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Is it possible to find eggs from chickens NOT fed corn or soy?

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  • Is it possible to find eggs from chickens NOT fed corn or soy?

    After a recent visit to a small farm that produces eggs from pastured chickens, and after researching various websites of farms raising pastured chickens, I am finding that all of them supplement with some corn and/or soy, albeit organic. They all chiefly feed their chickens vegetable scraps, worms, bugs, etc. The farm I visited in the central coast area of California follows Joel Salatin's rotational method of the chickens following the cattle.

    I have seen the nutritional differences between conventional and pastured eggs in the Mother Earth News article, but wonder if those differences are possible when chickens receive some corn and soy. Perhaps the differences are possible due to conventional chickens eating corn and soy almost exclusively?

    Any info on this topic will be very helpful!
    Thank you, Mark, or anyone else who can shed light on this topic.
    One uncool mom
    Margo

  • #2
    I don't remember the exact amount, but I went on a tour of Polyface with Joel Salatin, and he said if they didn't use feed, eggs would be something like $20++/doz, so basically no farm that's a business would do that. Remember that birds are supposed to eat grains.
    Lifting Journal

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
      I don't remember the exact amount, but I went on a tour of Polyface with Joel Salatin, and he said if they didn't use feed, eggs would be something like $20++/doz, so basically no farm that's a business would do that. Remember that birds are supposed to eat grains.
      +1
      Primal since March 5, 2012
      SW: 221 | CW: 204 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)



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      • #4
        Wow, Alex, how cool that you were able to tour Polyface. Given what Joel S. told you about some supplemental feed being necessary, I think the answer is that pastured eggs are much healthier due to the greens, bugs, worms, etc. and the much lower grain content.
        Thank you so much for your info.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oneuncoolmom View Post
          Wow, Alex, how cool that you were able to tour Polyface. Given what Joel S. told you about some supplemental feed being necessary, I think the answer is that pastured eggs are much healthier due to the greens, bugs, worms, etc. and the much lower grain content.
          Thank you so much for your info.

          Yup. There's a huge difference between all feed and a little feed. Chickens are supposed to eat grains, in addition to other things, so it doesn't hurt them. Plus, remember that it's not natural for chickens to lay eggs all the time, do asking them to do that requires extra energy, which grains are the best source of for chickens.

          Going on a tour of Polyface is open to anyone, and well worth the trip- the info is on their website. You'll learn so much. It's a good antidote to the over thinking of things that happens here and generally in paleo land. He doesn't even bother with organic feed or really organic anything because his experience is that it's all a lie, basically- you have to know your farmer. You won't be sorry you went.
          Lifting Journal

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          • #6
            At my local farmers market, one vendor sold pasture-raised eggs. I asked about the feed, and she said that yes, it's a mix of corn and soy -- and as much as she would love to move away from the soy, she simply can't afford it.
            F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

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            • #7
              Birds are supposed to eat grains?

              Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
              I don't remember the exact amount, but I went on a tour of Polyface with Joel Salatin, and he said if they didn't use feed, eggs would be something like $20++/doz, so basically no farm that's a business would do that. Remember that birds are supposed to eat grains.
              Error! Try Again!
              Time for a reality check.
              Penguins are birds. Are penguins supposed to eat grains too?

              No. Just because you are a primate, are you supposed to be vegetarian? See the logical freaking fallacy right there? Chickens are not physiologically the same as a finch. If you look into the crops of the wild junglefowl, you will find that the VAST majority of what they consume is from invertebrates and grubs, and the rest is from vegetation like fruits and vegetables. YOU DON'T FIND CORN AND SOY.

              Joel Salatin doesn't feed his chickens a species-appropriate diet because he doesn't have the infrastructure in place that allows them to do so, and he gets away with it because people keep "parroting" this "birds are supposed to eat grains" BS.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oneuncoolmom View Post
                Wow, Alex, how cool that you were able to tour Polyface. Given what Joel S. told you about some supplemental feed being necessary, I think the answer is that pastured eggs are much healthier due to the greens, bugs, worms, etc. and the much lower grain content.
                Thank you so much for your info.
                They also get fresh air, sunlight and exercise all things that make a chicken healthy...Throw in a Rooster and everyone has a social life as well.

                In the north we have to feed our chickens to supplement them. We also have to provide additional light to lengthen their days for egg production. I'd have to think of a way to do that without adding corn or mash but I'll bet someone has thought of it. There is a website that has made an appearance here before... http://www.backyardchickens.com/ full of good information about raising chickens. I plan to start up again in the spring.

                All I know is free range eggs are so superior to store bought there is no contest. I'll let the scientists here tell me why

                on edit...my mistake, Mark doesn't mention that website but here's his take on the subject..

                http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-beg...#axzz27SG5Sf8f
                Last edited by meeme; 09-25-2012, 12:09 PM.
                A Woman's Place Is In The Revolution.

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                • #9
                  its hard, most people do give some supplemental feed. its best that they are fresh and still get most their natural diet. for instance I called a woman recently for eggs bc she posted an ad on craigslist. the feed was entirely grains, mostly corn. so anyways I have to drive about an hour and a half away to get some raw milk this and they happen to have free range eggs available so im stocking up for 2 weeks. ill make the trip every 2 weeks. personally I can taste the difference in the eggs when they are mostlygrain fed and can see the difference in the color of the yolk. I had to purchase "free range eggs" from the grocery those to hold me over this week and I can taste the difference. they are nothing like what I got from my farmer in alabama
                  Paleo since November 2011 - Carnivore since June 2012
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                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65846.html
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                  • #10
                    I feed my chickens a wheat-based feed. However, they free range all day and hardly eat their feed. We live in the Texas hill country inside a ranch and have an abundance of bugs, grubs, and greens for them to eat. Occasionally, I supplement with meal worms. There is definitely a difference in the color and taste of truly free-range eggs! Most of us in this area of TX who raise our own chickens avoid corn-based feed. For one, most feed corn is GMO. Additionally, corn lacks nutrients that the chickens need.

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                    • #11
                      My son's first pet was a chicken.
                      A Woman's Place Is In The Revolution.

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                      • #12
                        Grow Your Own Poultry Feed

                        Here is an article on feeding chickens without using commercial feeds..... I got through the first 2 pages and stopped, because I do not have the time to work a full time job and do all of the things listed in the article for feeding a small flock of birds. So I use commercial feeds for my flock of @ 40 layers. They have the run of a 5 acre electric fenced pasture, and lay gorgeous brown eggs that have a golden thick yoke.

                        Bagged feeds use corn and soy because they are cheap and plentiful.

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                        • #13
                          I live in the mid-Atlantic. My chickens free range and go wherever they please, including my neighbor's flower garden (likely sprayed with chemicals) and the neighboring soy bean field (definitely sprayed). I haven't been able to locate an affordable feed that doesn't contain corn.

                          That said, they don't touch the feed in the spring/summer, instead subsisting on grass, vegetation, bugs, and our table scraps. In the fall/winter, they do eat more feed, but they still hit the yard/field whenever we don't have snow, so their yolks stay beautifully golden.

                          You do the best you can do... with eggs and everything. If only real wild eggs will do, climb a tree and snag some from a robin. Otherwise, go for whatever is the best option available to you, whether it's a local free range farmed chicken or a "free range" supermarket dozen. Trust me: if the yolk is a lovely, rich golden color, than it's likely healthier than a conventional in-a-cage-chicken egg. No guarantees, but greater probability.
                          Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
                          Went Primal January 2, 2012!

                          Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook

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                          • #14
                            I don't have chickens so correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be simpler to feed the corn to meal worms, and then feed the worms to the chickens? I imagine that a couple of buckets of kitchen scraps (which chicken will also feed on, they'll eat anything) will keep a nice mealworm population going through the winter. Perhaps it's not realistic for everyday feed, but it could be a good wintertime alternative.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Apex Predator View Post
                              I don't remember the exact amount, but I went on a tour of Polyface with Joel Salatin, and he said if they didn't use feed, eggs would be something like $20++/doz, so basically no farm that's a business would do that. Remember that birds are supposed to eat grains.
                              The farm where I get my eggs from the chickens are completely free range, and are able to eat bugs etc, and are not fed grains at all.

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