Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Heritage Chicken Eggs


Recommended Posts

I picked these up today from a semi-local breeder/farmer today at the last day of the Indy Winter's Farmers' Market.

The eggs:

DSCN8422b_800.jpg

The blah-blah on his label on the carton:

DSCN8419a_800.jpg

Six bucks US for the dozen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Six bucks US for the dozen.

:shock:

I get less than half that for organic eggs.

~Martin

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I pay $3 /dozen from my local organic chicken farmer. While I applaud the goals of using more sustainable (for the earth's and our health) and humane (for the chickens) methods, I wonder whether $6/dozen isn't a bit, er, overinflated. Unsustainable, even.

Aren't the colors beautiful? I love getting variously-colored eggs. I must admit that so far I haven't been able to tell a difference - they all taste great - but Lynne Rosetto Kasper, whose palate is doubtless more finely tuned than mine, noted a creamier and richer flavor with one breed's eggs (don't ask me which one) than with another.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, they're expensive although beautiful. I *certainly* wouldn't pay that much for eggs on a regular basis. The guy who sells these is one of those types who proclaim their organic/all-natural/holistic/blah-blah "credentials" and have pamphlets and stuff on their utterly all-natural and sooo healthful products etc. (No, he's not a young hipster dude - he's a middle-aged non-ponytail-haired guy) His main line is actually "naturally brewed/fermented" ("Live organic lactic acid fermented foods") - sauerkraut, kimchi, veggie mixes, pickles, fermented beverages, that sort of thing. Note the bit about feeding his chickens "sauerkraut production trimmings" and "probiotic microbes, enzymes" in the blurb on his label on the egg carton , pictured above. All his fermented offerings are not cheap, naturally. (Pun intended) There are, however, the well-heeled foodie-type yuppies who *would* religiously buy them on a regular basis.

But in a wider comment regarding farm fresh eggs at farmers' markets or organic food stores - around these parts they usually run around US$4 - 4.50 a dozen for the "ordinary" eggs. "Heritage chicken eggs" like these I picked up today *do* run around US$5+ . The $6 I paid today is within range, sad to say, for here. :-( The cheapest I've found is $3.95/doz at the local organic food store (Good Earth) for eggs from one particular producer for the "regular" eggs. Purportedly "organic"/"free-range" eggs at the regular/normal large (chain) supermarkets will run around $3 or thereabouts.

In a general sense, stuff at farmers' markets in this area are not cheap. I had an interesting discussion with other posters on another forum some time back about the relative costs of produce etc at farmers' markets in different locales and folks in California in particular were astonished at how much these "natural" things cost (in general) in the Midwest versus what they paid in sunny growing-friendly California :-). Some other posters from the Midwest besides myself were not surprised at the costs I reported. Perhaps others here, however, have different experiences?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some folks do really suck up the exagerated marketing propoganda (and pay the price.) If a grower can take advantage of it I guess it's a good thing.....for them!

I can't around here, most folks draw the line at about $2.50 to $2.75 a dozen, I've tried $3.00 but sales really taper off at that price.

It wouldn't make sense for me to chase the upscale market due to the much higher overhead.

Anyway, I like to have a close personal relationship with customers and all my customers know that I eat the things that I produce and I try to make them then best products possible, for all of us.

I'm a firm believer in the benefits of pasturing poultry and feeding them a highly nutritious and very diverse organic diet....including but far from limited to probiotics in the form of fermented foods and purslane due to its high omega 3 content.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blah, blah is right!

Reads like mostly hype to me.

I don't go to Farmer's Markets, I go directly to the farmer's and establish relationships.

In SE Wisconsin i pay $2.50/doz for XL(sometimes with double yolks) from hens that are not caged and fed corn that is grown locally and ground by the farmer himself to keep costs down.

No hype on the carton's which are recycled.

As with anything, Farmer's Markets have become a place for the hucksters etc. Ask the seller's where they get thier wares, most tell me that they purchase locally and when pressed, do not have anything to do with production.

Caveat emptor.-Dick

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yard eggs from arucana/amerucana run $2.50 to $3 at my local farmers markets, direct from the farmer. No hype, no little stickers proclaiming their virtues. Seriously, the individually printed, colored stickers seem like a packaging waste. A single reusable sign at the farmers sales table would accomplish the same marketing goal and not end up immediately in the landfill or recycling bin. Wasteful, no?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My "egg man" brings me a basket of eggs which can vary from two dozen to three dozen, depending on the size of the eggs and I pay him a flat rate of $5. for a basket. Mostly the eggs are extra-large, sometimes jumbo.

Since he is delivering them I'm not going to quibble about the price.

Occasionally, when I am going to be doing a lot of baking, I call and get a double order.

There is a slight difference in flavor, a decided difference in appearance - much yellower yolks and the whites tend to stick together better when poaching.

I have to hold them in the fridge for at least a week for successful hard boiling.

He has quite a few breeds of "exotic" chickens that he raises for show and breeding - the eggs he sells are a by-product.

The eggs range from white through all the browns to nearly black and blue, green and speckled. He has some really HUGE chickens - Jersey Giants - that routinely lay double-yolk eggs with the occasional triple yolk. I think some are crosses with another large breed - I was raised on a farm and I never saw chickens the size of these...

He also raises guinea fowl, ducks, geese and recently expanded to game birds - quail, pheasants, etc., and will sell those eggs if he has extras not needed for incubating.

I have bought eggs at the local farmer's market, not impressed and in my opinion they are overpriced. I checked the cartons at one, where I did not buy, and half the eggs in the cartons were medium or smaller but were priced at $3.50. The woman said they were "organic" but they did not display the organic certification. The placed that did have the organic cert had eggs that were large to extra-large and priced at $4.00/dozen with 50¢ off if you returned an empty carton. That particular farmer is local, owns an almond orchard and the chickens have the run of the orchard which also has a crop of some green stuff on which the flocks forage until it is mowed before the harvest season. I have been to their farm stand and the eggs are $3.00/doz there - with 50¢ off if you take along an empty carton but their hours are erratic. Most of the others are from out of this area and I suspect the eggs are commercial production so I don't buy them.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I had an egg man, but am I the walrus? Sorry, couldn't resist.

Around here, we have a large variety of eggs available from various sources. They tend to run from about $2.50 - $7.00 a dozen. As a general comment, I believe that the eggs that are available in the grocery stores now are quite a bit better than they were a few years back. All the stores have cage free varieties and the flavor is really improved. Some better than others and the same brands vary somewhat from carton to carton as with all natural products.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The woman said they were "organic" but they did not display the organic certification.

If one sells less than $5,000 of organic products annually, he/she need not be certified, but still must comply with organic standards in order to market products as organic.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In California sellers have to comply with organic certification rules. There have been several actions taken against sellers who do not comply.

I recall one up north - in Eureka or Petaluma - but don't remember details.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the rules are the same as everywhere else, those with sales of less than $5000 don't have to be certified, but must still follow the rules.

"In accordance with the California Organic Products Act of 2003 and the National Organic Program if your annual gross sales are more than $5,000.00 you are required by law to be certified."

Source: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/organic.html

~Martin

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Organic free-range eggs are $7.75/ dozen in my supermarket.

Plantes Vertes, out of curiosity, where are you located? (generally, if you would prefer not to be specific)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Around here, organic eggs from pastured chickens runs from about $6.50 to $8.50 a dozen. I've had some true organic, pastured eggs, and they are amazingly good and rich. Unfortunately, I don't eat many eggs - it's not worthwhile for me to buy a dozen, so every now and then I'll grab a 1/2 dozen, if available, and it's such a pleasure eating them. One of the local markets now carries flats of these eggs, and I can buy just one or two ... I now do that when the eggs have arrived and they are at their freshest.

If you've not enjoyed eggs such as these, you owe it to yourself to at least try them. Some people find the flavor too intense, or the eggs too rich, having become used to the more common commercial eggs, whether organic, free range, cage-free, or just regular ol' eggs.

Don't confuse eggs from pastured chickens with free range or cage-free eggs ... they're not quite the same thing.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Around here, organic eggs from pastured chickens runs from about $6.50 to $8.50 a dozen. I've had some true organic, pastured eggs, and they are amazingly good and rich. Unfortunately, I don't eat many eggs - it's not worthwhile for me to buy a dozen, so every now and then I'll grab a 1/2 dozen, if available, and it's such a pleasure eating them. One of the local markets now carries flats of these eggs, and I can buy just one or two ... I now do that when the eggs have arrived and they are at their freshest.

If you've not enjoyed eggs such as these, you owe it to yourself to at least try them. Some people find the flavor too intense, or the eggs too rich, having become used to the more common commercial eggs, whether organic, free range, cage-free, or just regular ol' eggs.

Don't confuse eggs from pastured chickens with free range or cage-free eggs ... they're not quite the same thing.

"Pastured" as applied to chickens is a new term for me. What is the difference?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the rules are the same as everywhere else, those with sales of less than $5000 don't have to be certified, but must still follow the rules.

"In accordance with the California Organic Products Act of 2003 and the National Organic Program if your annual gross sales are more than $5,000.00 you are required by law to be certified."

Source: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/organic.html

~Martin

Thanks, Martin. I'm sure that all of the vendors here make a lot more than $5 K in gross sales. Apparently some of those rules were included for "grandfathering" in some very small organic operations that had been in operation for decades and which were early proponents of the organic movement - some from the fifties - where they used much of their own produce and sold only the excess. I visited yesterday with a couple my age (70s) who have been raising greens and herbs on a very small patch in Agua Dulce since the early '60s. They applied for and got their certification at the very beginning just to prove it could be done. They have a small flock of chickens but can't allow them "free range" outside of covered runs because of the numerous hawks in the area and at night, the coyotes, which have no problem getting over 8 ft fences. They no longer raise their own chicken feed but buy certified organic feed that is based on millet because they no longer trust any kind of commercially grown corn - and don't want to use soy. It's expensive but their entire output goes to regular customers who are willing to pay (mostly neighbors who don't have their own chickens) and there is a distinct difference in these eggs. $6.50/dozen.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Controlling predators certainly is a challenge.

I raise large breed chickens because hawks and owls are less likely to bother them.

I control foxes and coyotes with electrified netting and and electric high-tensile fence around the perimeter.

Millet makes great chicken feed.

I also grow grain amaranth, grain sorghum (milo), naked barley, naked oats, hulless pumpkin seeds, peas, among other things.

I've recently planted some siberian pea shrub and maximillian sunflower in hopes that those perennials can provide some good feed.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

$6 US for one dozen is slightly more expensive than those sold at USGM -- $5 if memory serves for one dozen chicken eggs from Quattro's, $4.50/5 at Knoll Krest.

I don't know if the eggs I've always bought from either of those vendors are heritage chicken eggs. I'll hazard a guess -- probably not (but I'll be sure to ask the next time I restock! as this topic has now piqued my curiosity). As for the taste and color: yolks are a more intense orange/yellow, whites are firmer, and there is a richer/"eggier" taste than regular supermarket eggs. By regular, I mean the ones packed in your typical styrofoam egg trays and not the slightly more upscale brands (whose labels I can see in my mind's eye, but whose names escape me for now).

Slightly off-topic, but this link explains more about heritage meats for those of you who are interested: https://www.localharvest.org/features/heritage-meats.jsp

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Organic free-range eggs are $7.75/ dozen in my supermarket.

Plantes Vertes, out of curiosity, where are you located? (generally, if you would prefer not to be specific)

I'm in the UK, not far from London. I converted £5 to US$. I notice that food prices vary greatly throughout the US as they surely do here too, but I believe they are generally somewhat higher on my side of the pond.

Since my childhood egg-buying habits have altered quite radically in this country. Now it is very much frowned on to buy eggs from caged hens; there was a big campaign about it by animal welfare groups perhaps 12 years or so ago, and now several supermarkets and big brands have eliminated them altogether from their products. Curiously, the most hen-friendly eggs are to be had in supermarkets and high-end food shops as opposed to markets in my city, which are mostly neither organic nor local.

The eggs I see are mostly like the browner ones in your set - we don't get the paler shades very often and especially not the lovely green ones you have there, although duck and goose eggs are commonly available and they are blue-ish to bone white, and about twice the size of a medium hen's egg, but don't taste much different.`I've never seen eggs from heritage breeds for sale.

I heard on a recent food story on the radio that medium-sized hen's eggs usually come from younger birds, and the large ones from older, so the smaller ones are better quality. Anyone know if that's true?

Edited by Plantes Vertes (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

"I heard on a recent food story on the radio that medium-sized hen's eggs usually come from younger birds, and the large ones from older, so the smaller ones are better quality. Anyone know if that's true?"

Not everything your hear or read is factual, in fact much is incorrect.

Certainly younger hens give smaller eggs but why should smaller be better? Doesn't make any sense and I can detect no difference.

In fact there is no quantifiable difference that we can determine in factory eggs versus the farm eggs we purchase.

One would have to do blind testing with a number of testers to try to determine if a tester can find a difference and then whether the tester prefers factory or farm is still subjective. Often what we prefer is what we grew up with or our predisposition to find farm eggs better.

We don't purchase farm eggs for the taste but for hopefully the better feed and care of the hens. -Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the human body drops its best quality eggs early on in life, but I have no idea if chickens do, and I don't know if reduced Asperger etc eggs actually taste better from eggs from older birds.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...