“Farm-fresh eggs” conjures up an entirely new vision in my mind’s eye since I recently went a tour of Burnbrae Farms!
It’s is an amazing business that includes everything bucolic, like fresh air and lovely green pasture.
And I learned that there are all sorts of things that the Hudson family (the owners of Burnbrae Farms) and their staff do to give their hens the best possible living environment—and give their customers the best possible eggs.
Before I went on a tour of Burnbrae Farms in Lyn, Ontario, and met the wonderful Hudson family (they really are as nice as they are passionate about producing top quality eggs), I thought that free run eggs were superior. However, when I saw the different egg production systems, including conventional cages, enriched, and free run, I learned that each has their own pros and cons.
The enriched egg system houses the hens in smaller caged areas. They have some freedom of movement and because of fewer birds in a cage, it gives the lower order hens some respite. They also have the benefit of a constant temperature as well as a few other perks.
Hens prefer to flock together so in a free run area there is actually a lot of empty space that is available, but not necessarily used. In fact, I was told that when the Burnbrae Farms staff first implemented a free run system, they took all of the hens at the bottom of the pecking order (did you know that’s a real thing with chickens?!) and moved them to the empty side of the barn. Within a few hours they walked right back into the mix!
Since I love eggs so much, I was heartened to learn that both free run and enriched eggs are nutritionally dense. There are only about 70 calories in a large egg, with 6 grams of protein and a long list of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that contribute to good health. It’s because eggs contain nine essential amino acids that our bodies can’t make that they are considered to be a complete protein.
With all that good nutrition available in one small egg, it makes sense to add them to your diet if you don’t include them already.
Hard boiled eggs are my favored way to eat eggs (I don’t like soft yokes), but the zillion pieces of egg shell that I can’t peel do not make me a happy mama, so I was especially interested to hear the Burnbrae tips for a perfect boiled egg.
Here’s the best way to cook the perfect boiled egg:
- Put cold eggs in a pan, single layer.
- Add cold water to cover the eggs, with about 1” of water over the eggs.
- Cover your pan and bring the water to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
More tips for the perfect boiled egg:
- Soft-cooked eggs should stay in the hot water for 3-5 minutes; hard-cooked eggs should stay in the hot water for 20-25 minutes.
- Run cold water over the eggs after their standing time (this keeps that green ring from forming around the yolk!).
- For hard-cooked eggs, it will be easier to peel if you use a spoon to tap the egg all over and roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Start your peeling from the large end. Of course, run the egg under water to get rid of the small pieces.
- One additional tip they gave us is that eggs that have been in your fridge for a week or so will peel easier than just purchased eggs.