Backyard Chickens

Finally, someone who agrees with me that the eggs taste the same as store bought.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my chickens and having access to fresh eggs daily.  But personally I have never tasted a difference between the eggs my hens lay and the ones from the store 

I like eggs, but I don’t love them, so I’m no judge. But many swear by farm market eggs. Say they taste so much better. Maybe it’s just psychological since they paid more for them?

I buy Trader Joe (Sauger's) eggs.  Tabby buys free range eggs.  I can't taste a difference.

There was a scientific 'blind taste test' study released a couple of years ago.  They could not find any difference betweern white & brown eggs.

I love eggs. Just love them. Was always on the search for something that tastes even better.

And I have yet to notice a difference between any kind of egg. And I've tried a lot. So I'm not looking anymore.

I have brown and blue eggs.  No taste difference.  I just ordered some new chicks, their eggs are supposed to be white when they start laying.  

The main reasons I have chickens is because they’re fun.  I know what they’re eating.  I know how they’re being treated.

Yeah, I have no issue with people keeping chickens. Kinda cool, actually.

When they start laying, do they lay an egg a day? Because that seems like a lot of work.

drummerboy said:

Yeah, I have no issue with people keeping chickens. Kinda cool, actually.

When they start laying, do they lay an egg a day? Because that seems like a lot of work.

Some breeds lay around 150 eggs a year, some close to 300.  Some older breeds, like Old English Game, might lay less than 100 eggs per year.  The hybrids lay the most.  The most popular hybrid being the production red.  It has a cute name depending on who is selling them.  Cinnamon Queen.  Golden Comet.  They basically lay a ton of eggs.  I don’t give my birds artificial light or heat, but they still lay through most of the winter.  

However, laying that many eggs comes with a dark side.  Pop, one of my two Easter Eggers (another hybrid bred to lay a lot of eggs) laid a double yolk egg.  It happens.  Then two days later Pop laid another.  Then the next week she laid two more.  That was four abnormally large double yolk eggs in two weeks, way too many.  Then a few days later I found her dead in the nest box. She was less than 10 months old.  Pop and her sister Tart both only used the nest box for laying eggs, neither one slept in it, so Pop must have gone in to lay an egg and probably had an aneurysm laying yet another monster egg.  She was not egg bound, she was producing daily except for the day she died.  

Two of my four year old reds died recently.  One I found dead the day after she laid a huge 114 gram egg.  For context, a jumbo supermarket egg weighs around 70.9 grams.  Did the huge egg kill her?  I don’t know. It could have been a symptom of reproductive issues.  It could have been coincidence.  I was asking on the local forums and people basically said I was lucky to get a hybrid to live four years, they basically die from a multitude of reproductive issues around age 2 or 3.  Unlike the older breeds (Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Orpington, etc) the new “super layers” aren’t meant to last at all.  They’re kept for about 18 months and then culled, so longevity is not something the breeders are concerned with.

There is a breed called a Deathlayer.  I don’t know much about them or their lifespan, but they seem popular with the chicken forum people.  I’m told they lay almost daily until they die.  Supposedly this doesn’t affect their lifespan, but I’m skeptical.

Personally, I’m now getting breeds that lay less eggs in the hopes of having healthier and happier chickens.  I like the eggs, but mine are pets, so seeing them lay themselves to death is upsetting.

That was very interesting. I had no idea of the complexities, but at the same time not surprised at what they do to commercial breeds.

I wish you good luck in finding a happy and long lived chicken.

@spontaneous, new research that may be of interest: 

The study looked at behaviour as well as feed and laying patterns.

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