A good egg

Mail on Sunday magazine

Hens adore mushroom risotto. They are also keen on asparagus stems and the tops of strawberries. They are more curious than the cat and make a dash to get in the house whenever the back door is left open. Hens have a compelling stare, sometimes they jump on the kitchen windowsill and look down their beaks at me.

Like many in Britain, we recently enlarged our household by adding a trio of hens. Their eggs provide a source of relatively low-calorie protein and
nutrient-rich food. If they are well cared-for and given a varied diet, they can produce eggs that are even better for you than shop-bought ones.

I asked scientists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh whether they would analyse half-adozen eggs produced by my hens and half-a-dozen free-range ones from the big five supermarkets – and the results were astounding. They clearly showed that our eggs were significantly higher in protein and minerals. They appeared to have denser, heavier yolks, which is where most of the nutritional content of eggs is.