What a brilliant article! I enjoyed reading your experience and it relates to my experiences with my own flock - I have had mine for 18 months now and can relate to everything you said. Bet you wouldn't be without them though! I never thought about the freshness of eggs before I had my chickens, it is a wonderful moment when your first egg is laid and as you say the yolks are so yellow when the eggs are fresh - I would never be without mine now - they have characters and so many of mine now have names they recognise and come to me individually when called!
Thank you for relaying your thoughts!