Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all kept chooks? Imagine the joy of our children collecting eggs each morning. I am looking forward to the day that is a reality for my family when we eventually move from our rented beloved home where our landlord is not keen for us to keep chickens (but was happy for us to dig up a big patch of lawn to plant veggies so I'm not complaining!)
In the meantime we are really blessed to be able to buy organic eggs at $7 a dozen from one of two local farms where we know the farmers and can see the chickens pecking around happily.
Cage and free range
I've written on this topic before and still I can't understand why eggs from chickens subjected to the cruelty of living in cages are still being sold. Yes there's been a slight win in this area last week with the Australian Capital Territory announcing a change in legislation to ban battery cages (and sow stalls for pigs) but we still have a long way to go. And then as if trying to do the right thing when buying food isn't hard enough, there's the whole free range marketing lie to wade through. You see, there is no legally binding definition of the term free range in Australia so it is open to very loose interpretation. Just because the farm says their chickens are free range does not mean that the chickens are not treated with antibiotics
If you can't keep chickens in your backyard and don't live near a good farm, then farmer's markets or your local health food store would be your next best bet. This fantastic list on the Animal Welfare Labels website will give you trustworthy details of many brands of eggs that are marketed as free range but in fact may be keeping their chickens in far less space than you imagine free range to be.
Why eat organic eggs?
By choosing to eat organic eggs you reduce your and your family's exposure to chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones that pass through the chicken to the eggs. Organic eggs come from chickens that have been fed organic feed. And to me this reason is worth the higher price.
Keep your own chickens
If you have the space and are keen to keep your own chooks but haven't a clue about what to do, head on over to Farmer Liz's blog, Liz has it all there for you in words and pictures.
Share your thoughts on all things eggs, where do you buy them? who keeps chickens? If you are having trouble finding a good source of organic eggs leave a comment and maybe another reader can help.
And if you want to catch up on the series and see the other steps go here.