As spring approaches so does egg season. Spring time is a time of egg abundance. All of our birds go into egg-laying mode eager to hatch a clutch of eggs. This process is set into motion by the longer days and warmer temps. Believe it or not but the ideal temperature for chickens to lay eggs is 55 degrees. In factory farms chickens are subjected to artificial light. Their length of "day" never changes. It may seem like that would be harmless but it actual is very hard on them and even shortens their life. God created them to slow down in the winter months to give their bodies a break. In the fall they molt (loose their feathers and grow in new ones) and this takes a lot of energy as well as all the egg laying they did for the previous six months. As the days get shorter in the fall, the egg laying process slows down. They may not lay at all when molting. At it's peak it is anywhere from a 40 -60% reduction. Then comes spring and production picks up again. They have recovered from molting and regained their energy stores and are ready to go for a new season.
Chickens tend to lay more egg a year than any other bird and that is what most people eat. However there are many other kinds of tasty eggs to eat. Here on the farm we eat chicken, duck, turkey, guinea, and goose eggs. The duck, turkey, guinea and goose eggs tend to be a little bit richer. Although all our bird forage and eat pasture, some birds are naturally more apt to a grass based diet. Ducks and especially geese, for example will always consume more grass than chickens. Pasture/forage can at the most only make up for 20% of a chicken's diet. To meet their dietary need the rest has to come from proteins (insect and grains), and grains. The greens are what makes for the richer flavor so even though free range and pasture ranged chicken eggs will be richer than confined chicken eggs, duck and geese, for example will still have even richer egg because a larger portion of their diet can from pasture.
Of course the most notable difference to the eye is the size. This goose egg weighs 6 1/2 oz. A large chicken egg weighs 2 1/2 oz. One goose egg is equivalent to 3-4 chicken eggs.
This egg will fill your belly no doubt. Look at the size of that yoke! A healthy Black Australorp chicken will lay about 220-250 eggs a year. A Pilgrim goose, the kind we have, on the other hand will lay 35-45 eggs a year. Better enjoy them while you can. They only come in the spring and early summer.
If you ever get the opportunity to try duck, turkey or goose egg then don't be shy. They are very tasty and highly nutritious. If you live in this neighborhood of the prairie then you can try some of ours. We have a limited availability in the spring and early summer. Just give us a call and and we will let you know what we have available.
Happy, healthy, clean eating,
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Hello, I'm Jaci. I look forward to sharing my gardening and homestead adventures to help you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!