Free range eggs, gathered in your own yard are definitely worth the effort it takes to raise them. One taste of those rich golden yolks and you’ll be hooked.
There are however, some important precautions to remember. You may think Salmonella comes only from food, but the reality is, it’s a germ that naturally lives in the intestines of poultry and many other animals—even those that are organically fed.
The germ doesn’t make the birds sick, but can cause serious illness when passed on to people. Young people are at a greater risk because their immune systems are still developing and they are more likely to put their fingers or other things in their mouths.
So what to do? WASH YOUR HANDS. Any time you have touched a bird or anything around where they live, you should wash. Oversee children to make sure they do a thorough job. Keep cages and other spaces clean. And most importantly, don’t bring them in the house.
Now the good news…
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods there is. A single large egg contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B2
- Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
Though high in cholesterol, eggs generally don’t have adverse effects on most people. Actually, eggs raise HDL, the “good” cholesterol, which is linked to the reduced risk of many diseases.
Ever heard of Choline? It’s an important nutrient which can increase cognitive function including visual and verbal memory. 90% of people are getting less than the recommended amount and eggs are one of the best sources.
Eggs contain antioxidants that help counteract degenerative processes that affect the eyes. They are also high in Vitamin A which is the most common cause of blindness in the world.
Eggs are high in protein and contain all of the needed amino acids.
And the most important benefit…they’re delicious! For a guide to cooking eggs, check out http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/alton-browns-guide-to-eggs.html
Don’t forget to cook all eggs thoroughly (145ᵒ), poultry should be cooked to (165ᵒ).
Happy chicken raising!
Sources: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Optometric Association, Live Science, Lipids