This is a picture of possibly one of the last store bought eggs I will eat for a looooong time. The orange one is a fresh egg which was still warm when I took it out of the nesting box. Fresh eggs are tastier than the ones from the store and have a tougher yolk. My backyard chickens also lay much more nutritious eggs because they have a varied diet. It is comforting to know the chickens that produce my eggs are not pumped full of hormones and not crammed into little cages. The EU is set to ban battery cages on January 1st 2012.
How nutritious are chicken eggs? I took a hiking class in college, and the instructor told the students that eggs are one of the most nutritious foods to bring while hiking because they are packed full of vitamins and nutrients. Eggs are a great source of protein. One thing I found interesting is that the protein content rises when eggs are cooked. A raw egg only has 51% of the protein which can be absorbed in humans and cooked eggs have 91%. The B-12 content also rises with cooking. According to Wikipedia, free-range hens tend to produce eggs with higher nutritional quality in having less cholesterol and fats while being several times higher in vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids than standard factory eggs.
When I lived in Germany, I noticed that the eggs were not refrigerated in the grocery stores. Eggs do not need to be refrigerated if they are fresh. One thing which has surprised me is how clean all of the eggs have been. The hens have laid 4 out of 7 eggs directly in the nesting box which is only a straw-filled plastic tub with a wooden egg in it.