New Study proves Free Range Chicken Eggs are Better

Permaculture people have long advocated it. Free range farmers have recommended it. Now a new study seems to have proven it. According to recent research from the US Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences that has compared caged bird eggs against their free range cousins – has found that that free range chickens eggs are indeed better for you.

Researchers examined how moving pastured hens eating forage legumes or mixed grasses influenced hen egg omega-3 fatty acids and concentrations of vitamins A and E.

Lead Investigator Heather Karstan said, “Compared to eggs of the commercial hens, eggs from pastured hens eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, more than double the total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids,” she said. “Vitamin A concentration was 38 percent higher in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the commercial hens’ eggs, but total vitamin A per egg did not differ.”

The six week stydy was compared to caged birds which were fed their usual diet of commercial egg mash.

“The chicken has a short digestive tract and can rapidly assimilate dietary nutrients,” said Paul Patterson, professor of poultry science, who was a co-investigator in the project. “Fat-soluble vitamins in the diet are readily transferred to the liver and then the egg yolk. Egg-nutrient levels are responsive to dietary change.

“Other research has demonstrated that all the fat-soluble vitamins, including A and E, and the unsaturated fats, linoleic and linolenic acids, are egg responsive, and that hen diet has a marked influence on the egg concentration.”


Anyone who keeps chickens and releases them to free range on pasture while notice how the birds will run to a grassy patch to peck on weeds when first released. Its like they need a vitamin boost. many varieties of weeds such as Purslane are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Chickens need quality fresh pasture with a variety of mixed grasses and weeds to gain all their essential vitamins and nutrients.

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