The next time you crack an egg, take a look at the egg white. Is it runny? Or is it quite firm? If it’s really runny – almost the same consistency as water - then chances are it’s a cage egg. The difference is quite amazing. At a glance you can see how much better a free-range egg is.
Often the yoke of a cage egg is also a pale and a watery yellow colour.
I used to assume this was naturally occurring – the result of nothing more than inconsistencies in nature. After a little digging, I realised I couldn't be further from the truth.
Caged eggs are fed on grain and it turns out that the grain contains far less antioxidants than the natural food eaten by free-range hens. It also has less lutein and zeaxanthin (both of these being important for eye health) and what gives your eggs the rich orange colour. The deeper the colour the healthier the egg!
My deep dive led me to a study completed by the Department of Poultry Science of North Carolina State University. The study compared free-range eggs to caged eggs, and the effect on the hens having access to the outdoors or being housed in cages. The results show all the essential nutrients were affected. Free range eggs contain:
- A quarter to a third less cholesterol than caged;
- One quarter less saturated fats;
- Two thirds more vitamin A;
- Three times more vitamin E;
- Seven times more beta-carotene;
- Twice as much omega three fatty acids;
- Six times more vitamin D ;
- Significantly more B vitamins.
Not only are caged eggs significantly lower in essential vitamins and nutrients, but they could also have an adverse effect on the health of you and your dog due to the antibiotics added to chook feed – used to fight potential illnesses and to accelerate growth.
Free-range eggs come from chickens that feed on their natural diet, and whilst some have their diets substituted with a little grain, it’s substantially less and they’re not given unnecessary antibiotics.
What does this mean for your dog?
Fresh, raw eggs have been a biologically appropriate staple of canine diets for thousands of years, providing enhanced health and longevity. Even the eggshell is a rich source of calcium, providing 27 essential mineral elements working to give your dog better bone density and muscle contraction.
All Frontier Pets products contain free-range eggs from our friends at Sunny Queen. You can connect to the Sunny Queen chook tracker and view their happy hens by clicking here - Happy Hens!
Or view the full nutritional content table for our eggs by following this link - Egg Nutrition
What does this mean for the chickens?
A whole heap of happiness.
Free-range hens are stocked at around 1,500 hens per hectare. Compare that with the average Factory Farm that cages more than 150,000 hens in a similar size area.
So, whether you're shopping for you or your dog, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars for a whole lot of extra health benefits!