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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,981
1/29/12 10:55 A

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Shire,
I agree with only eating eggs from organically raised animals.
About the yolk color, it may be different in chickens, I used to think that yellow yolks are a better sign, but have found that the yolk color for my ducks varies tremendously by breed (and skin color). They all have access to the same area so I assume they all eat about the same.
The other thing to keep in mind when getting poultry for eggs is that they lay well for a couple of years and then very little. So if you don't want to slaughter for meat you either have to keep a lot more animals than you get eggs from after a few years or find pet homes, which is almost impossible for non-layers. We Now have 4 birds out of 14 that don't lay at all. Also, most will not lay year-round, which is good, because their body needs a break to stay healthy.
Having said all that, I really enjoy having my ducks around. They provide a ton of fertilizer for the garden and they are so much fun to watch when they splash around in their pool.
Most domestic ducks, with the exception of Mallards and Moscovies will not fly higher than 3 feet so won't leave your yard or land on top of stuff and leave decorations, just a thought, as you can see I'm very partial to ducks. They do make a bit of a mud puddle when they bathe in the winter. emoticon

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 1/29/2012 (10:57)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 945
1/29/12 9:08 A

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P, I agree. I think it's kinda steep. Though it's true that prices vary in different parts of the country. Organic feed is way higher in price than regular feed. Like more than twice as expensive. So they're getting organic price for regular cost. Also, a key reason I buy organic feed is to get away from GMO corn, soy, etc. I would not eat an egg from a chicken fed anything but organic grain.




“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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GEMINIAN1's Photo GEMINIAN1 Posts: 5,111
1/28/12 11:14 P

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PRUSSIANETTE Posts: 96
1/28/12 11:08 P

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Shire, you indicate you give your chickens organic feed. That is what I find so confusing about this situation. The farm grows organic vegetables, and is a part of a community where residents can't even put non-organic fertilizer, herbicides, or insecticides on their lawns. So, I was completely thrown when they indicate they feed their chickens non-organic grain. Now, granted, it probably is a small part of their diet, and I'm sure their eggs are healthier than the "regular" eggs at the store. However, if your livelihood is growing organic vegetables, why wouldn't you feed your chickens organic feed? Is the cost that much greater? I guess I was thinking at $5 a dozen, it would justify organic.

SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 945
1/28/12 11:00 P

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That is just sad. Too darn many laws in the world.




“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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GEMINIAN1's Photo GEMINIAN1 Posts: 5,111
1/28/12 10:41 P

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Oh SHIRE you don't know how much I wish I could.
It is illegal for me to have Chickens on my own land.
I have room for them.
I do it in a heartbeat.
Thank you for the website; I'll go there and daydream.
emoticon



SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 945
1/28/12 10:04 P

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Gem - It's easy to keep chickens if you are allowed to in your neighborhood. 4-6 chickens would give you all the eggs you need and free entertainment to boot. They require about 5 minutes of attention twice a day, once you get everything set up for them. Go to Mother Earth News site and check out home chicken outfits (chicken tractors, etc.). Great fun.




“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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GEMINIAN1's Photo GEMINIAN1 Posts: 5,111
1/28/12 9:58 P

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@ ... 'Thanks, I did not know that, but I think that outdoor access does not require pasture, it could be a small concrete pen.'

I believe that you are thinking of the food laws for the use of the terminology regarding "Free Range" and not "100% USDA Certified Organic".
Eggs labeled "Free Range" can absolutely be Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.
When the inspector comes, all Free Range Labelers have to have is a small concrete slab for them to go out onto.

I believe that the 100% USDA Certified Organic Food Laws state that the Chickens have to be treated humanly. Also, in order to be 100% USDA Certified Organic, the Feed must also be 100% USDA Certified Organic.


SHIRE I am soooo very jealous of you my friend.
Every single time I go to the grocery store I talk about how I wish I was free to have Chickens on my own land. Every time.
I also think about it often.
On average, we go through 72 eggs a week.
I typically eat, a minimum of, 4 per day.



SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 945
1/28/12 9:26 P

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I have about 60 chickens and we sell eggs locally. I do feed them organic feed, and they range all over, but I'm not certified because for this small of an operation, it's not economical. But people know me and my chickens and I could get $5 for them if I sold them directly at the farmers market. I like just selling them at a local grocery market, though, so I get $3.25. Which is fine. It pays for the feed.

The thing about ranging is that they get tons of nutrients from feeding on grass and bugs. You can tell if an egg is healthy for you if the yolk is dark yellow or even orange. If it's pale lemony, it's probably not as healthful and won't taste the same either.



“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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ANNEV2012's Photo ANNEV2012 SparkPoints: (13,528)
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1/28/12 7:58 P

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I would buy those eggs -- from their information it looks like those eggs ARE "organic" all but for the certification!

4/15/12 Platte River half marathon - Done
5/4/12 Greenland 50K - Done
7/29/12 Loveland Little Sprint Triathlon - Done
9/3/12 (54th birthday) - American Discovery Trail marathon
11/4/12 NYC marathon
12/1/12 Rock Canyon Half marathon




HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,981
1/28/12 2:56 P

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Thanks, I did not know that, but I think that outdoor access does not require pasture, it could be a small concrete pen.

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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GEMINIAN1's Photo GEMINIAN1 Posts: 5,111
1/28/12 1:36 P

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,981
1/28/12 1:03 P

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We raise our own ducks for eggs and I know that both ducks and chickens will browse for much of their own food when on pasture. Grain may only be 20% or less of their diet. On the other hand chickens that produce organic eggs could be kept inside without much sunlight and only fed grain and those eggs, even though organic, may not be very healthy at all, especially if the hens are fed mostly corn, wheat and soy.
The stress for chickens kept inside only can be significant and the stress hormones their bodies produce from a species-inappropriate raising practice can't be good for the eggs or the chickens.
Also keep in mind that your suppliers may very well be trying to go organic but certification is expensive. I would ask what grains they are feeding the chickens and what percentage of their diet approximately comes from grain.

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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GEMINIAN1's Photo GEMINIAN1 Posts: 5,111
1/28/12 10:43 A

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PRUSSIANETTE Posts: 96
1/28/12 9:30 A

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The farm from which I buy my Spring thru Fall CSA share of organic vegetables also sold shares of organic eggs as well last year. It was the first year they ventured into eggs, and they had to refund some of our money as the chickens simply did not produce in the Fall. They indicated they were re-assessing their egg program and would notify us if/when they decided to start it up again.

Well, this week they just sent out an email indicating they would sell egg shares, but they are not classified as organic, but "pasture-raised", and will cost $5 a dozen. They provided the following information in the email:

"Our hens are raised outside on pasture. They can move around freely with plenty of access to clean water, fresh air and sunlight. We encourage them to graze on grasses, green plants and bugs. Besides being outside, the chickens are raised without any added hormones, chemicals or anti-biotics in their diet."

"Our chickens are fed a wholesome, diverse diet of grains, vegetables and fruits. Because part of their diet consists of non-organic grain, the eggs are not labeled organic."

Now I know what they say about the chickens moving around freely is true because I see them when I pick up my food. But, I am very conflicted about buying non-organic eggs at $5 since I can buy organic for less than that at the grocery store. However, I know the ones from the farm are absolutely fresh.

Just wondering what other peoples' thoughts were and what type of criteria they use in making these kind of decisions.


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