Here I will discuss whether backyard chicken eggs are better than store bought eggs. Keep reading to learn more.
Eggs are extremely nutritious and one of the most popular foods in the world. They are also among the healthiest foods that one can eat. They are full of vitamins, proteins, and other essential nutrients.
Many egg lovers are specific about the eggs they eat. While some will prefer backyard chicken eggs, others do not mind whether they are store-bought eggs or backyard chicken eggs.
But are all eggs the same? Is there any difference between a backyard chicken egg and a store-bought egg?
Raising backyard chickens is totally different than raising commercial egg-laying hens. The difference in the hen’s lifestyle and environment makes a significant difference in the nutritional value of the eggs.
Chickens raised in the backyard are often allowed to roam freely and forage for food. Therefore, their diet comprises more seeds, plants, insects, bugs, and berries.
Even birds that spend most of their time in the coop are exposed to wandering insects and the occasional treat.
In addition, backyard chickens are exposed to more sunlight compared to commercial egg-laying chickens. Sunlight can affect the nutritional quality of an egg.
The rich diet consumed by backyard chickens enables them to put more nutritional value into their eggs. Their eggs have the following:
- Less saturated fat
- Lower amounts of bad cholesterol
- More beta carotene
- More amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids
- Higher amounts of vitamins E, D, and A.
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the general health of our bodies.
Since backyard chickens have more access to foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, they can put more omega-3 fatty acids into their eggs. Examples of these foods are plants and bugs.
On the other hand, commercial egg-laying hens do not have much access to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, you can expect their eggs to have fewer omega-3 fatty acids.
Birds that spend much of their time in sunlight and outdoors produce more vitamin D. It allows them to put the excess vitamin D into their eggs.
Backyard chicken eggs are widely regarded as one of the best sources of vitamin D.
Both backyard chicken eggs and store-bought eggs contain cholesterol. However, backyard chicken eggs have less cholesterol than store-bought eggs.
Most of the cholesterol in eggs is considered good and is an important part of our diet. It helps maintain phosphorus and calcium levels in the bloodstream.
Taste And Appearance
To many people, all eggs are not the same. There are some mixed opinions about the taste of store-bought eggs and of backyard chicken eggs.
According to many chicken keepers, the taste of eggs from backyard hens is richer and more pronounced than those from commercial egg-laying hens.
However, according to studies done by the USDA, there is no detectable difference in the taste of backyard chicken eggs and eggs from commercial egg-laying chickens.
There is a definite difference in the appearance of the two.
Store-bought eggs tend to have a thinner shell than backyard chicken eggs.
Since backyard chickens have more access to calcium, they often put more calcium into their eggshells, making them tougher and thicker.
On the other hand, commercial egg-laying hens do not have more access to calcium. Calcium is essential in the formation of strong shells.
Backyard chicken eggs have firmer, fuller, and darker yolks. Their yolks can also be orange-colored. On the other hand, the yolks of store-bought chicken eggs can be pale yellow.
If you are keen, you will also notice a difference in the consistency of their egg whites. Most store-bought eggs tend to have runnier egg whites than backyard chicken eggs.
While the latter have firmer egg whites, they are not as runny.
Best Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds
Whether you are looking for a chicken that will lay colorful eggs or one that will ensure you have a steady supply of eggs throughout the year, there is always something for you.
There are several chicken breeds that can 3 to 4 eggs a week. Here are some of them.
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Reds originated from America. They are dual-purpose chickens that will ensure you have a steady supply of fresh eggs and meat.
They are among the most popular backyard chicken breeds because they are hardy birds that can tolerate nearly all climates.
Like any other chicken breed, your Rhode Island Reds will need good care and proper nutrition to be more productive.
With good care, you can expect your Rhode Island Red hen to lay 3 to 5 eggs a week. This translates to about 250 eggs a year. They lay brown, medium-sized eggs.
Contrary to their name, these birds have brown and black feathers. This gives them a darker appearance.
They are known for being tough and are capable of looking for themselves. They are also friendly birds and are perfect for beginners.
Like the Rhode Island Red, the Sussex is also a dual-purpose chicken. This means you can raise them for both meat and egg production.
Under good care and a proper diet, a Sussex hen can lay up to 250 eggs a year. The color of their eggs can vary from brown to creamy white.
They lay medium to large-sized eggs. If you are looking for an egg-laying breed, this is one of the best breeds to add to your flock.
The breed comes in eight different colors. However, the common color is a pure white body with a black neck and tail feathers.
These birds are generally calm and non-aggressive. They are also good foragers and will happily free-range in your garden without destroying it.
The Plymouth Rock is a non-aggressive and docile chicken breed. Its docile temperament makes it a perfect breed for first-time chicken keepers.
It is a prolific layer that will produce three to four eggs in a week. Three translates to around 200 eggs a year. They lay small to medium-sized eggs that are light brown in color.
These birds are predominately grey. They also have white stripes around their body. Because of their docile personalities, they will do well when raised in a flock comprising different breeds.
However, you must ensure the other birds in your flock are non-aggressive too. They are friendly and can easily be tamed.
The Buff Orpington originated from Kent, England. They are one of the tamest chicken breeds you will come across and make great garden pets.
They are easy to socialize and relate with. You can easily train them to eat from your hand.
They are a golden-yellow color and tend to have a thick layer of feathers. They are prolific layers that will provide you with a steady supply of eggs throughout the year.
Under good care, a Buff Orpington hen can lay 150 to 180 eggs per year.
These birds have a tendency to go broody during the summer months. That is why they lay less than the other breeds on our list.
When they hatch, they are good mothers to their baby chicks.
The Easter Egger is an inquisitive and savvy hybrid breed that has won a reputation for its colorful eggs.
If you want to raise a chicken breed that will ensure you have a lot of colorful eggs in your coop, this is one of the breeds to go for.
These prolific layers can lay about 250 eggs a year. The eggs range from medium to large and can be anywhere from a bright light blue to a greenish-blue color.
Easter Eggers come in a wide variety of colors. However, they are mostly brown with flecks of other colors on their feathers. They are also known for their quirky beards.
When it comes to their personality and temperament, they are friendly birds that are easy to tame. They love being close to their handlers.
How To Keep Egg Production High
Just because you have a chicken breed that can lay many eggs does not mean they will lay a lot of eggs. In addition to breed, there are other things that affect a chicken’s egg production.
They include age, diet, and access to daylight.
Young birds will lay more eggs than older chickens. As your hen ages, its egg production rate will reduce. Also, your birds will need a well-balanced diet to be more productive.
Their diet should have adequate protein. In addition, they will need at least 13 hours of daylight to lay eggs.
If you thought all eggs were the same, you wrong. There are differences between backyard chicken eggs and store-bought eggs in terms of appearance and nutritional value.
Backyard chicken eggs have a higher nutritional value than store-bought eggs. Some farmers have also said that backyard eggs have a better flavor than store-bought eggs.