For a majority of the population, be it vegetarians or omnivores, eggs are an important staple of their diet, providing protein, and a variety of other vitamins and nutrients. They have vitamins B2, B6, B12 and D, as well as copper, iron and zinc. They’re an important part of baking, cooking, and even as a meal in themselves. There are even drinks that include eggs, such as eggnog and painkillers.
They’re also very healthy, as they raise good cholesterol, encourage eye health and many other things. Chickens that have been raised at pasture are even better too because of Omega-3s that lower triglycerides.
With being such a dietary staple, farmers know just how much better fresh eggs are than ones that have been sitting in the supermarket for unknown durations mass produced out of overcrowded coops. Not only are the nutrients richer in fresh eggs from smaller farms, the eggs often taste and look better than the alternative.
While the chicken eggs are by far the most popular eggs, there are plenty of other poultry that lay some pretty delicious and nutritious eggs as well that you won’t find in your local supermarket. Here are some eggs you may want to give a try from a local farmer’s market or local food market.
Duck Eggs: Probably the second best known and most consumed eggs, duck eggs are larger than their chicken cousins, and are richer for many. While their size and composition makes them higher protein than a chicken egg, it’s important to realize that they do also contain more fat and cholesterol.
Goose Eggs: Many people think of geese as something to hunt in the fall, a delicious Christmas roast, or an angry bird that chases children away from the pond in the park, but for those who raise them, know just how delicious the eggs are. They are creamier and bigger than a chicken egg, and are approximately two and a half sizes of the average chicken egg.
Guinea Hen: Many farmers have guinea hen on their farms as a guard animal and as a tick control. Added bonus of these loud and often annoying poultry is their small eggs, which aren’t as plentiful as a hen, but quite delicious with a high yolk to white ratio which makes them extra delicious when used in baking.
Turkey: When visiting your local turkey farmer arranging for Thanksgiving dinner, see if they ever have a chance at a turkey egg. While turkey hens don’t lay nearly as often has a chicken hen, when they do it’s a large alternative to a regular old hen’s egg, and can be used in the same way a chicken egg would be used.
Quail Eggs: With three to four of these equaling the size of an average chicken egg, they can be a lot of work for a little return, especially when taking their dense shell into consideration. But once you get into it, it’s worth it as their rich flavor is an asset as a miniature fried egg, or even as a tasty little hard boiled egg.
Farmers across the country raise different poultry for a variety of different reasons, and eggs can either be a delightful added bonus or the main purpose of raising them. Combined with the important healthy benefits of eggs, and the multitude of ways to prepare them, anyone with nearby farms should venture outside of their chicken comfort zone and try the world of the many other eggs poultry have to offer. While they may not always be as common or plentiful, they are certainly a delectable treat when they come along.