Meet the Chickens!
If you’ve stopped by the farm stand at Twin Buttes of Durango, you know we’ve got a hen party going on nearby.
And if you brought along a few dollars to take home a dozen fresh eggs, you know our chickens are something to crow about! These pretty girls are happy and healthy—the stars of the agrihood—and they lay their little hearts out for their neighbors.
It’s time for you to meet the chicks! Here are five of our favorites.
This snow-white hen is at the top of the pecking order at Twin Buttes. After all, her breed, White Leghorn (pronounced “leggern” for those in the know), originated in Italy and arrived in the U.S. in the 1820’s. She’s the boss and she’ll let you know it with loud clucks and cackles. Letty is also an egg-cellent layer, giving us as many as 320 white eggs each year.
Her breed, Rhode Island Red, is the state bird of Rhode Island, so Rhoda’s got a little ‘tude going on too. Rhoda is a dark, rusty red hen with a few near-black feathers. True to her breed, she’s full of character and may follow farm manager Jesse around looking for treats. We can count on our Rhoda to lay 5-6 medium to large, light brown eggs every week.
Beautiful Barbie is easy to spot—she’s the black and white striped (barred) Plymouth Rock hen. She’s gorgeous and she knows it! Originating in Massachusetts, Barbie and her kind were kept by many U.S. families during WWII. They are quiet and mellow, and some even enjoy a lap and a hug! Barbie produces about 200 large brown eggs annually.
And now, Esther!
You can spot Esther the Easter Egger by looking for the pretty brown/tan young lady with the black tail and feather tips. Yes, Esther is a cutie! She’s smaller than many of our hens, and she’s a gentle bird. Easter Eggers were created when people crossed multiple breeds of chicken, but don’t tell Esther she’s a “mutt.” She’ll dare you to compare her greenish/blueish eggs to those ordinary white and brown ones her friends produce. She’ll give us about 4 of those “Easter eggs” per week.
Finally, Cindy Lou!
Cinnamon Queen Cindy Lou is a dream to keep here at Twin Buttes. Like the rest of her breed, she is an exceptionally sweet chicken; nothing much ruffles her feathers. She’s pretty too, light reddish brown in color with white highlights. Cindy Lou lays up to 300 eggs each year.
About Those Eggs
A friend of ours who grew up on a farm once told us, “When I first saw a store-bought egg, I thought there was something wrong with it!”
We know just what she meant. That carton of 12 uniform, white eggs usually comes from an industrial farm where single-variety hens are kept in small cages. Even eggs labeled “cage free” are most often laid by chickens in crowded warehouses.
The eggs Letty and her friends lay for you will be fresher than those you can buy at the store—up to thirty days fresher. You’ll notice the yolks are dark yellow and sit up high, and the whites hold together better than flabby store-bought egg whites. This makes them superior for baking and cooking. Fresh eggs taste better too!
Our Eggs Are Good for You
If you limit your egg consumption due to cholesterol worries, you might want to rethink that strategy. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic says:
Chicken eggs are an affordable source of protein and other nutrients. They’re also naturally high in cholesterol. But the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol-containing foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats.
It may surprise you to know that farm-raised eggs are generally safer than store-bought. Salmonella, a leading worry people have about eggs, is more liable to occur in a flock living in crowded conditions than in birds allowed plenty of space, light and fresh air.
Our hens are proud of the eggs they produce for you. In contrast to what’s available at the grocery story, our young ladies lay eggs that have:
- More A, D and E vitamins
- More beta carotene
- Increased omega-3 fatty acids
Happy Hens at Twin Buttes
There’s little doubt the chickens at Twin Buttes are content. They have a safe place to roost away from noise and commotion, they can roam and stretch their legs and they enjoy a diet of veggies, insects and grains. What’s not to love about living at Twin Buttes?