Monday, February 22, 2010

A Feathery Obsession

I have another small obsession....Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint...Cluck Cluck Cluck. Here's another hint..."Then I will do it myself..and she did." Any guesses? Right! The answer is chickens! But not just any hen will do. Free roaming, fresh air, grass fed biddies are the only ones of interest! There is something about these mystical beauties that is a delight for the eye. What they create can make a mouth very happy! This fascination, really, began one sunny afternoon a couple of years ago at the Springs. A friend had brought a basket of some beautifully colored eggs(unrefrigerated) and dated at the bottom. Curiosity set in and investigation began. Why didn't she have to refrigerate them? Where is the Styrofoam carton? The eggs were an array of various shades of greenie blues, off whites, and sweet speckles. None looked alike or did they even resemble the bleached white ones in the stores...And the yolks! The Yolks were like a setting sun...They couldn't be chicken eggs! Chicken eggs have yellow yolks right?
Answer: Not all yolks are made the same. Were you aware that there is a hierarchy of yolks in the egg world? Did you know that eggs' yolks are a direct reflection of their chicken's environment? Did you know that a TRUE free roaming chicken egg yolk is supposed to be orange? Yeah...Neither did I. All eggs that I have ever had were white(blindingly so) and cold with perfectly round yellow centers.
I had no clue about this but you can actually tell by the way the egg looks and tastes if it was from a closed in coop, antibiotic ridden, grain fed hen or a happy free roaming, grass fed chicken. According to Mother Earth News: They are healthier too!A free roaming grass fed hen's egg has:
1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 TIMES more Omega-3 fatty acids
3 TIMES more Vitamin E
7 TIMES more beta carotene

Pretty cool huh?
I had the opportunity, at a baby shower of all places, to witness what this grass fed, free roaming phenomenon was all about. You have never seen such fat and happy chickens! These biddies have had all the time and love that a chicken should have. It was obvious...I'll bet they help make a pretty tasty omelette in the mornings too! I took some pictures of these lovely ladies with hopes of remembering for my own future hen house, what a healthy chicken is supposed to look like!

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