Healthy Eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by spatcher, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. spatcher

    spatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2008
    Virginia - Southside
    I have heard that fresh eggs are better than store bought and I believe that to be true. What I didnt know and recently found out through a Mother Earth News article, is a comparison between "caged raised chickens" and "free range chickens". This is what the article stated:

    Free-range birds have...

    4 to 6 times Vitamin D
    1/3 less cholesterol
    1/4 less saturated fat
    2/3 more Vitamin A
    2 times the amt of Omega3 fatty acids
    3 times the amount Vitamin E
    7 times the amount of Beta Carotene

    Is it any wonder we like them so much? Hope this is as informative to you as it was to me!
  2. tim_TX

    tim_TX Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2008
    Yep its true, but did you know that free range if often free lunch too. Its not that the bird itself tastes better, even though it does, but you'll lose more to predation, and diseases picked up from wild birds. Its impossible to implement security, much less BioSecurity with free range birds. Rather than fight the enemy I have converted to a roomy secure environment and enjoyed flock stability in the process.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Great info.! Just another reason to let my girls run free as much as possible. Thanks for posting that. [​IMG]
  4. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Quote:I believe the benefits of free ranging outweigh the risk in this situation. You will find many people on here who free range their birds successfully and have never had a problem with BioSecurity. Predators, sometimes, but not to often. My birds are all much happier when they get out to free range in the afternoon than to be cooped up. Of course if you live in an area where you have a high predator issue and where it is likely they would have a BioSecurity problem, then I can see where free ranging wouldn't benefit your flock. Thank heavens I have the opportunity of living where I don't have these issues. [​IMG]
  5. toddy111

    toddy111 Chillin' With My Peeps

    kwl [​IMG]
  6. davidb

    davidb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2008
    north east Georgia
    I also seen the same info in hobby farms mag.
  7. OrpingtonDad

    OrpingtonDad Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2008
    The USDA reports similar numbers for chickens allowed to free range. Carotene is a photosynthetic pigment important for photosynthesis and its why your free range eggs are so much more orange in color.

    Regarding biosecurity and predation I am a relative newcomer to the wonderful backyard chicken world. I am on my second happy year. I orinally started with 7 Buff Orpingtons that I intended to allow free range. I bought 7 thinking I might lose some. Currently I have 7 BO's, 5 Australorps and a little roo that I never bargained for, but none have been lost as yet, and my chickens are very happy having the run of the place.

    Its a risk allowing them to run free from an hour after dawn til dusk, but they seem to be quite happy. I rationalize that if they meet thier end, at least they had a better life than they would have cooped up. I am fortunate to have lots of small trees that provide good cover from flying predators. The raccoons and fox are a concern, but I worry more about the occassional stray dog.

    One thing is certain, my eggs certainly look better and the family tells me they taste better too! [​IMG]
  8. spatcher

    spatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2008
    Virginia - Southside
    I dont have those issues either and am happy mine get out everyday. Watching them is fun and have spent many hours watching them inter-react with each other. I walk thru the yard and the girls "drop" and I reach over and pet them then they "shake it off" and they go about their business. I have learned so much from everyone here and so much from them as well. God is good!
  9. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Predators? Here they are a huge concern. My birds get minimal free-range priviledges around the yard while I am around. The only true free-range flocks that I was aware of around here have long become Coyote-Chow.

    Bio-security? About as low on my list of concerns as it can get. There may be people that are aware of actual cases of diseases picked up from wild birds but I do not know any of them. I do know many who seem genuinely concerned about wild birds but I'm not aware that they know of any actual problems.

    Nutritional value? I do know they taste 10 times better and that's enough for me!

  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree 100%. Mine free range all day. My closest neighbor, a commercial broiler farmer of 30+ years tells me she'd be much more concerned with HER birds giving mine something than the other way around. They're healthy and they're happy and that brings me happiness.
    Thanks for the information Spatcher. Good to see ya around. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by