Q & A

We occasionally get asked the question, “Since brown eggs cost more at the grocer, are they more nutritious?” The answer is “NO!” Commercial egg producers often try to set apart eggs with labels like “free-range” or “cage-free” by having brown egg laying hens. They look different, so, to the average consumer, they must be different, right? It’s just a brilliant marketing ploy, and nothing more.

I was making deviled eggs the other day, and thought it was a good example. Notice in my photo, I have all sorts of colored eggs….brown, white, cream, tan, green, bluish, speckled, you name it! The color is only tinting and only on the outside of the shell. In fact, if you scrub, most of the tint will come off! Once peeled, you can’t tell the difference. Even the yolks look the same. The grey on the outer edge of my yolks simply means I steamed them a bit too long.


Now, I should mention that there ARE differences in the make-up of different type of poultry eggs.  For example, a duck egg is well known for being better for baking, while a turkey egg has a milder flavor.  Like chickens, however, the differences in nutritional content have nothing to do with color of these birds or their eggs, but everything to do with diet and management factors.  In fact, to my knowledge all turkey eggs are the same color, as those birds haven’t been so carefully selected for egg tint like chickens have.

So there you have it. An egg is only as nutritious as the hen’s diet. If you want more nutritious eggs, buy from a pastured poultry supplier….whether it be chicken, duck, turkey, or whatever.  Even in winter, we give our hens leafy green hay to keep up their chlorophyll intake, which contributes to those nice looking yolks and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

I need some advice from my farmer/homesteader/livestock owning readers. 

Although the move is not 100% guaranteed yet, after another inspection yesterday, the percentage is climbing quickly, and things are looking pretty certain.  That being said, I have been preparing my shopping list and researching items I want and need.  I raised all sorts of livestock in the past, but has been a few years.  I’m not sure about a couple things, though. 

Should I get:

  • for the brooder, a slide top chicken feeder or quart jar attachment base feeder?  FYI, we will likely not have more than about 25 chicks at one time for now.
  • for the grown layer hens, should I invest on one of the large hanging feeders/waters?
  • standard milk pail or pail with crescent moon lid to help prevent spills/contaminants for this newbie?
  • a stripping cup for milking?
  • a goat collar or halter, and if so, which one?  I have used a collar in the past, but never a halter.
  • for milk filtering, which if preferrable–cheese cloth or dairy filters?

I think that’s it for now.  Also, if you have a favorite online farm supply store you use, with really good prices, please pass that on.  My favorites that I used to use carry mostly horse stuff.  Thanks in advance!

My recent post on the powered grain mill resulted in a question from my brother-in-law who is a missionary overseas.   So the following is from him, and the resulting answer from my dear husband (his brother).  Oh, and just for the record, my name is not Judy (it’s a long story)!

Q: “Hi Judy,
I’m having some trouble with my boiler (that’s a water heater there)and I can’t get it fixed because they won’t come unless I’m home. So I was wondering if SP could cook up something so I could get some hot water for a shower and heat. Global warming doesn’t seem to be working over here.”

A: Day Jay,  I’ve thought long and hard about your conundrum.  I needed something simple (to account for your lack of mechanical skills) and cheap (to account for your lack of accounting skills).  Here it is.  Punch a hole in your shower wall 3.5 feet below the shower head.  Buy a blowtorch from the local hardware store.  Heat pipe for 30 seconds prior to turning on water.  Keep torch going for the duration of the shower and adjust distance to pipe to control water temp.  For hands free operation attach the blowtorch to a hanger connected to the showerhead.  Try to keep body parts away from the flame, however, if scorching does occur, flush affected area with cold water immediately (you seem to have plenty of that).  Be advised it also doesn’t work well with PVC piping (or bamboo). This technique can only be used overseas due to its complete disregard for OSHA, building codes, and fire codes.  You would also risk a lawsuit from the Plumbers Union for installing an on-demand water heater without a license.   Skype me if you run into any technical issues.