As I mentioned in this week's Crane Melon post I visited two organic farms this past weekend. While at Peterson's I picked up a dozen eggs right from under the chicken's feathers. Farm fresh eggs, I can hardly believe the taste difference. The yolks are vibrantly yellow and the egg carries a fuller taste. Stress-free chickens produce beautiful eggs.
The eggs were multi-colored and when I asked Ella May the beekeeper and farmer about this she told me that eggs with colored shells are any more nutritious than white-shelled eggs. The breeds that lay white-shelled eggs are more prolific and eat less feed, so they were the more profitable choice for factory farming here in the States. I remember as a kid the moniker of 'if you want local eggs look for brown shells.'
Egg production is directly related to day length. When the days are long the hens will lay more eggs, and when days are shorter, less. A chicken’s egg production cycle is roughly 25 hours long, and they will only release eggs during daylight hours. If on the 25th hour it's dark the hen will hold off until daylight to deliver the egg. Conversely in the commercial egg production world artificial light is kept on the hens 24/7 allowing an egg to be deliver every 25 hours, no matter what time it is outside. More reason to buy organic, right?
Also as the hen has to hold an egg for a long time, the effort for the next egg begins. Occasionally the new egg will bump into the held egg and they merge causing a double-shell. When you break the shell of this type of egg it will appear to have two shell layers on the outside.
An egg when organic or better still when organic and farm fresh, really is a perfect natural food due to being unrefined and unprocessed. What a great way to start the day.