Putting hens on pasture and allowing them to forage for their natural diet of insects, worms, and various greens, in addition to local, non-genetically modified grains, causes them to lay beautiful eggs with strong shells, deep orange-y yolks, and whites that ‘stand up’ in the pan. They’re also delicious!
In addition, eggs from hens on pasture are more nutritious than grocery store eggs. Heather Karsten of Penn State University found that eggs from hens on pasture had three times as many omega-3 fatty acids, twice as much vitamin E and 40% more vitamin A!
We have a flock of 70 hens (growing soon!) that we rotate to fresh pasture every couple of weeks during the growing season. In the winter, they move into a warm barn with lots of straw, but they always have access to a large outdoor yard, where they can peck, scratch, and enjoy the sunshine!