7 Surprising Things About Backyard Chicken Eggs (5 Good, 2 Bad)

7 Surprising things about Backyard Chicken Eggs (5 good and 2 bad) found at www.PintSizeFarm.com

Backyard Chicken Eggs

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.

chicken eggs

Backyard chicken egg shells and yolks are tougher.

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).

  • Reply Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow August 28, 2014, 4:54 am

    This was interesting and I did have a chuckle about your spattering ….it explained the tough shells quite well! 🙂

  • Reply GoingGreen August 28, 2014, 5:40 pm

    i cant even bring myself to buy shop eggs, if my girls are on strike we either do with out or swap with our neighbour, there is just no substitute for home grown quality
    GoingGreen recently posted…Sewing Know HowMy Profile

  • Reply Alecia @ CSNY September 5, 2014, 9:27 am

    I love our ladies, they’re the only animals that pay their way! The first time I made lemon curd with our eggs it was almost orange, that was a surprise to say the least

    • Reply Heidi September 5, 2014, 12:39 pm

      It is surprising!

  • Reply wan optimization technology September 22, 2014, 3:52 am

    this is very interesting article about chicken eggs. Awesome

  • Reply lisa lynn October 15, 2014, 7:54 am

    I have an issue with thin shells from my hens. I give some scratch grains with sunflower seed and split peas to the flock for extra protein for the turkeys and ducks…the chickens love it too. But it means they don’t eat as much of their layer feed with calcium. And they don’t like the oyster shell much… so I have to be careful not to smash the eggs. I guess it’s my own fault for keeping a mixed flock. :/

  • Reply Sandra October 15, 2014, 9:51 am

    Great post! I miss getting eggs from backyard chickens, but grateful I am able to buy them from another homesteader.

    • Reply Heidi October 15, 2014, 4:18 pm

      There are a lot of things that I would love to be able to do, but have to just support other homesteaders for now. The support means something too though!
      Heidi recently posted…Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator GiveawayMy Profile

    • Reply lisa lynn October 16, 2014, 3:20 am

      I feed the eggshells back too, but not all of them are interested in eating them. Goofy birds. I also add a supplement that has calcium, so I really don’t know why some of them have thin shells. Apparently I need to cull my older hens again. Thanks for the suggestions! I didn’t know that baking them would make the calcium more available…I’ll have to try that. I also add some apple cider vinegar to their water to help absorb calcium. I just started that recently…so maybe it hasn’t started to work yet.

  • Reply Christine Chapman October 15, 2014, 9:53 am

    For thin shelled eggs from backyard hens: I wash the shells from their eggs when we use them, let them dry, crush them, and give them back to the girls free-choice. This gives them back some of the calcium they used up and it only costs you some time and energy. I find it’s a good supplement to their regular layer feed and forage and they can choose how much they want.

  • Reply Nancy W October 16, 2014, 9:24 am

    I love our fresh eggs and our chickens!

    • Reply Heidi October 16, 2014, 9:46 am

      Nothing beats them, that’s for sure 🙂

  • Reply Lorrie October 16, 2014, 10:31 am

    I am going to start feeding our chickens flax and eggshells. Thanks for this article.

  • Reply Andrew October 23, 2014, 5:10 pm

    OH they are more expensive but so much better. and the chcikens are fun to watch. We are composting the bedding as it is changed, for the garden next year.

    A little pooey on the eggs, OK washes right off easily usually.

    Better a little pooey on the outside than on the inside (factories) i say.

  • Reply kay Minshew March 29, 2015, 4:15 pm

    I too have beautiful chickens they are so sweet and fun to watch I take lots of photos of them the feed I use most is Omaga it has all my chickens need so I don’t have to buy extras like grit. My babies love Mealworms seeds and cracked corn. Those who are lucky to get eggs from me say they cant go back to store eggs they love the taste farm eggs make everything better.

  • Reply Joyce September 10, 2015, 5:31 pm

    very nice lots of info thank you

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