HOUSTON (CW39) – You can’t have Easter…without Easter eggs. Every day is an Easter egg hunt here at Meyers Family Farm which doubles as the home of Samantha and Dustin Meyers it also serves as the home of a slew of chickens, multiple goats, a dog named Stroker, and a pig … named Spotty McBacon.
But we are here for the science behind the egg. We take for granted the fact that we have eggs year-round, naturally that is not the case.
Samantha states, “These girls need about 14-16 hours of sunlight so it’s one of those things that if the days are shorter there is not enough sunlight to get an egg made”.
It is normally right around the end of daylight-saving time when egg production starts to decline.
Samantha adds, “These are our great roll away nest boxes. They are great because the eggs roll away from the hens. None of them get broken, they can’t get dirty…You can pick them up and touch them. They are probably still fresh and warm”.
“Oh warm… I don’t know if I like that!”, I laughed.
Since the coop is exposed to the ambient air temperature, the chickens simply rely on body heat while laying the egg.
“They will sit here anywhere between 5 min to a half an hour before they lay their egg and when they are done, they get out and start free ranging again”, Samantha adds.
I asked Samantha what other weather features impact egg production.
She answers, “If it is super-hot, we don’t get as many eggs because they are trying to stay cool. If it rains, we aren’t seeing sun because it is cloudy. We will see a decrease in eggs the following day to make that egg”.
All weather aside, one thing is for sure, when these hens are in the process of producing… they like their privacy!
“That’s her telling us she wants her private time.”, says Samantha.
Brown, white, blue, or green… “They are all the same on the inside”, says Samantha.
Why are the eggs different colors?
Samantha tells me that it is all about the breed of the chicken. Normally white hens lay white eggs and brown hens lay brown eggs, but that is not always the case. You can have cross breeds. The pigment responsible for the coloring of the brown egg is called protoporphyrin. While the pigment responsible for those unusual looking blue eggs is called oocyanin. The blue eggs are quite beautiful, but the coloring is a byproduct of …BILE!
What types of chickens lay blue eggs?
Amerauacanas, Araucanas, and Easter Eggers! Easter Eggers are simply just chicken “mutts”.
You can get eggs that are half white and half brown as well. Samantha chuckles and says that this occurs when the hens, “…run out of ink”. These hens can lay a variety of colored eggs.
“So, you don’t even have to dye any types of Easter eggs in this house. They come out naturally this way!”, I tell her.
The chickens help feed Samantha and her family, but what does Samantha feed the chickens to make them taste so good?
She responds, “We actually partnered with our local food pantry in Katy. This is all food waste that would otherwise be in a landfill. It is not human grade food anymore. A couple have soft spots, or parts of it have gone bad, so we take that little bit of mold off and everything else here goes into the compost. The birds eat it and, in the end, it makes the egg a lot more flavorful, richer, and nutrient dense! It is a natural recycler”.
Meyers Family Farm will be open this Easter weekend, making a great place to take the family for a real- life Easter egg hunt, Samantha even noted that Mr. Rabbit himself might make an appearance … In the end this experience is sweeter than a basket of candy.
For more information about the Meyers family and the farm you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/MeyersFamilyFarmTX/ or https://www.mfftstore.com/