Frequently asked questions: Eggs

what types of laying hens do you have?

We have a flock that consists of a wide variety of heritage breeds.  These include Ameraucanas, Wellsummers, Naked Necks and Delawares, to name a few.  We have chosen heritage breeds over production sex-linked breeds for their hardiness on pasture and egg qualities as well as concern for heritage breed conservancy.

What do you feed your hens?

Our hens are pasture-raised, so in addition to all the grasses, forbs and insects that they can forage, we provide them with a locally milled non-gmo layer ration.  The main ingredients in their ration are Pacific Northwest grown peas and wheat.

How are these eggs different from regular eggs?

Pasture-raised chickens produce eggs that are nutritionally superior, richer tasting, with deep orange yolks: you can see and taste the difference that pasture makes.  Studies have shown that eggs from pasture-raised chickens are significantly higher in vitamins A, E, beta carotene and omega-3 fattly acids than conventionally raised birds.

Where can I buy your eggs?

Our eggs are available directly from us at the various farmers markets that we attend.  We hope to be able to scale up in the near future to have our eggs available at other Corvallis outlets.

are they available year-round?

With the proliferance of factory farmed eggs it has been culturally forgotten that eggs are as much as seasonal product as tomatoes or peaches in the summer.  Hens' natural laying cycle starts in the spring and tapers off in the fall when the chickens molt and take a winter break.  Industrial agriculture gets around these natural cycles by providing year round, often 24 hours a day, artificial lighting.  We have chosen to allow our chickens to live their lives as nature intended and as such have several months during which we have no eggs to sell.  

What do you do with your old layers?

When our hens reach 4 years or stop laying eggs permanently we retire them as stewing hens.  Stewing hens have largely been forgotten due to the ubiquitous boxed chicken stock, but most grandmothers can remember buying them in the grocery store to make the best homemade soups and broth.  We generally have stewing hens available in the late fall through early spring.  If you have never make homemade broth, we highly recommend it.  There are volumes written on the health benefits of broth; not to mention, it is delicious.