Post last updated: October 10th, 2018

Mr. Beekeeper’s son brought me a half dozen eggs in early December. I learned that this time around, the chickens were his rather than Mr. Beekeeper’s.

All of the eggs were those beautiful brown eggs we don’t see much of anymore unless we pay extra.

Eggs from Mr. Beekeeper's Son
Eggs from Mr. Beekeeper’s Son

However, I almost needed a hatchet from the garage in order to break them open. I was so surprised at this I mentioned it to Poppie. He grew up working on farms as a teenager and, as a result, has a better background in Real Food. To this day, he can’t eat cabbage because he can still remember the smell of rotting cabbage in the fields.

Poppie said that the chickens at Mr. Beekeeper’s house are raised on the ground with access to grit even if grit is not intentionally included in their diet (it is). Grocery store eggs are raised in cages stacked on top of each other and have no access to grit. According to Nutrena Foods, chickens have no teeth. Grit (usually ground oyster shells) or small rocks (if the chickens are allowed to free range), wind up in the chicken’s gullet and help to grind up their food. Oyster shell grit contains calcium that makes the egg shell a little tougher to crack. I thought this was very interesting and was glad to be able to catalog it away in my mental file cabinets, most of which I am unable to ever open again.

I know you want to learn everything you can about chickens, so take a minute, okay — one minute and one second — to view this clip from Nutrena Foods:


27 thoughts on “CHICKEN EGGS”

    1. Charlie — I grew up in the suburbs so I don’t know this stuff either. Hadn’t heard from you in so long, I wondered if you were still visiting. I do the same thing at your blog, though – visit but don’t comment. I wanted WordPress to insert my youtube link as a video like on your blog but they haven’t done it yet. Can’t understand why WordPress doesn’t convert immediately.

  1. I always learn when I read your writings. I don’t know anything much about chickens except my grandparents had them on their farm. I can almost remember my grandmother gathering eggs and feeding the chickens. Anyway, thanks helping me remember good times and special people.

  2. It’s all about the chicken and the overall diet. I’ve got a mix of different chickens (all free range), and I provide some oyster shell in addition to their feed (and what they can forage). Sometimes the shells are hard, sometimes they’re thin. They’re not all hard or thin at the same time either. One chicken may be busy laying some thin shelled ones while the others are currently laying more of harder than usual shell. Sometimes it’s a normal size (large) egg, sometimes it’s monster that won’t allow the extra large egg carton to even half close…

    Real eggs aren’t all the same all the time. Color (darkness) will vary sometime too – sometimes on the same egg.

    (I keep bees too…)

  3. Finally, these many years later, I know why the eggs we got from our yard chickens had such strong shells! Always a pleasure to read the things you send.

    1. Holleygarden – Based on the quick research I did after Poppie told me about grit, I don’t think commercial egg producers can get away with NOT providing grit because of the digestive issues. Perhaps they don’t give them as much grit?

  4. I just love reading your blog! I am entertained (easily) and I learn all sorts from this little blog in the universe! What a delight!
    Thanks for being you!
    Becky B

    1. Becky B – I’ve been wondering where you were! YOU are such a delight to me. And I am also easily entertained — I write in my head a lot. Most of it has nothing to do with gardening or rural routes and ends up giving a laff or two via email. I struggle to find appropriate blog subjects in the winter when the garden is busily growing greens not worth writing about. Am thinking of add a “tab” at the top of the blog called “Stupid Stuff” for my “head writings.”

  5. I remember Mother’s chickens. She had a love-hate relationship with them. Heaven forbid they got out and ruined her flower beds. She would take scissors and clip just the tip of one wing on each chicken so they would not have proper balance to fly over the chicken yard fence. If they persisted and scratched out we would have fried chicken for supper. She threw all the green scraps & pea & bean shells in to them as well as some bought feed. We had a corn sheller and I would turn the handle on that to shell dry corn for them.
    This post brought back good memories.

    1. Linda – Tell me more about the corn sheller and dry corn. Did your Dad purchase the dry corn and store it in the barn? Do you still have the corn sheller? I really don’t know much about what chickens like to eat and this is educational.

  6. In answer to your question about what chickens eat, they’ll eat just about anything. Sometimes table scraps were thrown in their pen. My dad grew 50 acres of corn most years. We ate it and froze it for later. Neighbors & relatives who did not grow it were invited to have what they wanted. The remaining was left on the stalk to dry then Daddy sold some to local feed stores and the rest was kept in a corn silo to feed the cows, hogs & chickens. The corn sheller was stolen off the property after my brother died in 2007.

  7. I found it funny that you referred to your “mental file cabinet” when we all know that you can’t retrieve anything from that file cabinet.

    1. Okay readers – this is the abuse I get from family. Ms. Priss is one of my sisters. I adopted my chocolate sister, Evie, and I don’t even remember why considering she’s just as abusive. In this comment, Ms. Priss had to point out what I had already admitted about the mental file cabinet. I get this ALL THE TIME. It’s probably too late to find new relatives…

  8. I am always close by. T’was busy with the holidays. My husband who is usually traveling M-F has been home since Dec. 20. He wants me to cook and stuff.
    Oh, and I got a new computer. The pictures are different, so it is taking me a while to learn what I am doing. I still don’t know. I like writing notes…

    1. Did you tell the huz that cooking is an imposition that takes up too much time out of your day? Oh, you got that LOOK from him, eh? Know it well. Poppie wants me to cook everyday, too. Eek, did you get one of those Windows 8 computers? One of my friends is pulling her hair out trying to set up one of those. I like writing notes, too. Quick and handy.

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