Frequently Asked Questions

Are there farm sales?

Are there farm sales?

Yes

On 4.30.2011 Farm Sales will permanently relocate to:

Country Trails
45 Gardner Road (Route 68)
Hubbardston, MA

Sales will begin at 8:00 am on Saturdays until JULY 2nd and then they will open at 9:00 am.



Are your egg cartons recyclable?

Are your egg cartons recyclable and why doesn't it say it on the carton?

Yes, The Country Hen egg cartons are 100% recyclable with your paper products. The cartons are actually made in Denmark and therefore have different recycling standards than U.S. standards.



Can I order eggs through the mail?

Can I order eggs through the mail?

Once a week we send eggs out to a small hand full of customers Priority Mail. The cost to you would be $7.50 per 6 pack or $15.00 per dozen eggs. Please call us at (978) 928-5333 if you would like to be included in this mailing.



Can I use raw eggs in cooking?

Can I use raw eggs in cooking?

We began testing our barns by the state over 10 years ago, and have been salmonella enteritidis free. Feel free to use our eggs in any kind of cooking. We make a mean eggnog here at the farm. See our section on recipes for that one.



Can I visit the farm?

Can I visit the farm?

On 7.9.2010 a new Federal Law went into effect, The Egg Safety Final Rule. This law is designed to improve the safety of eggs to reduce the risk of Salmonella-E. Part of the law requires us to limit the #s people on the farm. For this reason, we are forced to end our tradition of farm tours.



Can you tell me about the treatment of your birds?

Can you tell me about the treatment of your birds?

More and more the public is becoming aware of the horrible conditions at commercial farms. Our hens are very pampered and allowed to roam free within sunlit barns and lay their eggs in automated nests or even on the barn floor if they wish. They also have the luxury of going outside on porches.



Do you use antibiotics on your birds?

Do you use antibiotics on your birds?

We want to assure you that we do not use antibiotics at The Country Hen. It states right on the box that our chickens are free of antibiotics. We have never had an outbreak of disease here on the farm. We think this is due to the very strong organic feed that we give to the birds, the fact that they exercise and contact with floor litter and shavings where pathogens reside.
If we ever did have an outbreak, we would have to treat with antibiotics, but we could not sell those eggs as organic.



How is the treatment of your birds different from a commercial farm?

How is the treatment of your birds different from a commercial farm?

First, we feed our baby chicks and our laying hens totally organic feed. There are no herbicides, pesticides, chemicals, animal parts, or other rotten material in them, as most commercial egg farms feed their hens. In addition, we believe in allowing our hens to roam free in large, sunlit barns, and live a happy, comfortable life with exercise.
Commercial chicken farms stuff four laying hens into a cage one foot by one-and-a-half feet square, where they are cooped up so tightly many of them suffocate. They also de-beak their hens at such a short spot that some of them bleed to death. We do not do this, and indeed believe in treating our hens very humanely. For these reasons we have a very special niche in the marketplace, and many people buy our eggs just for these reasons. We also have many customers who write us to let us know that they taste like eggs used to when they were kids, when chickens were healthy and roamed free on their farms.



How long after the expiration date can I use these eggs?

How long after the expiration date can I use these eggs?

Usually they are good 45 days after they are laid but they can be used long after that date.



Is there a difference between brown and white shelled eggs?

Is there a difference between brown and white shelled eggs?

No. Shell color is determined by the breed of hen and is not related to quality, nutrients, flavor or cooking characteristics. Since brown egg layers are slightly larger birds and require more food, brown eggs are usually more expensive than white.



Sometimes my eggs are cloudy white. Why does this happen?

Sometimes my eggs are cloudy white. Why does this happen?

It is very unusual to have whites that look cloudy or as though they have already started cooking. We're not sure what caused this.



Sometimes my eggs crack while boiling. Why does this happen?

Sometimes my eggs crack while boiling. Why does this happen?

Sometimes when placing cold eggs into boiling water this will occur. We recommend putting the eggs into the water and bring both to a boil.



What are blood spots?

What are blood spots?

Blood spots are sometimes created when a chicken is under stress. If something scares them, a wild animal, a loud noise etc. it can create a reaction when the birds lay eggs. We do know that these blood spots are harmless, but unattractive.



What are LNA, EPA, and DHA?

What are LNA, EPA, and DHA?

EPA & DHA are w3 fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are found mainly in seafood. Alpha-linolenic acid (LNA)are fatty acids found mainly in seeds and nuts like Flaxseeds. Fatty acids are required by the body for proper nutrition. Fatty acids are transformed by the intestines into useful nutrients. Sufficient levels of EPA & DHA (Omega-3) will help to promote a healthy cardiovascular system, support a strong immune system, and supportive but not conclusive research shows the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.



What are Omega-3

What are Omega-3's?

Omega-3's are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote a healthy cardiovascular system, support a strong immune system, and supportive but not conclusive research shows the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.



What are the stringy white pieces in egg whites?

What are the stringy white pieces in egg whites?

These rope-like strands of egg white, called chalazae (ka-LAY-zee) are not imperfections or beginning embryos but a natural, edible part of the egg. They keep the yolk centered in the thick white.



What happens if I leave my eggs out of the refrigerator?

What happens if I leave my eggs out of the refrigerator?

Fresh shell eggs can be kept refrigerated in their carton for at least 4 - 5 weeks beyond the pack date. Quality losses should be insignificant if the eggs are refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase from a refrigerated case.
Hard cooked eggs should be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.



What is candling?

What is candling?

Candling is the process where we look into the egg. We flash a light into the egg to see if there are any cracks or spots that would warrant the eggs not going to market.



What is the best way to store eggs?

What is the best way to store eggs?

Store eggs in their carton because eggs can absorb refrigerator odors.



What is the chance of Salmonella in your eggs?

What is the chance of Salmonella in your eggs?

The State Egg Inspector takes samples of blood from our birds and dirt from our barns several times a year and sends them to a university lab to be tested for Salmonella Enteritis. We are very proud of the fact that Salmonella Enteritis has never been detected.



What is the source of your organic feed?

What is the source of your organic feed?

We do not reveal the source as it is one of our trade secrets.



What is your compost made with?

What is your compost made with?

Our compost is made of organic chicken manure, sawdust, and meadow hay. Please look at our compost page for more information.



Why are some hard-cooked eggs difficult to peel?

Why are some hard-cooked eggs difficult to peel?

Fresh eggs may be difficult to peel. Those which have been stored for a week to 10 days before cooking will usually peel more easily.



Why are your eggs more expensive than others?

Why are your eggs more expensive than others?

First, we only feed our hens 100% organic feed. We purchase corn, wheat, etc. from farms, mostly out west, who have to be ''certified organic'' which means that they do not use herbicides, pesticides or chemicals. We have all these products shipped to us and then they are milled right here at the farm in our feed mill. Secondly, we don't stuff 4 or 5 birds into each small cage which is the common practice of commercial chicken farms. We take on added building and maintenance expenses in order to allow our hens to roam free in large, sunlit barns, and live a happy, comfortable life. Our eggs are all hand collected which means more personnel and labor costs. Also, due to our high quality standards at least 10% of our eggs are tossed out.



Why do I get wrinkled yolks?

Why do I get wrinkled yolks?

The reason your egg yolk was wrinkled was probably due to the age of the egg. It could also be that in shipping or at the store it was in a cold spot.



Why do I sometimes get double yolks?

Why do I sometimes get double yolks?

The reason that you received eggs with double yolks is probably because they were jumbo eggs.
Hens begin their laying process with small eggs, then medium, and eventually over the course of time are laying large, then extra large and finally jumbo eggs before they stop laying altogether. It is the jumbo eggs that have double and sometimes even triple yolks. The number of yolks reflect only on the age of the hen, not on the feed they eat or any other factor. The egg with a double yolk is still fresh and Grade A.



Why do some eggs smell different?

Why do some eggs smell different?

Sometimes the feed that our chickens love to eat gets clumped together. Which means the birds will eat it until it's gone, and eat nothing else hence the occasional heavy smell.



Why do some hard-cooked eggs have a greenish ring around the yolk?

Why do some hard-cooked eggs have a greenish ring around the yolk?

The harmless greenish ring is due to an iron and sulfur compound which forms when eggs are overcooked or not cooled quickly.



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