How do you like your eggs? Scrambled, fried, over easy, poached or, French toast made with eggs?
Have you thought about how eggs are produced? This is not merely about the hens that lay the eggs but, how the hens are treated, housed and, what they are fed.
Years ago I never gave a second thought about how laying hens were housed and if the chickens were humanely treated. Then about ten years ago, my daughter told me to watch some You Tube videos about how chickens were treated and the process of commercial egg production .
To say that I was appalled does not adequately describe my emotions. I will not go into detail here but the hens are de-beaked and probably about 4-6 or maybe more( I’ve forgotten how many) are crammed into small cages and the eggs roll out into a tray. The hens are fed antibiotics to prevent disease and their life as a live bird is over in a year or so.
After watching one video, I’d had my fill of the inhumane treatment, the filthy conditions, the antibiotics, etc. A store bought
joke yolk was no laughing matter.
After that I found a local person about 15 miles from the city and I drove there every two weeks for eggs that definitely tasted better and looked much more appealing.
Folks that live in large cities and those with limited funds simply can not afford pasture raised eggs. I realize that. Other people don’t care how the eggs are produced and continue to buy white eggs with pale yellow yolks- eggs that are laid by hens that have been fed antibiotics and a diet that consists of only grain.
So to further educate or not I’m including some interesting
Commercial eggs are marketed in various ways. (1) Cage free hens are housed in about one square foot of indoor space and never leave the cage for fresh air or get to touch the ground. (2) Next there are free range hens that live in an average of two square feet of outdoor space. That pretty much adds up to wall-to- wall chickens. (3) The humanely treated hens get to move about outdoors when the weather is permissible, in 108 square feet per hen. These hens get to eat grass and peck in the soil which makes for healthy hens that lay eggs with deep yellow yolks. This means that about 4,000 hens are moving about on 10 acres. The hens are rotated to new ground on a regular basis.
An Austin, Texas company called Vital Farms began producing pasture raised eggs. They have contracted with many chicken farmers in the South and California so that currently, approximately 60 chicken farms produces 1.5 million eggs per week.
Certified organic eggs sell for about $9 per dozen while organic sell for around $5 per dozen. Whole Foods and a few other grocery stores sell Vital Farms eggs. I’ve bought the regular organic eggs at HEB but these are not always available so I buy the next best thing.
I mix one raw egg with the shell finally crushed into 6 cups of Purina One that I feed to my three oldest dogs. I cook apple peelings, diced celery and sweet potato or carrot and add that to the food also and so far my dogs past 10 years of age are looking pretty good. Of note, the egg shell is a natural source of glucosamine.
Now that eggs have been added to my list of allergies I no longer eat or cook with eggs. Never mind the fact that I love the taste of a fresh brown French poached egg. I hope someday that I’ll be able to eat an egg now and then. In the meantime I felt this would make an informative post and perhaps provide an egg for thought.
“BATTERY HEN” A POEM by PAM AYRES of Great Britain
Oh. I am a battery hen,
On me back there’s not a germ,
I never scratched a farmyard,
And I never pecked a worm,
I never had the sunshine,
To warm me feathers through,
Eggs I lay. Every day.
For the likes of you.
When you has them scrambled,
Piled up on your plate,
It’s me what you should thank for that,
I never lays them late,
I always lays them reg’lar,
I always lays them right,
I never lays them brown,
I always lays them white.
But it’s no life, for a battery hen,
In me box I’m sat,
A funnel stuck out from the side,
Me pellets comes down that,
I gets a squirt of water,
Every half a day,
Watchin’ with me beady eye,
Me eggs, roll away.
I lays them in a funnel,
So that I don’t kick ’em,
And let them go to waste,
They rolls off down the tubing,
And up the gangway quick,
Sometimes I gets to thinkin’
“That could have been a chick!”
I might have been a farmyard hen,
Scratchin’ in the sun,
There might have been a crowd of chicks,
After me to run,
There might have been a cockerel fine,
To pay us his respects,
Instead of sittin’ here,
Till someone comes and wrings our necks.
I see the Time and Motion clock,
Is sayin’ nearly noon,
I ‘spec me squirt of water,
Will come flyin’ at me soon,
And then me spray of pellets,
Will nearly break me leg,
And I’ll bite the wire nettin’
And lay one more bloody egg.