Our chickens are happy, healthy and living the good life! We have had our chickens since they were 2 days old. They started laying eggs when they were around 4 months old (November, 2019). We strive to give our chickens a wonderful life because we think happy and healthy hens lay more delicious eggs! Plus they get plenty of hugs from our three year old daughter, which only adds to their happy life :) Below are some fun facts about how we raise and care for our chickens.
What does "Free Range" mean?
Free range means that our hens are free to roam around our 2 acres from sun up to sun down - soaking up all the sunshine they can (aka Vitamin D). They have an extra-large chicken coop that Andy built out of reclaimed wood from our barn. The chickens can always find shelter in the coop (they are put in the coop every night for their protection) and have clean nesting boxes in the coop to lay their beautiful multi-colored eggs.
What are the chickens fed?
They are fed all certified organic, non-gmo chicken feed. They get fresh water every day. They also get our organic kitchen scraps (yum!). Additionally, they have plenty of delicious bugs and grass to munch on throughout our organic farm.
How are the eggs collected and stored?
The eggs are collected at least twice a day and put into containers that are labeled with the collection date. Although the eggs are immediately refrigerated, we do leave them unwashed so that the protective "bloom" is still intact. The bloom is the natural coating on the shell which seals the shell pores. This helps to prevent bacteria from getting inside the egg and reduces moisture loss from the egg. This also allows the eggs to be left out at room temperature and helps the egg to last longer. We think farm fresh eggs can be left out at room temperature for up to 2 weeks and in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.
Although our farm and the sale of our eggs is not required to follow the federal requirements for the labeling of eggs, out of an abundance of caution, we put the FDA's "Safe Handling Instructions" on our egg cartons, which reads: "SAFE HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS: To prevent illness from bacteria: keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly."
What cartons do you use?
We gave this a lot of thought and it was not an easy decision! We looked into paper, foam and recycled plastic (which is what we went with). Based on the research we found, the recycled plastic was the best choice for our farm. None of these choices are perfect, but the recycled plastic (as opposed to virgin plastic) takes a little less to process and it can be recycled after you use it (yay!). Also, since we have multi-colored eggs (so pretty), we wanted you to be able to see the eggs and to pick the ones you want (plus you can see if any are cracked without even opening the carton). Lastly, we thought the tri-fold cartons were sturdier and would protect the eggs better.
Where can we get the eggs?
We have been enjoying eggs from our chickens for months now. The yolks are orange in color and taste delicious. We think there is a huge difference in taste from store bought eggs. We have 7 hens and have been getting more eggs than we can eat so we have decided to share with our community through our farm stand starting in the spring/summer of 2020. Since we have a small flock, eggs will be limited, but we know you will love them! We will post on our Instagram stories (follow us on Instagram at @addisonfarmllc) when they are available!