Fresh eggs are certainly the biggest benefit to raising backyard chickens. Everyday you can step out your back door and pick up wholesome eggs to stock your counter. Yes, fresh eggs can stay on the counter for a while as long as they're unwashed. Washing removes the natural protective coating, and that's why grocery store eggs (i.e. eggs out of factory farms that are power washed & processed to prevent salmonella) have to be refrigerated. Just-laid eggs from your own birds whom you're sure don't have salmonella are better in so many ways, including room temperature storage. Results may vary, but most backyard flock raisers leave the eggs out for about a week. If you know that you need long term storage, refrigeration is best, even unwashed. Just wash the eggs whenever you're going to use them.
Aside from that natural protective coating, eggs are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which aid human nutrition. Most of our diet is comprised of omega 6 fatty acids, and we could all stand to balance that a little better with more omega 3. Your backyard birds can help with that as long as you feed them an omega rich diet. It's the simple principle of good stuff in, good stuff out. A healthy hen makes you healthy eggs that are much more nutritious than what is found in the grocery store. And the hen house is closer!
Watch today's video for more helpful information about choosing an omega-rich layer feed when your birds are 18 weeks old and it's time to switch from the Start N Grow.