Proof–Once Again–That Organic Can Feed the World


A good egg

A good egg

No, the egg on the right was not laid by an ostrich.

It was laid by one of my aged hens. The 10-bird flock dines on organic feed and ranges freely (weather permitting). By comparison, the runty egg on the left came from an inorganic factory farm where hens are kept in tiny cages. It was labeled “Grade A Large.”

What does that make my egg?

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  1. unsightly says:

    Grade A Mammoth.

  2. Barry says:

    Or perhaps “Grade A Squaaaaaaaaaaawk”

  3. Pat says:

    Not that I’m defending non-organic farming, but it’s not the organic-ness that leads to large eggs. Hens lay larger eggs as they get older. My 7 chickens are now 2 1/2 years old, and most of their eggs are like that too. It’s hard to find egg cartons that can contain them when I have some to share – they don’t even fit in the cartons sized for duck & goose eggs anymore. Weirdly, they don’t seem to take much notice when they lay those enormous ones – just stand up and walk away as if nothing happened. ;-)

  4. Barry says:

    Aw, Pat. And I thought it was my poultry husbandry skills. ;) On the other hand, who but a silly organic backyard chicken farmer would let his hens get to be 2 1/2 years old?

  5. Pat says:

    A silly backyard chicken farmer whose chickens have become child substitutes. :-) I totally love them all. Even the rooster who is cranky sometimes. He makes up for it by being cuddly when it’s cold out.

  6. Gretchen says:

    Out of curiosity, how many yolks were in that egg? I worked on an organic farm last year, and we had some mammoth eggs appear from time to time… three yolks was not uncommon.

  7. Barry says:

    Hi, Gretchen. There was only one yolk in that giant egg. I find that multi-yolk eggs are more common younger hens. Mine are a geriatric crew.

  8. Becky says:

    I have kept chickens for close to 30 years, it’s not the organic and you really DON’T want you eggs coming out like that on a regualr basis. It’s not healthy for your birds. The hen may look like it’s no bother, but it may be too big and regular or frequent extra large eggs can hurt or hens over the long run. Yes, the eggs do get larger as the birds get older, but the eggs will also come less frequent as the hen matures. I don’t cull my hens, they get to live here on the farm till they die or I have to put them down. I have a hen that will celebrate her 8th birthday here this spring. She stopped laying all together about 3 years ago. Well, I should say, it’s a blue moon when she lays and egg anymore and they are blue eggs. Not culling isn’t a very good practice either, the hens that don’t lay impact the ones that do, they will lay fewer eggs, I think it’s a laxiness factor. “Why should i lay when she doesn’t”. I”m glad everyone enjoys their birds, they are a constant source of entertainment here on my farm. And Barry, I commend you on your drive, spirit and motivation. My family has been farming in Ohio since the early 1840’s, I farm too. I don’t always agree with you, but I respect your ideas in the greater discussion for the future of modern agriculture.

  9. My weekly box of organic eggs always contains different sized eggs which my neighbour thinks is reason enough to take them back and demand a regular size or my money back. I try to explain this is how it’s meant to be but she doesn’t get it. Let’s be grateful for hen’s eggs whatever the size so long as the hen is having a good life that means we are too!

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