The Egg Project – The Country Hen Eggs (Hint: Not Top-Tier) 3


TheCountryHen-Cooked

The Country Hen Eggs

As you’ll see below, these had one of the more interesting boxes on the shelf and so attracted my attention. Inside the box, there is a message that states that these were the original cage-free egg, apparently from 1988. I find this claim impressive, and worthy of an The Egg Project review – if for no other reason than because they’ve been on the “healthy eggs” track for decades. That suggests that they’ve got a huge head-start with healthy eggs, so I’d like to get a feel for that, and let you all know what I find!

In case you want to save yourself the trouble, and not read through the review in it’s entirety… My conclusion is: Don’t buy these.

Bright Orange Yolks, Thick Viscous Whites

TheCountryHen-Opened

In short: Not particularly.

As is my pattern, I researched these eggs, to the extent that I can, on my phone in the store before buying them. I must look pretty funny, standing there with my phone, browsing through who-knows-what, right in front of the egg shelves… Anyway, what I saw was worth taking a deeper look at and reviewing. Once I popped open the eggs this morning, however, the dull yellow yolk that fell out of the egg was so unimpressive, I wished I could put the egg back into the shell and return it to the store! For the price I paid, I am expecting top quality eggs! Or, at the very least, top-tier eggs, comparable to the other eggs of the same price range and quality! So, I took a closer look at the website this morning, and was not impressed by what I found. The following are some excerpts taken from their home-page.

We have thrown the cages away, put in windows, and use natural lighting and natural ventilation to the maximum.

These are the basics of our feed. We buy directly from organic farmers.

Yikes! What was I thinking when I bought these!
I mean, to be fair, these are far and away better standards than the $.99/dozen eggs that you can buy at Shop Rite and Pathmark. And if that was the price range that these eggs were in, and those were the competitors that we were considering, then I wouldn’t have a problem here. Also, I wouldn’t have purchased them and I wouldn’t be reviewing them. So, let’s get down to the brass tacks, so to speak.

The yolks:

They were dull, yellow, unappetizing, and unimpressive. These were typical of grain-based feed eggs. These chickens have no access to any natural food at all.

The Whites:

TheCountryHen-Cracked

As with the yolks: the whites were thin and runny. There was little cohesion; probably better than the $.99/dozen eggs at a normal grocery store, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve had one of those, and I really can’t be sure. I hope so, since these are organic fed – and I like to think that organic is better. But at this level, who cares? They’re probably fed entirely grains and beans – with no access to live protein, live leafy vegetation, and they’re likely fairly sedentary.

TheCountryHen-Bite

The flavor:

Honestly: these were unimpressive in their entirety.
They lacked anything interesting in their flavor. There was none of the vegetable, flower, or sweetness that I’d experienced with the other eggs that I’ve tasted. These had no interesting or defining features at all, except that they were not the same calibre eggs that I’ve been used to.

TheCountryHen-Package

What stood out:

Ummm… The only good thing I can say for them is that they seem to have led the market with “healthy eggs” in the past. And they have impressive packaging.
Unfortunately, it seems as though their glory died long ago. These are not top-tier eggs in any respect.

My advice: Don’t buy these.

Further reading:

The critique over with, here is what I use as a base for evaluation of my eggs.

  1. Pastured, Cage-Free hens
  2. No hormones or antibiotics
  3. Certified Organic
  4. Certified Humane
  5. Sustainable farm raised
  6. Soy-Free Feed

These eggs get a dismal 2 check-marks out of my 6 criteria. This would have been impressive in the 80’s, when they got their start. But the times have changed, and these guys haven’t kept up. Since they’re not pastured, have no access to live leafy vegetation or bugs, and are being fed “Chicken Feed” as their only dietary source of calories, I can conclude that these are only marginally better than conventionally farmed eggs in that they’re cage free, and organic. It’s a good start. But it’s not top-tier by any stretch when compared against Pete and Gerry’s or Vital Farms.


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3 thoughts on “The Egg Project – The Country Hen Eggs (Hint: Not Top-Tier)

  • ericjs

    I just bought some of these and my first tip off was the newsletter in the box talking about their new feed truck… Which lead me to a web search and to your article. Luckily these are only for some devilled eggs for a cookout, bought hastily instead my usual. Do they sell Born Free eggs where you live? I seem to only find them intermittently but they are among the better store brands I’ve found.

    • urbanpaleochef Post author

      I haven’t managed to find them, but they sound like something I’d really enjoy! Because of my difficulty in finding top-quality eggs, I only eat them on occasion. So, finding them intermittently would be just about perfect for me! If I could find them…
      Yeah: If I ever buy these again, it will be for a product like that. Deviled Eggs is just about the perfect way to use these too. I saw a Deviled Eggs recipe recently (maybe not so recently) where the creamed yolk portion was mixed with avocado (and, of course, smoked paprika). It looked devilishly delicious! How did you do yours?