About two months ago we started raising our own organic free range chickens and it has been a wonderful experience. I would recommend anyone who has a yard raise their own chickens. The benefits are just amazing.
First of all, my eggs are so much better than store eggs. I know you think I am imagining it, but it is so true. The yolks are such a deeper richer color and the taste is so different I noticed immediately. Second of all, my eggs are fresh.
A farmer has 45 days from the time the hen lays the eggs to get it to the warehouse of the market. The warehouse has another 45 days to get the eggs on the shelf and usually the buy by date is 30-45 days after they hit the shelf. Now, I am not saying the eggs aren't still good, they are. In fact, Mother Earth News did a study and they placed eggs in a covered container (plastic with a lid like Rubbermaid) and 7 months later the eggs still passed the float test. However, eggs that are fresh from today or this past week taste just so much better.
Now for the deep reasoning. My chickens don't get any hormones in their food or injected in their bodies. This is such an important thing to me. Hormones added to meat are causing major issues- I will let you do your own research since it would make my post so long, but let's just say, you really should evaluate the meat you are putting in your body if you haven't already. I buy feed at the local farm and garden store that is made by and used by the Amish. There is literally nothing added to this mix except what they need in their bodies for nourishment.
And, my chickens are happy chickens. They run around my big yard clucking, pecking the earth, and getting all the extra nutrients they need from the grass, dirt and pebbles. They are so happy that with 7 layers I typically get 5-6 eggs a day even now in the winter time when laying typically dies off. Most of my girls lay small to medium eggs because they are 5 months old and just laying. However, I have one girl who lays 3 eggs a week. When you see the picture you will know why she doesn't lay more.