Huh? Could you be a little more specific, Joan?
Certainly. I didn't eat a lot of eggs before these girls arrived in my life… Why? I just didn't feel really good when I ate eggs from the grocery store. I used them mostly for baking.
Are homegrown eggs really different than organic eggs you purchase at the farmers market or your local heath food store (or even at a regular grocery store).
For me, ABSOLUTELY!
They look like regular, ordinary eggs, don't they?
However, I have now discovered that they weren't. These were a valuable source of critical nutrition for me… and now they are no longer in my diet, as we had to re-home our girls when we moved from our home.
If you knew these type of eggs were a vital nutritional source for you, what would these eggs be worth to you? $0.99/dozen? $2.00/dozen? $5.00/dozen?
Would you pay $12.00/dozen? $1.00 per egg?
Would you pay $12.00/dozen? $1.00 per egg?
Are you crazy? That is ridiculously expensive!!!
Ever purchased one of these? I understand they cost about $2.69. If you purchase a white only version, it's $1.00. If you're willing to purchase one of these (or something similar from another "fast food restaurant"), why wouldn't you consider paying ONE DOLLAR per egg for eggs that are nutrient dense and provide high value to your diet?
I don't think you can say an Egg McMuffin has the nutrient value of organically raised, homegrown eggs. Why not? What was so special about your eggs?
Feed choice! I paid for a highly quality/locally sourced and milled feed - that was always non-gmo and is now certified organic. Yes, it does make a difference.
Because I chose a mash chicken feed, a lot of the smaller pieces and nutritional components were left in the bottom of the feeder. To insure that my chicken girls got everything they needed, I would give them a bowl of the "dust" from the feeder mixed with goat milk kefir every other day. They loved it and it added to their health and the eggs they produced.
In addition, my girls had fresh water regularly (usually I changed their water every other day - and washed out the gallon water container). I put approximately 2 Tablespoons of ACV in their water when changing it. This helped to keep their guts healthy.
They also had oyster shell calcium and grit available at all times.
While it was readily available, my girls also had a trough of non-gmo, unsprayed alfalfa. They didn't care for the straw (although they loved to scratch through it as I created piles out in their free range area), so I shook off the leaf (which went into the trough) and the straw made great compost out in the garden. Alfalfa is very bio-available to chickens and increases the nutrient value in their eggs. Today's challenge: most farmers are growing GMO alfalfa and it's very difficult to find a source for non-gmo, unsprayed alfalfa.
I also offered kale and sometimes spinach to my girls - especially on days when I couldn't be home and they had to stay in the coop all day. Here, Sussy is enjoying spinach.
Depending on the season, they received other food from my garden ~ overripe berries, greens that were too damaged for our table, pumpkins (seeds and flesh), cherry tomatoes... I had even thrown them bok choy that had bolted.
I kept their coop clean and used white shavings for their bedding/litter and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to deal with bugs.
Organic Cracked Corn - was a treat only on the coldest of nights, as chickens can easily put on extra weight from too much corn in their diets and disease can develop. When the temps fell, a corn treat before bed meant they'd burn off the corn all night and be toasty warm.
Organic Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) - a morning treat after I had completed my morning coop chores. They'd all come running at the sound of those seeds being shaken in the glass jar… And, they would "plant" some of those sunflowers and it was delightful to see a new plant sprout in their free range area.
Free Ranging! My girls had the ability to seek bugs and worms throughout the property on a daily basis (well, not when there was drenching rains - but most days - even if for a short window of time).
We have tried purchasing organic, soy-free eggs - but they don't hold the same nutritional value that my girls' eggs did. The whites are runny - mine were firm. The egg yolk is not the same beautiful orange either. And, the biggest test: I don't feel as good as I did when I ate the eggs my girls produced. Plus, we don't have that beautiful golden color added to our baked goods.
Sometimes, you don't realize the value of something until you don't have it any longer.
I may not be eating eggs in my diet right now (as we're living in a rental house that has no chicken space available), but I'm praising God in the midst of this challenging time. He has taught me a valuable lesson of what He had provided and that He is able to take care of my every need.
As I wait to have my own flock again, this I believe:
God is good.
He's got an amazing plan for my/our life.
I'm/We're going to have it!
Something good is going to happen to me/us.
Blaine and I continue to believe that Joy Bell Farm will be a real place; not just a place we hold dear in our hearts!
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
Abundant blessings. God has an amazing plan for your life too!