Table of Contents
Brooding and Early Care
Producing Your Own Feed
Excerpt from page 1
When was the last time you tasted a really fresh egg? One with a high yolk that was a deep dark yellow bordering on pink and a white that stayed together in a plump circle instead of running all over the frying pan? If you answer is "I guess I never have " you aren't alone. When my wife Louise and I first made our move from city to country I really believed that the lighter colored the yolk the fresher the egg. It wasn't until our first pullets began laying that I learned the facts that the yolk color is dependent on the pigments in the feed.
You see an egg is in many respects a living thing even if it is not fertile--which is the case with store-bought eggs; a hen will lay her quota of infertile eggs without ever setting eyes on a rooster. And in the time most commercially produced eggs spend in storage or transit they slowly lose water. You can tell a fresh egg from a stale one easily. Hard-boil it. If the dent in one end where the air pocket was is good sized your egg is stale.
We think there's a big difference too between poultry raised commercially and raised at home. Here the difference isn't the age of store birds but the methods and feeds used to raise them.
Commercial eating birds live out their brief spans in totally artificial surroundings. The heat light and humidity are all manipulated to generate quick growth. Birds are packed into the broiler factories nearly feather-to-feather.
We believe the difference is quickly apparent that there's a better flavor and firmer texture to our home-grown chickens.
Now does it make nutritional and economic sense to raise your own birds for eggs and meat?
An egg contains everything that goes into a chick that will hatch ready to walk peep feed itself and do most every chicken thing but fly. It is protein in large part all usable by the human body. Just a couple of eggs a day will provide an adult with one quarter to a third of his daily protein needs with relatively few calories accompanying them.
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