Because they rely on light cues for egg production, longer days mean a greater supply, particularly from all-natural farms that favor good old-fashioned sunlight over artificial rays that keep commercial hens active up to 17 hours a day. “Our chickens need a little more rest than that,” laughs Wadmalaw farmer Celeste Albers of Green Grocer, whose birds are free to roam the pasture and feed on grass and bugs, then nod off when the sun goes down. The difference? “Yolks are richer in color from all that beta-carotene exposure.” Now that’s a good egg.
*Cage-free (or free-roaming) hens live in a large coop or poultry house, without individual cages
*Free-range hens are free to roam in an outdoor pasture
*Organic hens must have access to the outdoors; also, use of feed with animal byproducts or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited.