Saturday, November 29, 2008

Eggs are here (well, one is anyway)

Some semblance of posting on Hyperlipid will probably resume late next week but, in the mean time, Penelope (Squiggs' favourite chicken, the one who lets herself be caught, cuddled and carried around) has laid an egg, our first ever home produced egg. A decent size for a first egg from a young chicken!

Not only that but it was a double yolker...

Guess who ate it!

Back when life gets in to more of a normal routine and I can get to answer some of the off blog emails and do some blogging too.



Thackray said...


Our present batch of chickens are from early spring of 2008 which means they are relatively young and should therefore be strong layers. During the winter (shorter days) our output drops from 8-10 eggs per day to maybe 1 every other day. I don't think you'll see much production until spring time as your days are shorter than ours here in Western Pennsylvania.

Philip Thackray

Unknown said...

Apparently, to get the chickens lay double yolk eggs one needs to let them eat clover or alfalfa sprouts which have some estrogen compounds. I haven't been around a live chicken for around 10 years now, but learned that from reading Tomasz Kwasniewski.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your chicken.

Peter said...

Yes Thackray, I wasn't expecting any eggs until Spring. Haven't even put nest boxes in yet. She made her own nest in a cardboard box under the chicken coop! We know it was her egg because she was trying to hatch it!

Flo, I was going to feed then a fair amount of cooked or sprouted broad beans, also high in oestrogens. I just worry a little about getting the oestroge=-n p55err4er5gerrrrrrrrewsaI (Squiggs edit!) lmkihuyftcfxdcgvhbbjn in to the eggs. Probably too low a dose to worry about and the extra cholesterol would be worth it.


PS another egg today! Smaller, single yolk and speckled, so probably 2/10 occasionally laying now. If we ever get 10 in a day that will just be enough for six for me, one for Squiggs and three for my wife. No going to be independent quite yet methinks.

mtflight said...

hey Peter,

I guess that's not a grain-fed hen, so you're getting more omega-3s in those eggs and vitamin D too except for the UVB probably not very strong up there.

Which leads me to the next, very off-topic question:

Do cats make vitamin D from UV rays? If so, where? I have a gray tabby like the one you're pictured with. She has asthma and I read in a journal Thorax that the fatty acids in butter help improve that. So she gets tuna from the can, fortified with melted butter. She's playful as a kitten, and has mellowed down. Her "coughing" is minimal vs. when I feed her standard cat kibble (whether rice or wheat based)--then it's scary and frequent.

So I'm thinking D may help inflammation in the airways possibly. Thoughts welcome and appreciated.

Bryan - oz4caster said...

Peter, I'm curious if you may have researched diets for chickens to keep PUFA low in the eggs? Typical commercial chicken eggs run about 11% to 12% of calories from PUFA. I'm guessing that feeding omnivorous chickens a lot of grains may up the PUFA in the meat and eggs. Chicken meat runs about 9% to 12% of calories from PUFA. I suspect that, eating a native diet, chicken PUFA should be about half as much, but haven't found any data.


mtflight said...

I think PUFA % in the egg yolk is going to be fairly consistent (~16%). The type of PUFA is something that can be modified.

Grains like corn or soy would probably result in higher linoleic acid (omega 6). Conversely, some US egg brands feed their chickens fish oil and flaxseeds to provide more omega-3s. I find those to smell a little on the fishy side, and the egg shells are strangely brittle.

Jeremiah said...

Hey Peter,

I feel like your blog needs a forum. When I want to share something with you that I think you might find interesting but doesn't exactly fit any blog post subject, in what post should I comment? Or should I email you? But what if I'd like other readers to see what I wanted to share with you? Hm...oh well; under the double-yolker post this goes:

I ran into a free-full-text NEJM publication about long-term mortality after gastric bypass surgery. Here's the abstract:

"Background Although gastric bypass surgery accounts for 80% of bariatric surgery in the United States, only limited long-term data are available on mortality among patients who have undergone this procedure as compared with severely obese persons from a general population.

Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we determined the long-term mortality (from 1984 to 2002) among 9949 patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery and 9628 severely obese persons who applied for driver's licenses. From these subjects, 7925 surgical patients and 7925 severely obese control subjects were matched for age, sex, and body-mass index. We determined the rates of death from any cause and from specific causes with the use of the National Death Index.

Results During a mean follow-up of 7.1 years, adjusted long-term mortality from any cause in the surgery group decreased by 40%, as compared with that in the control group (37.6 vs. 57.1 deaths per 10,000 person-years, P<0.001); cause-specific mortality in the surgery group decreased by 56% for coronary artery disease (2.6 vs. 5.9 per 10,000 person-years, P=0.006), by 92% for diabetes (0.4 vs. 3.4 per 10,000 person-years, P=0.005), and by 60% for cancer (5.5 vs. 13.3 per 10,000 person-years, P<0.001). However, rates of death not caused by disease, such as accidents and suicide, were 58% higher in the surgery group than in the control group (11.1 vs. 6.4 per 10,000 person-years, P=0.04).

Conclusions Long-term total mortality after gastric bypass surgery was significantly reduced, particularly deaths from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, the rate of death from causes other than disease was higher in the surgery group than in the control group."

Peep the full text Here

What struck me in this abstract was the massive decreases in heart disease, diabetes and cancer in the gastric bypass group. 92% reduction in diabetes might as well be 100%. In the discussion section, the researchers tried to explain away the significant reduction in cancer rates in the experimental group:

"The reduction in the risk of death from cancer after a mean follow-up of 7.1 years is surprising. Considerable evidence indicates that an increased risk of cancer is associated with obesity,28,29,30 although the association between a reduced risk of cancer and voluntary weight reduction is less clear. Cancer screening may improve with weight loss, thereby detecting cancers at an earlier stage in the surgery group and improving survival."

I'd have to agree that increased screening would be a factor, but enough to account for a 60% reduction? Smells doubtful. Let's just admit heart disease, diabetes and cancer can have dietary causal factors. I say dietary causal factors versus obesity causal factors because...well...what causes obesity? A-->B, B-->C, therefore...


gallier2 said...

Jeremiah's post is interesting in the light of another result I once read (don't ask me for the link, I wouldn't find it). The researchers noticed that bariatric surgery patient couldn't eat big quantities anymore and thus chose their food based on the nutrient density and only fat could provide enough calories per volume unit. So these people where somehow forced to a high-fat diet or else they would starve.

Lisa said...

I second Jeremiah's motion for a forum. There are so many topics brought up in the comments that I'd love to see followed through in thread form. If Peter is too busy, perhaps someone else could start it up and manage it?

Bryan - oz4caster said...

Gallier and Lisa,

There's already a good health and nutrition forum on Yahoo that anyone can join:
Native Nutrition

The messages there are public and you can search the archives without joining. However, to post, you have to join, but it's free. Chris Masterjohn, who writes some excellent articles for the WAPF journal Wise Traditions, is a moderator and posts there when he's not too busy working on his PhD. Paul Idol, the list owner is also very knowledgeable.

In addition, I started a group on Flickr by the same name that includes photos:
Native Nutrition.

The Flickr group is also open to the public, so you don't have to join to look at the photos and read the discussions. If you want to post, you have to join, but it's free to have an account with up to 200 photos.


Lisa said...


Thanks for the reference to the Native Nutrition yahoo group. I was, however, hoping for a specific forum for the Hyperlipid scientific discussions. I like the exploration of what is an optimal diet and why. The WAPF people have already decided what is optimal. There is also a 'low carb/high fat' yahoo group that I subscribed to for a while but it seemed to be mainly focused on diet support.

Bryan - oz4caster said...


The Yahoo NN forum is not restricted to WAPF ideas at all. It's wide open.

If Peter is interested in starting a forum, setting one up on Yahoo is free and easy. However, it takes quite a bit of time to run a good forum. Unless Peter has a lot of time to devote, I think he'd be better off to join an existing forum like NN where anyone can join in. I'm sure Peter would be a welcome addition there :)