Cowart's Common Room

Elder daughter keeps three pet chickens who wander the garden and sneak ino the kitchen when the door is open to help themselves to the cats' food. While there they manage to look sufficiently pathetic and beguiling for her to be persuaded to give them any fancy titbits that may be around. Ham and cheese, I gather, are especial favourites. The chickens have thus pretty well given up on layers' pellets and among the grains will pick out the sunflower seeds and leave the rest.

Nonsense you may say, and yet the chickens are not fat and each produces an egg everyday. And such eggs, moreover, as you have never seen or tasted in your life. Each is a good size large than a large supermarket egg and the yolks are the colour of the sun, a rich, golden, succulent orange. The taste is the most egg-rich flavour you have ever come across. And this is August when the hens should be starting to moult, not February or March.

Now, surely, at the price of some ham and cheese and possibly catfood there should be a market for this luxury product, no? Are we on to something here?

Posted at 15th Aug 2012 - 02:30PM   Posted by Fennie   Eggs Comments: 12

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar Do a cost analysis and find out. When we kept chickens - also delicious eggs - ours sometimes managed to ingest wild garlic which gave their eggs a very special flavour which was fine in scrambled eggs but not quite the thing for a sponge cake.

And talking of cakes isn't great that The Great British Bake Off is back?

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 15th Aug 2012 at 03:37PM

Fennie's Avatar And talking of cakes it is young Kitty's 21st on (or shortly before) Saturday.

Posted by: Fennie on 15th Aug 2012 at 04:05PM

Preseli Mags's Avatar Home produced eggs always have the best flavour don't they. It's obviously the varied diet rather than just boring old pellets that does it. Even so-called free range eggs just don't match up to ones produced by hens fed on kitchen scraps.

And hooray to the Great British Bake Off - such a brilliant show. I can't wait until next week. Bread week is always my favourite!

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 15th Aug 2012 at 04:06PM

Withy Brook's Avatar I am sure it is the varied diet that gives the brilliant flavour. We buy from our neighbour, who has several different varieties, so the eggs range from dark brown, through light brown to the palest blue (called green by G). The hens wander about the field behind our house. I do not know what they feed them, but not household scraps, I think.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 15th Aug 2012 at 06:48PM

Mountainear's Avatar My hens are outdoors but in a fairly large pen - their eggs have remarkably yellow yolks too. The ingredients on their layers' pellets does list some colourant added so I can't claim all responsibility!

I was always told that Americans preferred their eggs white shelled and pale yolked (indeed eggs we have seen in US supermarkets seem to bear this out.) is this so?

Posted by: Mountainear on 15th Aug 2012 at 08:56PM

Cowgirl's Avatar Isn't it funny how they can vary? I have two neighbours with free range chickens - one whose poultry free range over a huge area and one whose are in a limited space of about 20 sq metres I guess. The second ones get pellets and scraps and the eggs are fresh and morally sound but the others are much more flavoursome with darker yolks. I normally buy a fairly costly brand here called Animal Welfare (they are accredited and a bit of a groundbreaker of the free range egg movement) I don't mind paying the extra as the eggs are all big and consistent sized, plus they have the richest flavour with bright orange yolks all year round! Other "free range" eggs I have bought a farmers markets have been disappointingly pale and insipid. One big free range operator in our district had them ranging in a few fields but there was no grass left so he was obviously feeding pellets and those eggs were BLAH as they had no variety!

Posted by: Cowgirl on 15th Aug 2012 at 10:07PM

Ivy's Avatar Funny I always assumed free-range came at the cost of pale and boring taste. I buy the eggs at an organic farm where you can see the chicken roam the fields and the carparks, housegarden and all but the eggs just have no taste at all.

Posted by: Ivy on 16th Aug 2012 at 07:29AM

Westerwitch's Avatar My chickens were free range over a large area and their eggs were gorgeous . . . suspect you need to change your supplier Ivy as freerange eggs usually taste gorgeous.

Chickens will eat quite a varied diet given the chance and are not vegetarian as many people think. I once saw my chickens fight over a a dead mouse that they had found and they also got hold of a turkey carcass from my bin and stripped it - although I believe it is illegal to feed chickens poultry!!!

Posted by: Westerwitch on 16th Aug 2012 at 08:51AM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar But they were feeding themselves on it...their choiceVery Happy
BILs chickens eggs also very orange and tasty but they get all the kitchen scraps as well as pecking round the garden.
We also have a free range farm near here and although the chooks are out and about the fields are bare so like CGs they must be fed pellets instead...defeats the purpose really!

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 16th Aug 2012 at 09:24AM

Fennie's Avatar I think it is animal protein - worms, beetles, ham, cheese etc that gives the eggs the flavour. When we kept hens I once tried to breed woodlice as a species of chicken food, using old newspapers to feed the woodlice. The chickens loved the woodlice but the woodlice didn't love the newspapers and all my breeding woodlice died. I feel someone with time on their hands should pursue this experiment.

Posted by: Fennie on 16th Aug 2012 at 09:27AM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar I think I would rather play Scrabble, Fennie.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 16th Aug 2012 at 09:47AM

Salle de Bain's Avatar A wise old Cornish chicken keeper told me many years ago that slugs and snails "is what gives eggs flavour". It's funny that meat is ill advised for poultry, as they can be cannibalistic anyway. I once watched mine eat a dead baby bird that had fallen from a nest..ugh...sorry...not very nice...but true.

I used to give mine all the bacon rinds and fish skin...and I have to say our eggs were scrummy.

Posted by: Salle de Bain on 16th Aug 2012 at 02:16PM

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