Eggs: Store Bought Vs. Free Range

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

11 September 2014

free range backyard chicken eggs will be the best poached eggs you ever taste

If you are a chicken keeper, you will know there is nothing quite like going out to fetch your farm fresh eggs each morning, and turning these little nutritional powerhouses into your favourite culinary delight!

Whether an omelette is your go to, or eggs florentine are more your style- there is no denying that whipping up your favourite egg delicacy is much tastier when you have fresh free-range eggs from your backyard to use!

But did you know, that using free range eggs are actually more nutritional, and boast more health benefits than their caged and store bought counterparts?

While you may think that grabbing the box labelled ‘free-range’ from the supermarket will allow you to harness all these wonderful health benefits, unfortunately this isn’t the case.

The Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL), which represents the Australian egg industry, once allowed for a stocking density of 1,500 chickens per hectare outdoors, but recently it has been bumped up to a shocking 10,000 chickens in the same area (a 567% increase)- not quite so free-range as once thought.

As sad as it is, through clever marketing tactics and ambiguous wording, many businesses are trying to reap the benefits of the free-range label, without really putting it into practice. This gives us as consumers many mixed messages about what sort of product we are actually buying- and more often than not, it is not what it seems.

To really notice and taste the difference, you will need to source honest free-range eggs, which you can find from a local farmer, or chicken keeper, or go one better and get chickens yourself!

Not sold yet? With the facts we’re about to lay out for you, we’re certain you’ll have a lovely backyard flock in no time at all!

backyard chickens can supply you with all the delicious eggs you need

Appearance

We know, we know- ‘you should never judge a book by it’s cover’. But when it comes to appearance, compare a store bought egg with one fresh from a backyard chicken, and trust us, you’ll know the difference- no yolk!

While on first inspection they may seem similar, once you crack them, take a close look and you should be able to differentiate the two.

Store bought eggs will have a pale yellow yolk, with watery whites. Whereas, farm fresh free-range eggs will have a plumper, rich, golden coloured yolk, and a thick white that holds its shape- so well that when you crack them, they sometimes have to worked a little to get them to spread out.

This bright, rich colour is a great indication of how delicious these farm fresh goodies really taste…

Taste

So you’ve cracked your egg and it’s looking mighty good, now it’s time for the real test- the taste test. Whether you scramble, boil, fry, poach or bake- once you use fresh free-range eggs you will never go back

You will find that fresh eggs have a much richer and robust flavour, whereas store bought eggs are a little more bland, and lighter in flavour- we know what we’d choose!

Because farm fresh are the tastier alternative, they are especially delicious as a dish on their own, and they will also enhance your next quiche or pavlova more so than their store bought equivalent.

Surely something that tastes this good can’t be good for you, right? Think again! An egg from your backyard is actually even better for you than the ones you find at your local supermarket!

free range backyard chicken eggs are all natural, and better for you too

Nutrition

You all know the saying “happy cows make healthy milk”- well the same applies to chickens. Happy chickens really do make healthy eggs.

Free-range chickens are allowed to happily roam, run and flap about in a pasture or yard, foraging and finding lots of tasty tidbits that only add to their varied diet of grass, greens, bugs and chicken feed. This combination of a nutrient rich diet and exercise means these chickens are at the height of their health, so it makes sense that their by-products are too!

Commercial hens are often kept in inhumane conditions- cramped cages, full of their own waste, with little access to air, light, or grounds that give them the essential nutrients they need to remain healthy- it’s no wonder they aren’t anywhere near as nutritious!

Studies have shown that farm fresh eggs, when compared to store bought eggs, have:

  • ⅓ less cholesterol

  • ¼ less saturated fat

  • ⅔ more vitamin A

  • 2 times more omega- 3 fatty acids

  • 3 times more vitamin E

  • 4-6 times more vitamin D

  • 7 times more beta carotene

These amazing results really are the icing on the cake when it comes to comparing farm fresh eggs with store bought eggs.

So they look better, they taste better, and they are even much better for you- you really can’t go past farm fresh free-range eggs!

Instead of scouring your neighborhood, basket in hand listening for the distinct cluck of a hen, to find a backyard chicken keeper you can beg for eggs, how about trying your hand at raising your own hens?

Not sure where to start? Head to our online Learning Centre to get all the answers to an question you could ever have about keeping and raising backyard chickens! First things first though- you will need a chicken coop. The Taj Mahal, Penthouse and Mansion will cater for any sized flock- it just depends on how many fresh eggs you are wanting!

Sources and further reading

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