Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Chickens and Eggs

Today I've learned a new thing about eggs and their colours that I'd like to share here. Obviously we're all familiar with the brown and white eggs in the supermarkets. My parents once told me that the brown eggs are from free range chicken while the white eggs are from chicken fed and raised in cages.

There is an element of truth in that, but the idea behind it is false. It is true that caged hens and mass egg producing industries generally ship the white colour eggs, but that has nothing to do with feeding and environment, but with the type of chicken being used. There isn't only one single type of chickens but a variety of sub-species. The ones producing the white eggs are known as Leghorn and they require less feed to produce eggs (thus more economical, thus more favored by commercial producers). The brown eggs (from Barred Rocks hens) require more feeding and the hens don't produce as many eggs as the Leghorn thus are usually available in less commercialized stores or viewed as the organic or free range alternative.

Now comes the surprise - there are yet more variety of hens that produce even more colours! Greenish-blue eggs and chocolate brown eggs. The Araucanas hens produce a very lovely greenish eggs and if you cross breed you would get an even larger range of naturally colour eggs!

I have no idea if there is any difference in taste, but it really makes me want to have my own farm one day and raise all the different kind of hens there are!