CGND | Our Pasture View – October 2021

Maria Bichler

Maria Bichler is a wife, young mother of three and owner of Bichler Simmentals in Linton, N.D. She works from home as a journalist alongside her husband, Doug, as they manage their family’s 100-year-old farm and ranching operation.

Scrambled, over easy, sunny side up, poached, boiled. In a sandwich, on top of a burger, key to baked goods. You must have guessed by now: an egg.

Most of us have grown up consuming eggs in various forms and for good reason. An excellent source of protein, vitamins and heart-healthy fats, eating an egg is a quick and easy way to fuel our bodies for the day.

The eggs we gather on our farm vary from the pearly white and uniform brown eggs you may find in the grocery isle. Assorted tones of blue and green, mixed versions of white and cream, speckled, blotched and deep brown, eggs come in all shapes and shades. The color of the egg is specific to the breed of laying hen. You can also determine what color the egg will be by looking at the hen. How? The coloring of the earlobe on a chicken correlates to the color of the egg shell. White earlobe on a Leghorn chicken? Out pops a white egg. Blue-green earlobe on an Araucana chicken? You’ll have blueish green eggs for breakfast.

We have a flock of around 60 laying hens and a brood of 10 laying ducks. And, we can’t forget to mention our one guinea hen, Miss Guinea, who also lays an egg daily during certain times of the year. Our birds differ in breeds, and the eggs we deliver to town every week are a rainbow of colors. Besides how the egg looks, the egg itself varies depending on the bird species, breed and the diet the bird consumes. Our duck eggs have a larger yolk and a higher fat content than those of the chickens. The whites of duck eggs are also thicker. Because duck eggs contain more fat and protein, and less water, duck eggs are perfect for baking and are often referred to as a baker’s secret ingredient.

So while some egg shells are harder than others, and you may have a speckled white egg for breakfast this morning and a blue egg to bake cookies with in the afternoon, one thing will always stay the same: An egg is an egg and will always be healthy for you and your family.

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