Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mother Earth News Article

Meet Real Free-Range Eggs

The new results are in: Eggs from hens allowed to peck on pasture are a heck of a lot better than those from chickens raised in cages!.

This article clearly shows how superior eggs are when they are from hens who live outdoors in a pasture.

It costs us more to produce them, and you more to buy them, but you are getting much more nutritional value for your food dollar.

Thank you for buying our eggs.

Jeremiah - Marie - Rob - Amy - Finn & Barton

Notes for November

First - Thanks to my friend, Phil Bentley or Austin for the very cool graphic of one of our eggs cracking open to begin our webpage! Let me know if you like it too.


King Corn, watch the trailers:

Get ready for higher food prices this year, and in the coming years. Grain prices are at historic highs right now, with no end in sight.

Much of this has to do with the U.S. governments farm policies. Subsidies paid to grow corn is at the heart of our mismanaged and very
damaging farm policies. This is not a "political" position on my part, this is a very moral one. Hight Fructose Corn Syrup is making us a
very unhealthy nation, it is sneaking into every concievable product, and has grown in use over 1,000% in just one lifetime. Please inform
yourself about U.S. Farm Policy, and get involved as much as you can.

We just put up a new 100 ton bin for corn so that when we find corn at a decent price we can stockpile as much as we can afford. We
are facing huge increases in our production costs, as are all egg producers - and yet we are trying our best to hold down wholesale and
retail prices.


The Farm and Food Project is a convenient way to get involved with U.S. Farm Policy.

The Ethicurean:
A great website to help educate you and help you to become involved in our nations food fight.

Mother Earth News

I would also like to call your attention to an article in the October, Mother Earth News, it is about Pastured Eggs. Thank you for caring
enough about your families nutrition to purchase our eggs. This article will validate your decision to spend just a bit more money for a
dozen eggs, for you are buying much more nutrition for your dollar than when you purchase eggs that are "Cage Free" or even "Free Range"
for these hens are raised in a barn and are raised on a 100% grain diet, and never get to forage for grasses, bugs and grubs like the pastured
hens here at Coyote Creek Farm do.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

1,000 New Pullets - See The Photos

We just put 1,000 day old pullets in our Brooder Barn. Almost all baby animals are cute in some way, but few are more cuddly and fun than baby chicks.

You can see them on our Photo Page.

These babies will start to produce our nutrient dense eggs around November 22nd.

We added them because of the growing demand for our eggs. Here let me say "Thank You" to each of you who purchases our eggs at your local Whole Foods Market in Texas and Louisiana.

About every week we get Email and even phone calls from people who contact us to tell us how good our eggs are, how different from the Free Range eggs that they had been buying. Some remember the eggs from grandparents or great-grandparents flocks, and the tell us that they haven't had such good eggs like that until now.

We are proud to be a part of the new wave of farms that produce Organic eggs on our nutrient dense organic pastures - this is step one in the Humane treatment of chickens; allowing them to live outside in the fresh air and sunshine where up to 30% of their diet comes from grasses, clovers, bugs, grasshoppers, grubs, worms and such. Chickens are not vegetarians, and so when you see a carton labeled "Hens fed a Vegetarian Diet" you know right away that those eggs are much higher in cholesterol than those from hens that live out of doors and eat animal protein.

These new babies will have our great tasting, nutrient dense eggs coming your way around Thanksgiving time.

Thanks for stopping in to read our news.


The Difference Between "Pastured" & "Free Range"

The following is a short article that I wrote to a newspaper on the difference between Pastured hens and Free Range hens, commenting on the lack of tranparency in labeling practices in the egg industry.

I am a farmer, I produce organic eggs. My hens are "Pastured" i.e. they live in moveable coops in my organic pastures. I read your article entitled "Ethical Eggs Ruling the Roost." Eggs marked from "Free Range" hens are one of the most misleading labels in the egg industry, although you got it right by stating that they are free to "roam in a barn", the label, for most customers conjures up visions of hens roaming free in grassy meadows, which of course is untrue. There are currently no regulations or enforcement that the hens actually ever go outside, or that there is very much space to "roam" once they get there, which most of them seldom do. Another problem area is the touting of "vegetarian diet" chickens are not vegetarian. Your article speaks about the "rich yellow yolks" and "higher omega-3" the color is obtained by Barn Raised hens by adding coloring capable ingredients in the feed.

The public needs to be aware of these misleading labels, and need to be made aware of what "Pastured" or "Pasture Raised means. It means that the hens live in pastures and all day long eat as much as 30% of their diets from the pasture, e.g., they eat; grass, bugs, grasshoppers, worms, grubs and so forth. In this way they get their natural source of Omega-3 from the fresh green grasses, and their need for "animal" protein from the insects, worms and such.

Pastured eggs are naturally nutrient dense, the rich golden-yellow yolks are a result of their diet and lifestyle. Lifestyle which includes being able to take dust baths, a natural habit of chickens, one which "Free Range" or "Barn Raised" hens do not have the opportunity to do.

"Free Range" is a definite improvement over cage raised, or battery raised hens; however, Pastured or Pasture Raised hens produce an even healthier, humane and more nutrient dense eggs than any other farming method. These are the eggs like the ones that our forbears raised by cooperating with nature and allowing chickens to truly express their full nature as chickens by living in the out of doors, under the sun where they are much healthier and suffer far less disease than Free Range hens who live in crowded barns and breathe air that will burn the nose of any creature with its high ammonia content.

I would appreciate an article that tells the public about Pastured eggs. To do so you may contact me, for I produce just this kind of egg.

Jerry Cunningham

Friday, June 15, 2007

Press coverage of our eggs

The following article appeared in this weeks Austin Chronicle:


Photo By John Anderson

Jeremiah Cunningham's World's Best Eggs

A hundred years ago, if you wanted your chickens to stay alive and lay eggs for you, you had to provide them with clean water, fresh air, wholesome food, sunshine, and room to walk around. Hens that are provided with these luxuries nowadays are very lucky hens indeed, and because they are typically penned out of doors in pastures of fresh green grass, their eggs are termed "pastured" eggs.

Because pastured hens are allowed to live a healthy, natural chicken life, their eggs are shockingly (and measurably) superior in flavor and nutritional value. Pastured eggs typically contain 10% less fat, 34% less cholesterol, 40% more vitamin A, 220% more vitamin E, and 300-400% higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to being better for you, pastured eggs taste much better and give superior results when used in baking and other cookery. Some pastry chefs claim that using pastured eggs causes cakes and souffl├ęs to rise as much as 30% higher and that the higher vitamin E content causes baked goods to stay fresh longer.

Jeremiah Cunningham's World's Best Eggs, produced on Coyote Creek Farm in Elgin (, are an outstanding example of just how much better pastured eggs can be. For starters, the yolks are a deep, bright orange-gold hue that clearly illustrates their greater beta-carotene content. When you break one into the frying pan, the white holds a tight oval shape; it doesn't run like water or cover a large area. The egg flavor is robust yet delicate, and the texture is velvety and firm.

Cunningham treats his pastureland four times a year with compost tea to stimulate the soil and increase availability of micronutrients and also grows organic grains to supplement his hens' natural diet. And so we have come full circle: These eggs are probably as good as the eggs your great-great-grandmother enjoyed. And at $4.49 a dozen, they are so, so worth it. Available exclusively at Whole Foods.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Nutrients of Grass-Fed Chickens

I want to thank many of our loyal customers who check our website regularly. The following is a very good article that tells you more about chickens like ours that live in pastures and have as much as 30% of their diet in grass.

Professional chefs and professional butchers who live in large cities, have told me that chickens cannot possibly eat grass. Farmers in the country, who raise chickens naturally, have a hearty good laugh on this one! One of them even went out and butchered one of his pastured chickens and emailed me a picture of its gizzard ~~~ full of grass.

Chickens will consume 30% of their calories from grass, if allowed to truly "free range." Since grass is very low in calories, that's a whole LOT of grass! Another thing chickens need is animal protein. Chickens are omnivores, just like the humans they've kept company with for all these millennia.

The new "all vegetarian" chicken is a convenience to the mass-producer, who thus doesn't have to worry about the potential of latent animal diseases in poultry feed. Mass-producers of poultry are certainly leery of disease, which might bring about the destruction of their entire laying flock.

But, strictly vegetarian-fed chickens are potentially undernourished. An all-vegetarian diet is not natural for them ~ they need animal protein. The ideal is for a chicken to be free to roam grasslands that are not denuded by too many animals in one place, finding myriad bugs and eating lots of wild plants. If supplemented with grains, and especially with fish meal, these chickens will be the healthiest around, and live and lay eggs for many, many years.

Chickens that are free to consume as much living grass as they want, along with the myriad other living things in a natural grassland or meadow, give significant health benefits to the consumer today, just as this poultry diet has done for the thousands of years of domestication of the chicken. Meat and eggs from grass-fed poultry, which is very low in fat, have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs from "pastured" (another form of "grass-fed") poultry, high in omega-3 fatty acids, will lower one's "bad cholesterol" and raise the "good cholesterol." More and more consensus is emerging that grass-fed or pastured poultry eggs are good for the heart, and that not only should they not be avoided, they should be specifically included in the diet.

There are two main kinds of fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. We need approximately equal amounts of the o-3's and the o-6's in our bodies. But, because of not allowing our feed animals to eat grass (even cows don't eat much grass any more ~ they eat mostly corn), we are getting huge proportions of omega-6 fatty acids, and very little omega-3.

When we get top-heavy on omega-6, our "bad cholesterol" rises, and our "good cholesterol" stays low. When we get goodly amounts of omega-3's as opposed to omega-6's, the good cholesterol rises and the bad cholesterol drops.

Bad cholesterol, which is found in big droplets, goes through the blood stream and plugs up the arteries, making for quadruple bypasses and deadly heart attacks. Good cholesterol goes through the blood stream in very tiny droplets, coated with protein "bristles" whichact like millions of tiny brushes that scour out the arteries, opening up the clogged plumbing that is causing the mass epidemic of heart disease in "developed" countries. Strange to think that by eating beef and drinking whole milk, 100% grass-fed beef and milk, you can go far toward reversing your heart disease and restoring heart health.

Also effective heart-health builders are all forms of wild (not farmed) seafood. Why not farmed? Because farmed fish are fed corn, which is, for the first time in the history of the world, putting omega-6 fatty acids into the ocean's food chains, where they've never been before. Pretty soon, farmed fish might be causing heart disease, just as corn-fed beef has done all these decades of our "advanced" farming methods.

You see, omega-3's come from the fat in the green parts of plants, while omega-6's come from the seeds of plants. The entire food chain of the ocean is based on plankton, which is the "grasss" of the sea. Plankton has no seeds, so there have not been any omega-6 fatty acids in ocean fish. At least, not until we started adding corn to the farmed fish diet. We have always known that people who raise cattle in the traditional manner, 100% grass-fed, have great heart health, and have the cleanest of arteries. The amount of omega-3 in green plants is very small; the cattle and other ruminants, which eat huge quantities of grass, concentrate the omega-3 in their systems, imparting it to us when we consume the meat and milk.

Click to read more on Omega-3's at Chicken-Feed

Click to read more on Omega-3's at

Jo Robinson, author of the EatWild website, and the fabulous book, Why Grass-Fed Is Best!, describes one study where 23 people ate 2 more eggs than they usually did every day. The study only lasted 18 days. One group ate eggs enriched with Omega-3's; the other ate regular commercial eggs. Among those who added the Omega-3 eggs to their diet, their good cholesterol went up, their bad cholesterol went down, and their total cholesterol count did not change. Not so for those who ate the ordinary commerical eggs; their cholesterol levels went up. Robinson's report, I think, was kind to the commercial egg farmers ~ she did not say specifically that the bad cholesterol went up by adding 2 commercial eggs a day to one's diet. She just says that the total cholesterol count went up. One must find and read the study for onesself to learn the whole truth of it, but it my guess is, the bad cholesterol went up ~ after all, we've known for years that "eggs raise cholesterol levels." What we haven't known until the last few years is that eggs, from properly-fed chickens, also lowers the cholesterol ~ the "bad cholesterol."

Please, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to find out about grass-fed poultry and omega-3-rich eggs. We will put as much information up as we can possibly fit onto our Pastured Poultry Page --- please visit often. Above all, get a copy of Why Grass-Fed Is Best!

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Color of Egg Yolks

Grass is Mother Nature’s sunshine storage unit for her creatures food use. This is the starting point for deep rich golden/orange yolk color in your eggs.

Beta carotene, or xanthophyll both are natural plant pigments. When hens are able to eat green plant material or yellow corn (factory farm hens are sometimes fed yellow dye or other supplements to color the yolks), the beta carotene concentrates in the yolk making it dark sometimes even orange.

Fresh green, growing, grass is a very important component in any chickens diet, and with Pastured hens that component is present in daily abundance.

Pasturing also produces high levels of vitamins A and E. On average, about twice as much vitamin E and 40 percent more vitamin A are in the yolks of pasture-fed birds than in confined birds

Poultry raised on fresh pasture instead of stored grain get more unsaturated fats and vitamins in their diets. “It’s like the difference between fresh and canned vegetables.

Eating eggs from pastured chickens will enrich your diet with a host of key nutrients, including beta-carotene; vitamins B12 and E; CLA, another newly discovered "good" fat called "TVA;" omega-3 fatty acids; and lutein. Meanwhile, it will reduce your intake of synthetic hormones, pesticides, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

We take all of this into account in producing our World’s Best Eggs at Coyote Creek Farm. We treat our grass as carefully as we treat our chickens. We spray compost tea on our pastures four times each year, and the we feed the biology in our soils twice each year with, Hydrolisyzed fish, molasses, kelp, and other micro nutrients. This assures that the grass that our chickens eat is nutrient dense, which makes the eggs nutrient dense, which gives you the highest quality food that is packed with Mother Nature’s very best nutrition.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jeremiah’s Farm & Food News

“On average, 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy are used in producing, processing, transporting, and preparing every calorie of food we consume in the United States, according to studies by David Pimentel of Cornell University.”

“A recent report from the Worldwatch Institute estimated that food in the United States travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to table.”
Grist Magazine

This brings us to the subject of Carbon-Footprint. Please add this word to your vocabulary, and to your food shopping habits.

Whole Foods Market has a dedicated goal of putting more locally grown food on their shelves. Coyote Creek Farm is a product of this effort to foster small, sustainable family farms near all their stores. They have even instatuted a $10,000,000 loan program to put their money where their mouth is.

Check your egg carton to see where the eggs were produced, and all other things being equal buy the eggs, or other food, that are closest to your home. In doing so you are helping to lower the use of fossil fuels, and lowering the nation’s Carbon-Footprint.

At Coyote Creek Farm we do a number of things to further reduce the Carbon-Footprint of our eggs; things like no-till farming, compost tea for fertilizer, organic practices, even down to compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent. Idealists? Yes, that, but these days the “Idealist” of yesterday is today’s Realist. Our shopping habits can make a difference in our planet’s atmosphere.

Amazing Omega-3 Eggs

From Jordan Rubin’s, Biblical Health Daily

High omega-3 eggs are nature's nearly perfect food. Eggs contain all known nutrients except for vitamin C! They are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins A and D as well as certain carotenoids that guard against free-radical damage to the body. They also contain lutein, which has been shown to prevent age-related macular degeneration. When possible, buy eggs directly from farms where the chickens are allowed to roam free and eat their natural diet, or purchase eggs marked DHA or high omega-3 eggs (they contain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6). Despite the unfounded cholesterol scare during the past 15 years, eggs can be a healthy addition to anyone's diet; they can actually help reduce the risk of both heart disease and cancer.
From Jordan Rubin’s, Biblical Health Dail

Egg Types

1. Pastured— This term is just coming into use. Simply put Pastured chickens spend their day in an open pasture. They eat green grass which is the primary source of Omega-3. They also eat bugs and grubs. Chickens are not vegetarians, they are omnivorous. They don't just have "access" to a small outdoor space, they live outdoors except at night when they are shut up in a coop.

2. Free range or free roaming— Poultry are free to roam; however, the use of the term "free range" is only defined by the USDA for poultry production, and need only mean that the bird has had some access to the outdoors each day, which could be a dirt or concrete feedlot. USDA considers five minutes of open-air access each day to be adequate. Claims are defined by UDSA, but are not verified by third party inspectors.

3. Cage Free—
This term implies that birds were not housed in cages. However, this label does not guarantee access to the outdoors, and is not verified by any third party.

4. No antibiotics administered, raised without antibiotics or antibiotic-free—
The USDA allows producers to label meat and poultry products with the claims "no antibiotics administered" or "raised without antibiotics." The term "antibiotic-free" is not approved for use by the USDA. Claims are defined by UDSA, but are not verified by third party inspectors.

5. Vegetarian Diet—
Poultry are fed grains and vegetarian supplements without any animal by-products. This claim is verified by third-party inspectors only for USDA organic eggs. This is actually an unnatural diet for chickens, because chickens are omnivorous.

6. Omega 3—
Some egg labels state the level of Omega-3, a fatty acid that can help sustain normal blood pressure, promote normal blood clotting and keeps our blood vessels flexible. While an ordinary egg contains 18 mg. of Omega-3, an Omega-3-enriched egg typically contains 100-350 mg. Egg farmers increase omega-3 levels by feeding their hens grain rich in these substances. Claims are not verified by third-party inspectors.

Whole Foods Market has started a program, in late 2006, to make these labeling categories more transparent. Many shoppers when they see "Free Range" assume that the hens are out Free, on a Range, this is not true and is very misleading. The egg business has been dominated by very large industrial type egg producers and use every marketing ploy legally available to make their product more likely to be chosen by the uneducated shopper.

This Whole Foods labeling system will be based on Five Stars, and only true Pastured eggs will be able to achieve the Five Star rating on the labels. World's Best Eggs aims to be one of the very first producers to achieve this rating.

The proof is in the yolk. Crack open a "Free Range" vegetarian fed egg, and then beside that crack open a Pastured egg and note the difference in the color of the yolk. The Pastured yolk will invariably be a deeper golden yellow color.

Pastured eggs tend to come from small family farms that practice sustainable methods organic or not and even if these eggs are not certified Organic, they are still far superior to eggs produced by “Free Range” hens who spend their entire life inside a barn.

Happy eggs: "free range," "cage free," "organic", "pastured"—what's the story? - Eating Right

E: The Environmental Magazine, May-June, 2003 by Starre Vartan

In the past 10 years, the egg has undergone a remarkable transformation, from a humble provider of protein, vitamins and minerals to an all-purpose edible conduit through which beneficial nutrients or potentially harmful chemicals can pass into the human body. As Americans become more critical of what they eat, small farmers and large-scale agribusiness have responded with a bewildering array of choices. And with the increasing variety of food products, even basics like eggs can confuse consumers.

In any reasonably enlightened grocery store, the consumer can choose between "free range," "cage-free" and "organic" eggs. One brand may be "fortified with omega-3's," and another from hens fed only with "natural grains." One package is simply labeled "natural." What do these different labels actually mean? And what is their significance to people with widely varying needs, such as a heart disease sufferer, a nursing mother, a vegetarian and an animal rights activist? And weren't eggs supposed to be bad for you anyway, being packed with fat and cholesterol?
The truth is that although eggs' nutritional value has been demonized in the past, they are a valuable source of protein, vitamins and minerals. A large egg has about 215 grams of cholesterol (about 70 percent of the daily allowance), meaning that it is probably best to eat them in moderation. However, eggs do contain heart-healthy nutrients such as antioxidants, folate and B-vitamins.

Organic and cage-free eggs have shown seven-fold growth since 1997. "Specialty eggs," as Linda Braun, consumer services director at the American Egg Board terms them, "Amount to about five percent of the total U.S. egg market." But this growing popularity has allowed smaller organic family farms to compete with the mechanized egg-producing giants, since they can charge up to twice as much for a dozen eggs.

In fact, many smaller farms have been able to stay in business because customers will pay--some because they care about animal rights, some because they prefer organic foods, and others because they believe organic eggs just taste better. "Some of our customers in their 70s and 80s call us and tell us they haven't tasted an egg like ours in years," says Jesse LaFlamme, whose father is Gerry of Pete and Gerry's Farm, a family-run egg producer in New Hampshire.
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not rate the taste of products, it does oversee all domestic egg production. Although eggs can now carry the USDA Organic label, the agency doesn't regulate any other claims made on egg packages. The organic label, as defined by the new official standards, means that neither the hens nor their feed can be subjected to antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or herbicides. As for other package descriptions, LaFlamme sums it up when he says, "`All-natural' is one of the biggest loopholes going. There are no guidelines around for that. It's in the hands of the consumer to sort it out."
The "Free-Range" Debate

When it comes to "cage-free" and "free-range" chickens, the debate gets pretty nuanced. At Organic Valley, a family of farms across the U.S., the hens are said to be free-range. According to a package insert, that means five feet of green space per bird outside and two feet inside, as well as natural sunlight inside the hen house. Egg Innovations, also a farmer's cooperative, produces several varieties of eggs, including cage-free. All of the company's eggs are "Free-Farmed," a label monitored by the American Humane Association. This label promises that the chickens are "free from any unnecessary fear and distress; free from unnecessary pain, injury and disease; free from hunger and thirst; and free from unnecessary discomfort." The company says its policy is to put animals first, over the dictates of profit.

Pete and Gerry's shies away from using the term free-range. "We think it's misleading to call them free-range," says LaFlamme. "We call them cage-free since it's not really realistic for them to be going outside in the winter in New Hampshire. They go outside when weather permits." A relatively rare label, "pasture-fed eggs," is applied to hens that are fed grains and also forage outside for wild plants and insects.

Omega-3 eggs contain that valuable nutrient due to its direct inclusion in chicken's feed. The source might be flax or linseed or direct supplement. The levels of omega-3's, which are also found in cold-water fish such as salmon, algae and dark-green vegetables, are self-regulated, so the assurances on packages aren't monitored. This polyunsaturated fat has been linked to increased mental function and immunity, reduced risk of heart disease, and more balanced metabolism, according to Dr. Andrew L. Stoll in his book The Omega-3 Connection.

NOTE On Omega-3 by Jeremiah: You see the term Pastured in this article, one of the few places that are conversant with this relatively new term. Pastured hens eat GREEN GRASS, this is the primary source of Omega-3. Green Grass is a dark-green vegetable!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Eggs and Cholesterol

From an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola –

Eating cholesterol does not raise your cholesterol. Your liver makes over 95% of your cholesterol. You only store about ONE TEASPOON of sugar in your ENTIRE bloodstream. When you eat grains, sugar, soda and juice they are rapidly converted to sugar. This sugar is not needed in the blood stream so it is shifted to the liver where the liver converts it to saturated fat. The increase in cholesterol is almost always due to eating too many grains and sugar. It is NOT due to consuming eggs or fat. It is also very important to note that there is a HUGE difference between organic eggs and commercial eggs. They are worth every penny you pay for them. They are two different foods. If a chicken is fed grains that are sprayed with pesticides, what do you think will be in the eggs? Well their system is similar to ours and they will convert those grains to saturated fat and store all the pesticides with it and those are excreted into the egg yolk. A chicken that is range fed will lay entirely different eggs which have a completely different composition of fatty acids. These are two different foods.