By far our favorite reason at Heirloom Potager to raise chickens is their nearly daily offerings of fresh eggs. Depending on the type of chicken, a hen can lay up to 250 eggs per year or about five eggs per week. Because our chickens are fed a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and the occasional pest insect, the eggs are large, rich in color, and have a sturdy thick shell. Farm fresh eggs differ from store bought eggs because they still have their bloom. The bloom is a protective coating that the hen applies to her eggs just before they are laid that seals the shell, preventing bacteria from entering and moisture from escaping.
Due to dirty conditions in factory farming, store bought eggs are required to be cleaned, removing the bloom, thus requiring refrigeration. Farm fresh eggs can sit out at room temperature for up to two weeks, or keep refrigerated for 3 months.
If you are on the fence about taking your own flock, or new to caring for chickens, please come back for more chicken information. In this series of articles about chickens we will dive into what you need to know to successfully raise happy and healthy chickens for your family to enjoy.