We first started raising chickens for eggs when our son was three years old (2002). Our first chicken breeds were the Dorking and Dominique chickens. The hatchery we purchased our chicks from threw in a "free exotic chick" which later turned out to be an araucana rooster - whom we named Caesar.
When our first eggs started arriving we noticed a Huge difference in color and taste.
You can see the difference in the yolk color - the lighter yolk at the left is a store bought egg and the one on the right was laid by one of our "pasture raised" hens.
The darkness of the yolk is due to a high concentration of omega - 3's picked up from the grasses and bugs the chickens eat. The egg on the left tastes bland and the egg on the right is loaded with flavor. Don't be fooled by the eggs at the grocery store that claim to be high in Omega-3. These chickens are still raised in a factory shed with very little room per bird (even if the package says "cage free"). The only difference is the feed. The birds laying "Omega - 3" eggs contain fish protein. These eggs always taste slightly "fishy" to me.
If you have the chance and never have done so - stop by a farm that advertises that they raise "fresh eggs". Better yet, become a member of a Local Buying Club that sells locally raised meats and produce (hopefully you also live in a state that allows the sale of raw dairy). Raising your own chickens can be fun too. About 6 hens will provide enough eggs for a family of four,
Meat birds will be the next topic on this blog . . . .