Karel and I have always wanted a house with a backyard, so that we might have a vegetable garden without the mess of dirt all over the patio (from re-potting plants) and chickens. Chickens, yes: for some reason, I am unaccountably attracted to the buggers, for all that they are bossy and loud and will scratch lush pasture land to bare earth if given half a chance. Of course, the delight of freshly-laid eggs is another major bonus, especially if it means I don't have to run out to the supermarket every time I want to make a cake.
I'd only ever heard of how wonderful fresh eggs are. The eggs you get from the supermarket, I've been assured, taste nothing like a good, fresh egg. It's like eating applesauce and claiming you've just had a fresh, juicy apple (and supermarket apples that are actually fresh and juicy are difficult enough to find).
Our friend Jasper has a small but rapidly-expanding flock of chickens (5 hens, one rooster, and 5 fluffy chicks). To hear him talk about breeding, chicken behavior, feeding the little squawkers, flock dynamics, etc., it's easy to understand how "Oh, we'll just have a few" can end up being a full-time hobby. There are times when his hens produce so many eggs that it's all he can do to give them away to whoever will take them. So when he came to visit on Friday, he shoved a carton of eggs into my hands.
Scrambled eggs never tasted so good.
It wasn't a huge difference in the taste, or the texture (which has more to do with how you cook them--don't scramble too often, be gentle with the heat). But the subtle increase in, well, "egg-iness" was definitely noticeable, and very tasty. Also, the yolks were floridly yellow, rather than the deep orange-yellow that the eggs here usually take on. I haven't cracked the two smaller eggs--from his "mostly Sussex, a bit of everything else" chickens--yet, but I think it'll happen soon, either in hard-boiled form or an omelet. Eggs this tasty deserve better than getting mixed into pancake batter.
I'm not sure if chickens can be "happy", the way humans are. I mean, animals obviously don't have the same sort of sentience that humans do. But if there was ever a case for being nice to chickens, fresh eggs are definitely it. I don't eat enough meat to be able to discern whether this is also true for "Eko" flesh-products, but it does seem to allay Karel's conscience about his animal consumption, and I prefer not to eat stuff that has been injected/medicated/filled with hormones while housing a growing humanoid.