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PURINA: FIVE REASONS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT FARM-FRESH EGGS
Source: Purina Animal Nutrition press release

Shoreview, Minnesota - Eggs are one of nature's most perfect protein sources. That's why the average American eats more than 260 eggs each year.[1] How can we take this essential food to the next level? Families across the country have found the answer with farm fresh eggs.

"At just 70 calories, each large two-ounce (57 gram) egg provides six grams of digestible protein," says Gordon Ballam, Ph.D., a flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition. "With 18 of the 20 amino acids and all 10 essential amino acids in abundance, eggs have an excellent amino acid profile."[2]

Ballam explains that egg quality, taste and nutrition are connected to the production system behind the eggs.

"It all starts with the feed given to the hen who lays the eggs," Ballam explains. "People enjoy raising chickens because it gives them the power to decide how the hens are raised. Then, the payoff is fresh eggs with added nutrition and undeniable flavor."

Following are five key benefits of farm fresh eggs.

1. The power to choose

Many chicken raisers have joined the farm fresh egg movement because they are able to choose everything for the birds, from housing to healthcare and from feed to entertainment. Ballam says these choices impact the eggs the hens produce.

This mentality was clear when polling chicken enthusiasts on the Purina Poultry Facebook page. Chicken raisers said: "My chickens are a part of my family. I love choosing everything for them, and my family enjoys the eggs and entertainment they give us." And, "It's amazing what animals can do for us simply by being themselves."

2. Local support

Farm fresh eggs are an opportunity to support your local economy and ecosystem, starting in the backyard and connecting to the community. To begin, backyard chickens can benefit the backyard by naturally fertilizing, managing insects and controlling weeds. Their impact then connects to the community with the purchase of local supplies and shared camaraderie.

"Backyard chickens have the power to build a sense of community and local pride," Ballam says. "From chicken meet-up groups and coop tours to inclusion in community gardens and school curriculum, these wonderful birds quickly become a part of the communities they live in."

3. Undeniable freshness

Farm fresh eggs can be collected within minutes, providing convenient, homegrown food. Backyard chicken raisers enjoy visits to the backyard each morning to greet their pets and gather freshly laid eggs.

"With farm fresh eggs, you can enjoy added fresh flavor each day or you can store them refrigerated for up to 30 days," Ballam says. "Having a source of fresh eggs right in the backyard allows families to experiment with new recipes and enjoy eggs whenever they like."

4. Enhanced flavor and color

Feel-good point number four: flavor and color. Farm fresh eggs are known for having rich, vibrant yolks and firm, clear whites. This is because specific feed ingredients are responsible for taste and appearance. For example, marigold extract impacts yolk color while added calcium promotes stronger shells.

"Color and consistency of the yolk and egg are largely due to the chicken's feed," Ballam says. "When you raise backyard hens, you can choose to feed a high-quality complete feed that impacts the taste and quality of the egg."

5. Added nutrition

Perhaps the top feel-good reason about farm fresh eggs is their potential nutritional benefits, including added omega-3.

"In Purina's research trials, hens fed Purina Layena Plus Omega-3 laid eggs with 250 milligrams of omega-3.[3] Conventional, store-bought eggs only have 50 milligrams," Ballam explains. "This makes farm fresh eggs a nutritious decision that everyone can feel good about."

To learn more about Purina Layena Plus Omega-3, visit www.purinamills.com/chicken-feed or connect with Purina Poultry on Facebook or Pinterest.

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC (www.purinamills.com) is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Shoreview, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc.

[1] American Egg Board: http://www.aeb.org/farmers-and-marketers/industry-overview. 29 June 2016.

[2] "Egg Nutrition Center." American Egg Board. http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/egg-101/. 10 June 2016.

[3] When fed a diet of Layena Plus Omega-3 exclusively for at least 3 weeks. Based on large egg (56 g). Results may vary with factors such as total diet and hen health. A typical conventional store bought egg contains 50 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per large Egg (USDA: National Nutrient Base)