Pastured Eggs?!


PiperBlackstone

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The $7/dozen "Pastured" eggs I have been trying to justify are still fed corn and soy "to keep them happy."  According to their website vitalfarms.com

 

What a scam!!!   

 

Are these eggs still worth the money and are there any truly pastured eggs?

 

Has anyone pasture raised their own?  I have the land (cattle ranch) and would love to do it myself but don't know if the chickens could truly be raised 100% pastured in cold Wyoming.

 

What do you think?

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I found local, pastured, soy free eggs at the farmers market.  I have to trust that they are telling the truth, since I don't have time to chase them down, peek in the storage barn, and look for bags of soy feed.   :)   The chickens are pastured, but supplemented with feed if necessary, but not soy.

 

I buy them 3 or 4 dozen at a time, since I can't get there very often. 

 

I just lucked into finding them.  If I run out before I get there, I buy the more generic "pastured" eggs from Whole Foods or Mom's, but the local ones are cheaper!  (~$5.50/dz).  I don't sweat it much, either way. 

 

I'd love to have chickens in my yard, but not allowed here anymore, and my schedule really won't permit it.

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I do believe all chickens are fed some feed, even true pastured chickens. Especially in climates where they can't be outside year round. If you want to raise your own that is a great idea and I would encourage you to find a feed that is soy free and GMO. I know one of my chicken raising friends has done that. I spend a lot of money on locally raised soy free eggs and it is well worth it but they were hard to find. Pastured eggs from chickens fed corn and soy though are still better than organic cage free both from a standard of health and of bird happiness.

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My farmer raises chickens on pasture. I visit on Saturday mornings and help for an hour or so, so am intimately familiar. They have free range around the barn in the sheep pastures and he gives them greens and other waste from the garden, but they still need feed as a supplement to keep them producing eggs steadily. Organic feed was so expensive that he gave up buying it and supplements with ordinary chicken feed. Now he only charges $5 a dozen for eggs, but he thought raising the price of eggs to cover the cost of the expensive feed was not appropriate. 

 

You need to see the farm to make a judgement about whether a chicken is honestly pasture raised. The law allows vendors to say chickens are pastured if they have access through a door to an outside pen from the warehouse where they actually spend almost all of their time. There is no guarantee any particular chicken actually goes outside. All that is guaranteed is that a chicken could go outside if it wanted to. 

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I pay $7 a doz for pastured eggs from a friend's farm where they create their own feed that is soy and GMO free.  Unlike cows, chickens are perfectly capable of digesting corn, so it's not necessary that they are corn free for them to be healthy.  We used to raise our own chickens and the eggs from my friends are as close to the ones we raised as I can find, so I don't mind paying for it.  Either pay for the grain and do the work to keep them yourselves, or pay the farmer. 

 

Yes, you can totally raise your own chickens in Wyoming!  Chickens actually do well in cold - it's the dreadful heat that is harder/dangerous for them!  We have very short days in the winter, so the egg production drops off pretty drastically, but the cold was never a problem (though it's not as cold here as in Wyoming).  Chickens are easy to raise - they just need a safe (predator-free) place to sleep at night and plenty of access to grass and bugs during the day to be happy.  You will have to supplement their feed with some type of grain or scraps all year-round and they must have a good supply of fresh water.  They can even be somewhat 'trained'!  We used to keep them in a moveable coop and let them out every morning.  We would then 'herd' them to our fenced pasture area so they'd be safe from the neighbor dogs during the day.  Then as the sun would set, they'd all congregate near the pasture gate awaiting us to 'herd' them back into their coop for the night.  I do miss that!  Now we don't even have a yard, so no chickens for us anymore...

 

This is a great place to start:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/

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