Last updated on March 4, 2019 by Liza Hawkins
The best kinds of eggs come from happy chickens.
It sounds cliche, I know. But after being around the hens on our property—hens who are free to roam around all day eating bugs, leftover veggies, and grass—and enjoying their delicious, deep orange (like the color of a tangerine!) yolked eggs, it’s hard to imagine eating eggs from any other source.
Except sometimes I do have to buy eggs.
We typically have fifteen to twenty hens in our flock.
And by “we” I mean my parents—the chickens are theirs, but since we all live on the same homestead property, using “our” is practical.
And while I don’t take care of the flock on a daily basis, when my folks are away (or if they’re not feeling well) I handle the hens for them.
The hens in that video are old by chicken standards. They’ve stopped laying more than a couple eggs a day (total!), and the peeps won’t be ready to start laying for another few months.
It’s these in between times where I need to buy eggs.
Because two eggs a day for six people doesn’t work very well, especially with weekly cookie baking, lots of homemade meals, and potential breakfasts for dinners.
Obviously if you know a local farmer with happy, free-range chickens, you can buy your eggs from her—or maybe there’s a local farmers’ market with fresh eggs for sale.
But if not…
What Kind of Eggs to Buy at the Grocery Store
It’s National Egg Month in May, which seems like the perfect time to chat about what kind of eggs to buy at the grocery store, if that’s either your preference—or the only option.
It’s a little trickier to find eggs from happy chickens in the fridge isle at the supermarket.
There are so many different labels for the ways hens are kept and raised, so a few years ago, I broke that down for you here.
One of my go-tos of the store bought variety are Nellie’s Certified Humane Free Range Eggs.
Coming from the first Certified Humane® farm in the country, Nellie’s girls (aka hens) are never caged and have as much, or as little, access to outside as they want.
Nellie’s also supports a network of small family farms, which I’m a big fan of.
You’ll notice Nellie’s eggs are brown. What makes their eggs good isn’t the color of the shell, it’s how their chickens get to live their farm life.
Despite popular belief, the color of the shell doesn’t necessarily equate to the healthfulness (or otherwise) of the egg or the hen. Brown eggs are great, but other colors can be equally as awesome.
The chickens on our property lay a rainbow of colors, ranging from white to brown to beige to blue. It depends on the breed and what they’re eating in terms of the eggs’ hue and how vibrant the colors are.
The next time you’re trying to decide which carton of eggs to buy, give Nellie’s a try.
I’ve found the price is comparable to the other brands at my grocery store, and I love that it’s clear they’re supportive of farmers who treat their chickens well.
Disclosure: Nellie’s sent me a couple of coupons to pick up some of their certified humane free range eggs for free, and asked if I would share their message during National Egg Month. (You can find a grocery store with Nellie’s near you, here.) It was like a match made in heaven because I already buy Nellie’s when our hens have a lull in their laying—so I’m happy to help spread the word!