Nutritional Data on Backyard Eggs

30 04 2009

While this coop is in an area near Sacramento that allows backyard hens, this is a great example of what a Sacramento coop could look like:

 

I believe this coop holds four hens.

I believe this coop holds four hens.

Here are the healthy, friendly looking hens who live in the coop:

 

Four laying hens

Four laying hens

And finally, we have a great comparison between an egg produced by one of these hens, and a store bought large sized egg:

 

Can you guess which one is from the backyard chicken?

Can you guess which one is from the backyard chicken?

If you guessed the egg on the left, you’re right!  That darker, brighter, yolk is full of great nutrients.  Mother Earth News has been conducting studies on the nutritional value of eggs and has this to say about backyard, free-ranging hens:

Eggs from hens allowed to peck on pasture are a heck of a lot better than those from chickens raised in cages! Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. That’s the conclusion we have reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project. Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:

• 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

These amazing results come from 14 flocks around the country that range freely on pasture or are housed in moveable pens that are rotated frequently to maximize access to fresh pasture and protect the birds from predators. We had six eggs from each of the 14 pastured flocks tested by an accredited laboratory in Portland, Ore. The chart in Meet the Real Free-range Eggs (October/November 2007) shows the average nutrient content of the samples, compared with the official egg nutrient data from the USDA for “conventional” (i.e. from confined hens) eggs. The chart lists the individual results from each flock.

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