Chickens/ Homesteading

Free Range Eggs vs Store Bought Eggs

June 14, 2017 (Last Updated: January 19, 2021)

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Comparison between farm fresh free range eggs and store bought eggs.

Farm fresh eggs on a small white plate.

Have you ever wondered if free range, farm fresh eggs are really any different than the eggs you can buy from your grocery store?

White eggs on a plate.

We raise our own chickens and have an abundance of fresh eggs. It has been a few years since I’ve needed to buy eggs from the store. We also share our eggs with our neighbors.

Uncooked eggs on a plate.

Our hens have a very large hen house and enclosed yard. For much of the year we leave the gate open and our hens roam throughout our property. Once we start planting our garden, I do need to close them back into their space. They seem to think all the seeds I plant are little treats just for them!

As much as I love my hens to be truly free range, sometimes they do cause problems. You might remember Free Range Chickens: The Good, The Bad… Sometimes our chickens just become a bit too cozy around our place!

When it comes to the eggs, there is a difference between our farm fresh, free range eggs and store bought eggs. Just look at the colors. Do you remember my lemon curd? That really bright color is due to the dark yolks from my eggs. The same thing happened in my mini frittatas. 

They are a vibrant yellow. The yolks turn that dark, orange yellow when they are out running around and eating a variety of insects, grasses, worms and anything else they find appetizing.

Aside from that fabulous color, free range eggs are reported to be healthier. According to Mother Earth News, free range eggs have 1/3 less cholesterol and 1/4 less saturated fat than store bought eggs. They also have 3 times more vitamin E and 7 times more beta carotene. I guess those insects and plants must really make a difference, not to mention all that running around the chickens do.

Farm fresh eggs are tastier, in my opinion.

Farm fresh eggs vary in size.

The one good thing about store bought eggs is the eggs are usually a consistent size.  Since I have a huge variety of chickens, the eggs vary in size and color. The different sizes can be a little challenging when using them for baking. I’m willing to suffer with different sized eggs. I usually try to save the smaller ones for scrambled eggs.

Farm fresh eggs are sometimes difficult to make into a perfect hard boiled egg. They can be difficult to peal the shell. This is the method I usually use, Hard Boiled Eggs. If you have an electric pressure cooker you might also want to try these Instant Pot Eggs

For me the biggest benefit of raising my own eggs is knowing how my food is being raised. The next best thing would be buying from a small local farmer. A farmer’s market would be a great place to buy farm fresh eggs.

Happy Chickens enjoying a fall day!

Other Great Posts

Checking the honey bee hive.Honey Bees

A freshly pruned apple tree in an orchard.How to Prune Apple Trees


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  • Reply
    February 23, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Hi Kathy,
    I stumbled across your page trying reassure myself on how I was pruning my apple trees. have been doing it for 15+ years
    every time I start I second guess myself, stop, look up how to prune apple trees ๐Ÿ™‚ . Rod and the great pictures have refreshed me and have me convinced I’m doing it right, Thank you both.
    As far as I’m concerned farm eggs are far better. And I cringe when we don’t have enough and my wife hits the store (yuck)
    Since having our chickens we have noticed less ticks on our dogs and us. Just whim I don’t think so. Great site, Thanks

    • Reply
      February 23, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      Hi John!
      Keep up the good work on pruning those trees. The real test is your apple crop! I love farm fresh eggs – I just can’t do anything different.
      Thanks for visiting and hope to see you again!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2017 at 3:08 am

    I try to get all my eggs here in the village from people who have eggs, I really believe they are better. But I have the problem of their size as well when baking, so when I think it is really important to get the right amount of egg in a cake I either buy the eggs or weigh them very carefully (and end up having half an egg in a small container in the fridge ๐Ÿ™‚ ). We also buy our beef and turkey in the village and we get tones of berries and fruit for free in summer and autumn, that’s the best thing about living in the village, if you ask me, having access to all this produce at very very affordable prices.

    • Reply
      June 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      There’s nothing better than knowing where your food comes from.

  • Reply
    June 17, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve never been a huge egg fan, but I always have eggs in the fridge. In fact I come from a line of egg farmers, mass production. I worked in an egg grading station when I was younger, so I can answer your question about how the eggs in store bought cartons look pretty much the same size. After they’ve gone through the washing station and the candler, they come out on to a conveyor belt. As they roll down the belt, there are several conveyor belts that branch off to where they get packed into cartons(suction cups do the job), depends if they’re large, medium, extra large, pee wee. The jumbos the candler usually catches and puts into a tray. Eggs have to be the right size to fit through the next sorting lanes, and if they’re too big, they keep going down the belt until they fit through the correct lane. Of course you get some rebel eggs that won’t move along and the ones behind crash into it and there’s a mess to clean up.

    When I lived on acreage there was a hen house and I did raise hens from day old chicks and loved having the fresh eggs. Never ran out and had to go to the store. And yes, I get that my free range eggs were better than store bought. But I can go either way. Mostly I use eggs for baking and I don’t notice a difference. There’s a local wildlife rescue not far from where I live that sells free range eggs and I buy from them. Sure it might be a buck more than Walmart’s eggs, but I get that they’re healthier plus I like to think I’m doing a small part by contributing to a worthy cause.

    As much as I loved having hens, they attract rats. I plugged in those sensor devices that are supposed to repel rats and I tell you just about every time I opened the hen house door one or two rats would go running out. That’s probably the main reason why I probably won’t raise hens again. Rats! Yuck! I hate them!

    • Reply
      June 18, 2017 at 5:13 am

      Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for all the information about egg sorting. I think it would be fascinating to visit an egg factory! For now, I just was and sort my eggs by hand! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Katie Crenshaw
    June 17, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I actually was wondering about this! Now you answered my questions. Thanks for the great writeup. I wish I could have my own set chickens. I think they are so fun to watch. I don’t have much of a backyard, so there is no room. Maybe when we move someday….. Your chickens look lovely.

    • Reply
      June 18, 2017 at 5:14 am

      Chickens do need some space and not every place can accommodate them. We are lucky enough to be able to have chickens.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    June 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Very interesting post Kathy! And lucky you to have your own chickens and fresh eggs. I get some free range eggs from a friend every now and then and absolutely think they’re better!

    • Reply
      June 18, 2017 at 5:18 am

      We are lucky to have our own chickens. I really enjoy watching them and collecting the eggs!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    June 15, 2017 at 5:30 am

    I’ve always wondered about the difference in eggs, Kathy! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I just need to convince Laura to let me keep chickens in the backyard. Also, I chuckled at your comment about chickens finding insects, grasses and worms delicious. I mean, it’s true. But it just sounds funny! Great post, my friend!

    • Reply
      June 15, 2017 at 5:49 am

      Chickens are great foragers. When they find something yummy they make this clucking sound and all the other hens come running to share!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    June 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    I am so envious of you and your free range chickens, Kathy! We have some friends that have chickens and their eggs are so much better that what you can find in the store. I’d love to have my own chickens, but sadly, my dogs would not allow that….

    • Reply
      June 15, 2017 at 5:26 am

      Sometimes dogs seem to think the chickens are their play things. We do have dogs, but have had to train them that the chickens are off limits!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    There is a huge difference between store bought eggs and free range or farm fresh. I have friends who have chickens and I have grown spoiled. Fresh eggs are amazing and the yolk color is incredible! I avoid buying store bought eggs.

    • Reply
      June 15, 2017 at 5:24 am

      Lucky you to have friends willing to share!

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