Saturday, May 21, 2011

Free Range Hens Lay Healthier Eggs

Eggs that come from hens allowed to free range on a pasture are by far, more nutritious than eggs from hens confined to small cages in factories.  According to the US Department of Agriculture, eggs from hens raised on pasture show 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs!

They also have:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2x's more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3x's more vitamin E
• And 7x's more beta carotene

This has been proven time and time again and yet the commercial egg farmers in this country work tirelessly to have us believe otherwise.  I love this particular line that says: “Barring special diets, egg nutrients are most likely similar for egg-laying hens, no matter how they are raised.”  But isn't it all about the diet?

I mean, we all know, we are what we eat.  So how can you compare a hen that only has access to commercial feed to one that is allowed to hunt, scratch and dig for bugs, seeds and greens all day long.  And is out in the sunshine and fresh air and has room to roam and stretch its wings and legs.  And more importantly, isn't standing on a wire floor caked with excrement.

What really breaks my heart is that commercial egg farmers keep the lights on 24x7.  Chickens need a certain number of hours of daylight to produce eggs.  And if you live in a region where the winter nights are long, your hens will stop laying altogether until the days lengthen with the arrival of spring.  Some farmers will add supplemental light for a few hours a day to trick the chickens into thinking the days are longer and keep them laying year round.  But still giving them at least 8 hours or darkness so they can get their ZZZZZ's.

And when it all comes down to it, why do fresh eggs from hens that free range on a pasture all day taste SO much better than eggs from commercial factories?

You can read the full article here:

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