on which studies it had based this statement, the reply was: We know of no research on nutritional content of eggs laid by hens who ate exactly the same feed in cage, floor or free-range operations. The nutritional content of eggs is affected by feed, not how birds are housed. The board is clearly trying to deny what the research shows: Hens housed in free-range conditions are able to consume large amounts of grass, clover, weeds and insects in addition to grain. This diverse natural diet makes free-range eggs rich in nutrients, while hens confined in cage or floor operations produce substandard eggs.

The egg board represents the producers who raise chickens in confinement. These producers keep their 300 million chickens entirely indoors. The birds never see grass, let alone feed on it. They raise birds in tiny cages where they barely have room to turn around. They routinely debeak the hens so they wont peck each other to death. They withhold food and water to force the birds to molt all at once. The buildings where birds are confined reek of ammonia from the accumulated manure. Many birds die of heart failure.

-- Mother Earth News editor-in-chief Cheryl Longs flock of six Welsumer hens was among those tested for this article. Associate editor Umut Newbury is a passionate advocate of Real Food and humane treatment of animals.

post #7 of 20

Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. Thats the conclusion we have reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:


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

These amazing results come from 14 flocks around the country that range freely on pasture or are housed in moveable pens that are rotated frequently to maximize access to fresh pasture and protect the birds from predators. We had six eggs from each of the 14 pastured flocks tested by an accredited laboratory in Portland, Ore. The chart at the end of this article shows the average nutrient content of the samples, compared with the official egg nutrient data from the USDA for conventional (i.e. from confined hens) eggs. 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. True free-range birds eat a chickens natural diet all kinds of seeds, green plants, insects and worms, usually along with grain or laying mash. Factory farm birds never even see the outdoors, let alone get to forage for their natural diet. Instead they are fed the cheapest possible mixture of corn, soy and/or cottonseed meals, with all kinds of additives see The Caged Hens Diet below.

The conventional egg industry wants very much to deny that free-range/pastured eggs are better than eggs from birds kept in crowded, inhumane indoor conditions. A statement on the American Egg Boards Web site says True free-range eggs are those produced by hens raised outdoors or that have daily access to the outdoors.

Baloney. Theyre trying to duck the issue by incorrectly defining true free-range. And the USDA isnt helping consumers learn the truth, either: Allowed access to the outside is how the USDA defines free-range. This inadequate definition means that producers can, and do, label their eggs as free-range even if all they do is leave little doors open on their giant sheds, regardless of whether the birds ever learn to go outside, and regardless of whether there is good pasture or just bare dirt or concrete outside those doors!


Both organizations need to come clean. True free-range eggs are those from hens that range outdoors on pasture, which means they can do whats natural forage for all manner of green plants and insects.

The Egg Board statement goes on to say: The nutrient content of eggs is not affected by whether hens are raised free-range or in floor or cage operations.

Again, that is hogwash. 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. Or maybe they think its OK to mislead the public to protect egg producers bottom line.

After we published our first report about the high nutrient levels in pastured eggs, the Egg Nutrition Council questioned our suggestion that pastured eggs were better in their Aug. 8, 2005, newsletter:

Barring special diets or breeds, egg nutrients are most likely similar for egg-laying hens, no matter how they are raised. Theres that double-speak, again: Barring special diets ... Since when are diets not a part of how chickens are raised? Come on, people, weve cited six studies (see "Mounting Evidence", below) showing that pastured eggs are better. The best you can say is most likely this evidence is wrong? Cite some science to support your assertions! The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association offers the same misleading statement on its Web site:

What are free-range eggs? 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.

Its amazing what a group can do with a $20 million annual budget. Thats what factory-farm egg producers pay to fund the AEB each year to convince the public to keep buying their eggs, which we now believe are substandard.

The Egg Boards misleading claims about free-range/pastured eggs pervade the Internet, even though the Board has been aware of the evidence about the nutrient differences at least since our 2005 report. We found virtually the same (unsubstantiated) claim denying any difference in nutrient content on Web sites of the American Council on Science and Health (an industry-funded nonprofit), the Iowa Egg Council, the Georgia Egg Commission, the Alberta (Canada) Egg Producers, Hormel Foods, CalMaine Foods and NuCal Foods (the largest distributor of shell eggs in the Western United States).

But the most ridiculous online comments turned up at www.supermarketguru.com, a site maintained by a food trends consultant. It says:

FREE RANGE: Probably the most misunderstood of all claims, its important to note that hens basically stay near their food, water and nests, and the idea of a happy-go-lucky bird scampering across a field is far from the natural way of life. 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.

If youve ever been around chickens, you know that whoever wrote that hasnt. 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. Scampering across a field, looking for food, is precisely their natural way of life.

Supermarket Guru did get one thing right, though. Free-range/pastured eggs are likely to be more expensive because production costs are higher. 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. To find pastured producers near you, check out www.eatwild.com or www.localharvest.com.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Holy crap, lots of information!! THANKS SO MUCH hugs

Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

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Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

Reply
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Holy crap, lots of information!! THANKS SO MUCH hugs

Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

Reply

Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

Reply
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

sorry internet lagged my message repeated...><

Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

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Free kefir grains and kombucha for BYC Members!
I'm Ellen, or Nel for short Nice to meet you guys! :Hugs

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