Backyard chicken eggs are different than your typical store-bought egg. But… how much different they are really surprised me! Here are a few things that may surprise you about your backyard chicken eggs.
Backyard Chicken Eggs are Healthier for you
So this one might not be that surprising, especially if you have already started your research into owning a few chickens of your own. But, if you are new to the world of chickens as pets and homestead animals, then you may not realize just how much healthier your own eggs are.
Mother Earth News published a paper (independent labs) where they found:
- 33% less cholesterol
- 25% less saturated fat
- 4-6x more Vitamin D
- 67% more Vitamin A
- 2X more Omega
- 3X more Vitamin E
- 7X more beta-carotene
This study was repeated by the University of Pennsylvania. They have specifics and explain why this happens. Basically, what goes in comes back out and commercial chickens do not have access to as many vitamins (and more access to fat and cholesterol). You can even supplement your chickens with healthy ingredients that are important to you. I always give my hens flax seed to help boost the Omega content of the eggs.
The Shells of Backyard Chicken Eggs are Tougher
A lot tougher. The first few times I switched to a store-bought egg after using backyard chicken eggs I actually splattered the darn thing all over my hand. The force I have to use to crack a backyard chicken egg is enough to flatten the store-bought eggs.
Backyard Chicken Eggs Taste Better
I heard this one, but never really believed it until I ate them myself. They never taste rubbery or bland. I went from eating eggs for breakfast once every few weeks to 3-4 times every week. I guess it does make sense – garden food tastes nothing like the stuff at the store either!
The Yolks are Tougher in a Backyard Chicken Egg
I'm going to confess… I can't make an over-easy egg for the life of me. Or, anything other than scrambled really. I try – I really do! I get that nasty plastic thing on the bottom and the yolk breaks so I end up “scrambling” it and pretending that is what I meant to do from the beginning.
Until I got backyard hens…
Now my eggs look picture perfect! It wasn't me – it was the eggs (or so I choose to believe). The egg yolk does not break unless I break it on purpose and I never get that nasty crunchy thing on the bottom. I had to separate the eggs for a cake once and I was shocked to find that the yolk broke in both of the store bought eggs and the next three eggs from my girls stayed perfectly round even after being separated. I even dropped the yolk from the last egg into the bowl from a distance of just over a foot (just for kicks, yet another tidbit that proves my dorkish nature) and it still didn't break!
A Backyard Chicken Egg's Yolk Color is Darker
Yep, it's true. Cook up a store bought next to a backyard chicken hen and you will be able to tell the difference just by looking at it. Backyard chicken eggs are firmer and the yolks are closer to orange rather than pale yellow.
Backyard Chicken Eggs Cost More
So much more… they are worth it, but keep that in mind before you start a flock. You can purchase cheap eggs for well under half the price it will cost you to raise chickens for the eggs. If you are interested in exactly what it will cost you then check out my post on the cost of keeping chickens on your homestead.
Yes, You will get Poop on your Eggs
This one is a surprise for some people. Chickens can (and sometimes do) poop on the eggs. If it bothers you then by all means, just wash them. It really doesn't happen often (and if it happening often then you need to change your set-up because your chickens might be sleeping in the egg box or it might be too crowded in your coop).