I have to confess. I started out as a skeptic. I loved the idea of collecting my breakfast from the nest box in the backyard, but I doubted the chicken eggs I collected would taste any different than the ones found at the store.
After all, an egg is an egg ....right? I mean, sure, there's not any harmful chemicals in my fresh eggs. And yes, they were warm when I brought them in the house. But, really, would that make a big difference in the taste?
To perform a taste test, I fried up two eggs. One free range from the store and one fresh from the coop. First, I noticed that my chicken egg's shell was much harder to break. The shell seemed thicker, harder, and the membrane beneath it harder still.
Next, I noticed that my chicken egg yolk was much brighter yellow than the free range store bought egg. At the time this surprised me because I thought 'free range' meant that the chicken who laid that egg lived a life similar to the chickens in my backyard (I've since found out this is not true).
And the taste? Of course my chicken egg won, hands down. It tasted, well, fresher. And the yolk much richer. By the time my chickens laid their first eggs, I was already 6 months into the process, so I was already hooked on having chickens! A fantastic tasting egg just put me over the top!
Aside from being fresh and tasting delicious, backyard eggs are better for you. You might be surprised how the nutrition information stacks up.
What to DO With All those Eggs
Eat them, of course! Go to the recipe page for recipes that use eggs. Recipes like German Pancakes, Molten Lava Chocolate Cake, and Baked Eggs, just to name a few. (If you have a good egg recipe, please submit it here!)
Find out the trick to boiling those fresh eggs so that you can remove the shell if you want to make hard boiled eggs.
If you find yourself with too many eggs on your hands, sell some to friends and relatives. Or give some away to your neighbors to foster a bit of chicken love (this is especially helpful if you have a neighbor who is less than enthusiastic about your chicken ventures).
Don't Waste the Shells!
Even the shells can be used. Nothing needs go to waste! You can compost them. Or crush them up and line your garden areas with them (discourages slugs because they don't like the sharp edges).
Or, my favorite thing to do with them is to bake them, crush them, and feed them to my chickens for a great source of calcium. My chickens LOVE them. And it's easy to prepare them. Find out how here.
Here's some more ideas on what to do with the egg shells.
What If They Look Weird?
From time to time chickens lay odd eggs. Is this a cause for alarm or is it normal? The answer depends on what the egg looks like. Here's a description of the most common chicken egg problems and what causes them.
What if They're Dirty?
Here's how to clean dirty eggs safely.