Monday, August 22, 2011

Chickens Are NOT Vegetarians, A Rant :)

After having observed our chickens for a month, and having seen them eat anything from kitchen scraps to snakes, I have come up with a pretty reasonable conclusion... chickens are definitely NOT vegetarians. My chickens are spoiled, all things considered. I let them out of their very safe and secure coop every morning to free-range all day long. They are cuddled by my children and given a large variety of treats, such as cherries, apples, coconut, and beef fat (which they LOVE). My chickens are happy! I can't help but feel sorry for the chickens who are kept by the commercial, high-producing, mega chicken farms.

While waiting for my chickens to start laying eggs, I have been forced to shop at the supermarket for them. Ugh. I can't tell you how disappointed I am in the lack of quality of store-bought eggs... even the organic kind! The 4-grain, all vegetarian diet eggs are my least favorite. Since chickens are naturally omnivores, a 4-grain diet would be like a human choosing 4 things to eat for the rest of his life! If you were only allowed to eat 4 grains, that would be a very bland, not to mention nutritionally deficient diet. If 4-grain eggs come from nutritionally-deficient chickens, how can they be healthy??

Solution: keep your own chickens, if you are able. If you can't keep your own, find a local farmer who lets his chickens eat the diet God intended them to eat! I have gotten eggs from a local farmer for as little as $2.00 per dozen... quite a discount from those inferior, organic eggs at the grocery store.

How to tell if an egg is of good quality:
1.The white of the egg should be clear, not cloudy.
2.The yolk of the egg should be yellow-orange, not a pasty light yellow.
3. The shell should be thick and hard to crack, not flimsy and fall-apart-in-your-hand.

If you can find an egg supplier who's eggs fit all of the above criteria, you have done your family a great service. Better nutrition and happier chickens definitely make higher-quality eggs that your family will love!