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.

Jeremiah

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:

Bocaditos



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 (www.coyotecreekfarm.org), 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 Eatwild.com

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!