Should I buy cage free or free range eggs?

It's winter, the hens aren't laying as much as they usually do and you need to buy eggs from the store. Now that you are super spoiled on the amazing taste of farm fresh eggs...which eggs should you buy at the store? Hopefully you have a farmers market near you and you can get some backyard chicken or small farm eggs from there. What if you're stuck with shopping at the grocery store? Which eggs are best?

Understanding the words on an egg carton

There are so many different types of eggs on the grocery store shelves. Free range, cage free, pasture raised, with Omega 3's, white, brown and even fertile eggs! It can be really confusing especially when you don't know what the regulations behind the labeling are and how that actually translates into the treatment of the hens. After all, now that we raise our own chickens we want that fresh egg taste from hens that are treated well. Right? 

So let's discuss what all these labels mean, the differences between them and which ones actually mean happy hens and not battery hens in cages!

Top chicken keeping articles

This blog covers a lot of chickens keeping topics! I like to try to cover all aspects of raising chickens from the difficult to the easy. So many things can happen when raising chickens from baby chicks to adults. There are coop issues, health problems, things to build and buy and chicken predators to deal with. I write about it ALL! Well, I write about everything that happens here on my chicken farm! I won't write about things I haven't experienced. Who would? 

Most popular chicken keeping topics

So every year this blog is basically an online diary of what's going on season by season. Every year certain posts stand out from the crowd. Sometimes they're new and sometimes they're older, so you may or may not have seen these before! All the posts on this list though were chosen because they got the most visitors reading them in 2019. 

Here is the top 10 most read posts about raising chickens from last year.

Why raise bantam chickens?

I have been raising bantam chickens for about 10 years now. I raised them along side my large breed chickens at first, but now keep the separate. Recently I was asked "why do you raise banty chickens?" and I honestly didn't have an answer. I mean they are cute, little and usually full of personality (especially bantam roosters!) but what made me start raising bantams? 

Well, I guess all of the above!

Should you raise bantams?

The first bantam chickens I raised were Mille Fleur d'Uccles and Silkies. I still have silkies all these years later, but currently no d'Uccles. I usually raise them for a few years then take a few years break. I love the breed but if you read How I make money with chickens then you know that I tend to keep breeds that are in high demand locally. Over the years I've also raised bantam Polish and a few others.

I find them very comparable to raising standard breed chickens, with just a few exceptions....

Elegant feather ornament tutorial

Since we're getting close to Christmas I thought I would bring you another feather ornament tutorial. If you're anything like me you probably have a vase or box of feathers that your chickens have dropped and you picked up. What better way to decorate for the holidays then to bring the chickens indoors with you in the form of feather ornaments?

Fancy feather ornament craft tutorial

I've already made feather filled ornaments...and it seems like everyone is writing about making these now. Who can blame them though? They sure do look nice on the Christmas tree! Speaking of trees, last year I wrote a tutorial on making feather trees! Those went over really well, especially with my cat! You'll have to click over to the post to read the cat vs feather story. Oh boy that was a dilemma!

I wanted to make something that can be used outside the Christmas tree this year. After all, we keep feathers to memorialize our favorite chickens, right? It's such a shame to have to put those away at the end of the holidays each year. I wanted to make a feather ornament that could be a year round decoration as well as an addition to the holiday decor.

How to float test eggs

All chicken keepers know that chickens like to hide eggs. Well, that's why we give them nest boxes, right? So they can hide away and feel safe while they lay their eggs. Sometimes they like to lay outside the nest boxes though and we don't always find the eggs right away. Ever found a hidden nest of eggs and wonder how long they've been there? There's a simple test to do to determine if the eggs are new or old.

The float test.

How to - float test eggs

The egg float test is pretty simple and works well since eggs change as they age. A brand new egg has a certain amount of space in the air cell. As the egg ages the pores of the egg allow air to enter and the air cell gets larger. The larger the air cell the more buoyant the egg. In shorter terms, old eggs float.