When it comes to choosing eggs at the store, it’s best to select the cheaper ones. There is no way to verify the label “free range organic”, except by the outlandish price. The likelyhood of free range organic commercial eggs is slim to none. Closer to none. Most companies pack their poultry warehouses with so many birds, they have no room to move. The clever corporations came up with the idea of a screened 2′ x 4′ area, attached to the warehouse, where a few layers can go outside. That qualifies the eggs as “free range”. Kind of the same lie and nonsense, as “brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh”.
White eggs come from mostly Leghorns which will lay 260-285 eggs a year and eat 3 pounds of feed for every dozen eggs they produce. Brown eggs come from mostly red and black Sex-link layers which will lay 240-280 eggs a year and eat 3.5 pounds of feed for every dozen eggs they lay. The Sex-link, which is a hybrid offspring from a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Plymouth Rock hen, is the most prolific egg layer in the world.
From day one to 20 weeks old, the poultry goes through a regimen of 10 vaccinations, de-beaking, 16 hours of daylight, specially engineered feed, to promote vigorous egg laying and a designer eggshell. Escherichia coli peritonitis, coccidiosis, necrotic enteritis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, calcium depletion-tetany, infectious bronchitis, and cannibalism can be of concern in the United States. Cannibalism is reduced with de-beaking.
When it comes to choosing your package of chicken meat, let it be known that the business is a monopoly, complete with lobbyists, they own the hatcheries, the feed mills and the packaging plants. The companies are in total control of all phases of production. The birds are butchered at 46 days old. The feed is questionable at best, loaded with enough antibiotics, growth hormones and assorted chemicals to take a day old chick from egg to the store in 46 days. They are also packed at the rate of 35,000 chicks per poultry house. After 46 days of ingesting antibiotics and steroids, the birds can barely stand up on their own. During the processing stage, the meat is drenched in chlorine to kill any bacteria and rid the smell of feces that splattered on the meat.
Solution: Let me digress to mention that, at my farm, the chickens are not ready for the freezer until they are 5 to 6 months old.
If you can, raise your own. Unless you do it yourself, forget about organic eggs. It’s deplorable that people will put up with a dog barking all night, but not with a few chickens clucking during the day. There are local farmers, everywhere, who offer on site butchering and true free range eggs.