We know spring is almost here because our pullets (young hens) have started laying! This year we have added a new nesting box (Best Nest Box) that is amazing at keeping the eggs extremely clean. It took a little bit of training and coaching for the hens to learn to use the new nest, but now they are really getting the hang of it. It hasn’t been an easy process to get them to start using it. They were apprehensive about the new box at first with the entrance having scary flaps. It made it a little more intimidating than we expected. The flaps are important because the hens want privacy while conducting their business.
After a little trial and error, we found ways to make the hens more comfortable. We folded back one of the flaps and taped it so it remained open. We also added a few wooden block so the hens could hop up and get a view before stepping inside. With a little patience this all took less than a week to get the ladies on track.
Egg production has really taken off now! The young hens are starting to fill the egg tray in just one day. The average hen will lay approximately 300 eggs in the course of a year.
The new nest box we installed at the farm aids in keeping the eggs clean by using a slanted floor. The angled floor allows eggs to roll into a protected collection tray once the hen lays her egg. Eggs have a natural protective coating that aids in keep them fresh longer. Washing eggs destroys this coating, so by keeping the eggs clean there is no need to wash them.
For any of you out there wondering what’s better, farm fresh or grocery store eggs, I have found an article that you might find interesting. Mother Earth News did a study in 2007 that found free range farm fresh eggs were more nutrient rich than their mass produced counter parts.
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
These are just some of the many benefits to our farm fresh eggs. Charmingfare Farm offers a CSA Pasture Egg Share here at the farm, so you too can have the longest lasting and most nutritious eggs possible.