Grass-Fed Hens Lay Bigger Eggs

Hens with the free run of a grass pasture not only lay more nutritious eggs, better-tasting eggs, they lay bigger eggs.

In spite of decades of selective breeding to ensure that most eggs fall into the Large size range, my hens insist on laying mostly Extra Large eggs. This is something of a nuisance, since customers prefer Large, but them’s the breaks.

The cause is presumably better nutrition. Like us, chickens should eat fresh greens in addition to processed stuff. Given half a chance, they do, and it improves the flavor, nutritional content, and size of the eggs.

Few people seem to know this, which is why people insist on building mud-yard free-range operations that have zero potential for producing a product that’s superior to what’s in the supermarket. The secret ingredient is not outdoor access, but grass.

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Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

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Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

3 thoughts on “Grass-Fed Hens Lay Bigger Eggs”

  1. I wish I HAD all that lovely grass — in brittle northern Idaho we’ve been dried up and brown for weeks. The “soil” is extremely porous — about half rocks and and half dirt, til you get a couple feet down and then it’s all rocks with dirt only filling the spaces between them. It drains a little TOO well so that irrigation is very costly because it would have to be done so often; also we are on a community water system and charged per 1000 gallons — and to drill our own well would also be very expensive because the aquifer is around 1200′ down.

    The chickens still enjoy getting out and picking at what little grass sprouts after a rain, the weeds in the garden, and chasing the bazillions of grasshoppers we’ve been cursed with this year. And yes, they also lay XL-XXL eggs with deep yellow yolks and real eggy flavor 🙂

  2. Not really. Shipping small quantities of eggs by, say, FedEx is perfectly practical but is also expensive. I’ve often wondered if this wouldn’t be a viable business, since it’s literally impossible to find a steady supply of grass-fed eggs in most urban areas, and many people want the best even if it is expensive. Haven’t tried it myself, though.

  3. I just started raising chickens in may of 2009. I have a coop and fenced in yard. I also let them roam in our yard when the wether permits. I have been getting eggs that measure 3 inches long by 2 inches wide. They are the biggest eggs I have ever seen. I don’t get them every day but some of the others I do don’t fit in my egg crates. What is making the eggs so large? I’m sure I don’t know.

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