I was cooking an egg, avocado and Swiss cheese sandwich for myself this morning, and I was looking at the egg as I cracked it into the bowl. Last month when Tom's hunting buddies came up from downstate, we used up pretty much every egg the girls laid. And then we actually had to go BUY eggs, because until Tom got the red light installed in the coop for the winter, those girls were not generous in replenishing our supply. The other morning, Colden asked for an egg for breakfast, so I opened the store-bought carton of eggs.
The egg that I cracked into the bowl for him that morning was pale, neon yellow. It looked sick. I actually felt a little sick cooking it up for Colden, knowing that it probably came from a hen that was crammed into a tiny cage so that she couldn't even stand up or move her wings, and that her beak had probably been removed, too.
It did not look like a happy egg.
This morning, I had a nice supply of eggs from our girls to use, thanks to that red light that keeps them warm and gives them some extra light when the days get short. (I could probably use some extra light, too.)
When I cracked that egg into the bowl, I noticed what a deep gold it was, how it was a thicker yolk and a thicker shell. It tasted much better than the other eggs that I cooked from the store-bought container earlier in the week. It looked better. It looked like an egg.
So here's what I'm going to take away from this experience with the eggs: Our chickens are raised with care and love and pride. We do not remove their beaks. We play with them. We pick them up and pet them. We interact with them. They get good food, lots of fresh vegetable and meat scraps, lots of fresh grass from their huge enclosure, and they get to walk and run around in the fresh air and the sun every day. They get fresh water. They get love and attention.
And in return, they give us beautiful, nutritious eggs.
If you want to do something well, do it with care and love and pride. Do it with respect and a consciousness of your actions. Do it with the understanding that everything you do will affect someone else, somewhere.
Be nice to your chickens.