10/16/2010

Backyard chickens: Scrambled eggs!

Since I collected my fifth egg today, I decided it was time to make some breakfast!  My mom came over after going to the farmer's market, so she got to share the feast.

I was going to do a side-by-side comparison of my "yard fresh" eggs with the all-natural eggs from the farmer's market.  But my mom didn't get any this week, and the ones I had in the fridge, while still good, are a few weeks old.  I didn't really think that would be fair.

But my eggs would have won anyways.

The first thing I noticed was that the shell was extremely hard.  I don't feed any supplemental calcium, just standard Nutrena layer crumbles, some table scraps, and whatever they find while free ranging.  I did get some oyster shell bits for winter, though, since they won't be able to range as much.

The second surprise was how orange the yolks were.  I had thought that the orange yolks from the market eggs were bright, and they certainly are when compared to a store-bought, factory-farmed egg.  But the yolk from my hens were BRIGHT orange.  The egg white was also a yellowish color, not clear.  How orange everything was became even more obvious once the eggs were cooked...


No Photoshopping.  The eggs are really this color!
  
It looks like I made scrambled yolks!
Surprise #3?  They tasted like eggs.  I had thought that maybe a truly fresh, free-range egg might taste... I dunno.  Eggier?  Kind of like milk from a grass-fed cow tastes different.  Nope.  Although a free-range egg does have more nutrients, the taste is the same.

So breakfast today was yard-fresh eggs (scrambled with local milk from grass-fed cows and cooked in homemade butter) and toast with homemade raspberry jam.  If I'd made my own bread, the entire meal would have been entirely homemade.  But it's close. 

I also noticed that one of my Australorps kept squatting while she was out ranging today.  That's supposed to be a behavior that comes right before egg-laying, so maybe soon we'll be getting 2 eggs per day!

3 comments:

Karen in Wichita said...

When our ducks stopped laying during the molt, I had to track down a local chicken farmer's eggs. No way could I bring myself to eat the pale sickly things from the regular grocery.

And yeah, even those tend not to be quite as yellow, because those birds tend to be raised in closer quarters, with more competition for the bugs and whatnot that really push it over into HOLY COW THAT'S ORANGE territory.

Duck egg whites, though, are clear as water, though they scramble up about the same color as yours there.

Here are my first few eggs... the whites are all but invisible. http://www.flickr.com/photos/silver_seams/3003918712/

Also, our early eggs were thick-shelled as all-get-out too. Some of that was feed (Layena is optimized for chickens, not ducks), but I think most of it is just a young-birds thing. These days, we feed non-calcium feed (duck grower cut with grain, since no one around here carries a duck maintenance feed) with oyster shells and grit in separate pans, and they seem to "know" how much they need.

Kristen said...

Oh, yum. They're totally different than store-bought eggs, aren't they?! That gorgeous color, and they taste creamier or something. (My mom has a flock and we cherish the eggs she brings us.)

Nancy said...

I think you should do that side-by-side test the next time you make scrambled eggs! I'd be interested in hearing the results.