Talk Food

Comparison Between Free-Range Eggs, Kampung Eggs & Conventional Eggs


I’m an egg lover if you don’t know by now. I’ve been a fan of egg since I was little. Egg lights me up! 😍 Egg on everything is a welcome sight. Years back when we were told eggs are high in cholesterol, so don’t eat too much, I was broken. Why?? Why is it the super delicious eggs are bad for health? Thing is my egg consumption and love for it never dwindled. And I’m glad I stayed through. Last year, I found out cholesterol is not a bad thing. Cholesterol is needed by our body for building and reparation. We need cholesterol to survive. In fact, our brain uses the most cholesterol. So yeah, don’t fear cholesterol ya. What you need to be mindful of is the processed and junk food out there. They are the culprit to inflammation.

Free-Range Egg, Conventional Egg & Kampung Egg
Eggs, eggs, I 💗 you!
Clockwise from left: Free-range egg, conventional egg & kampung egg.

Few months back, I was able to get hold of free-range eggs, kampung (village) eggs and conventional eggs (factory-raised) at the same time. I decided to make some comparison on them because it’s not every day I get this chance. And in the process, I had a shocking revelation.

All this time, I thought kampung eggs are ‘almost’ free-range eggs because kampung chickens live in the village and therefore get to roam around freely and only at night or bad weather will they stay in the coop. In actual, kampung chickens are just a breed usually found in the village, and may or may not be caged (as in 24 hours without seeing the outdoor). *Horrors* Caged kampung chickens have the same quality of conventional chickens because they never get to run outside freely and live in a packed area with many not able to move around at all. In summary, they are living in conditions similar to conventional chickens = not good. So, make sure you ask eggs sellers regarding the living condition of the kampung chickens. You don’t want to pay too much $$ for caged kampung eggs.

Let’s compare the differences between free-range eggs, conventional eggs & kampung eggs.

1. Sizes and colors of shells.

Free-Range Egg, Conventional Egg & Kampung Egg
Clockwise from left: Free-range egg, conventional egg & kampung egg.


The conventional egg shown here is size A and in Malaysia, conventional eggs are almost always brown in color. Because of the A size, it’s larger than the free-range egg and kampung egg. Kampung eggs are usually small in size and have a pale yellow yolk. The kampung eggs that I bought were from caged kampung chicken, unfortunately.

2. Volume and colors of raw eggs.

Free-Range Egg, Conventional Egg & Kampung Egg
Anticlockwise from left: Free-range egg, conventional egg & kampung egg.

In their raw forms, the conventional egg has the most volume and egg white quantity while its yolk is the lightest. The large volume is due to its size most probably. Surprisingly, this kampung egg has the darkest orange yolk.

3. Taste test and colors of cooked eggs.




3a. Fried eggs:
Free-Range, Conventional & Kampung Fried Eggs
Clockwise from left: Free-range egg, conventional egg & kampung egg.

Once fried, the free-range’s yolk color is as dark orange as kampung egg, while the conventional egg remains a light yellow. Taste-wise, both conventional’s and kampung’s yolks impart very less flavor. As for the yolk of free-range, it is creamy and has great yolky flavor.

3b. Half-boiled eggs:
Free-Range, Conventional & Kampung Half-Boiled Eggs
Clockwise from bottom left: Free-range egg, conventional egg & kampung egg.

Obviously, I use different eggs from all of the above as they were fried and eaten. For this half-boiled eggs (aka soft-boiled), both the kampung’s and conventional’s yolks are yellow in color, while the free-range’s egg yolk is dark orange just like it’s raw and fried forms. Taste-wise, both free-range’s and kampung’s yolks are creamy and has yolky flavor while conventional’s egg yolk has very less flavor.

In conclusion, only the free-range eggs have full-bodied flavors and in my opinion, has the best nutrients availability compared to the rest. It’s rich, creamy and delicious and is my no. 1 choice among the three. Ultimately, the best eggs are from chickens that are pasture-raised, grass-fed, not injected with chemicals, not feed with grains and live a good life.

Free-Range Egg
Free-range egg.

While I was learning about eggs, I found out the color of the yolk doesn’t indicate how healthy the chicken/egg is. *Shocking to the max* I always thought dark orange yolk indicates the chicken is either pasture-raised, grass-fed or free-range. Take the kampung egg I experimented above for instance. The chickens were caged and yet one of the eggs I showed above has a dark orange yolk. How is this possible? Easy. The colors of the egg yolks are determined by what the chickens eat. If one is to feed the chicken such as marigold, alfalfa or corn, the yolk will be dark orange in color.

Though free-range, pasture-raised and grass-fed eggs are the healthiest(er) choices and also the most expensive eggs in the market (but why?), I would buy it infrequently deeming the high price because I eat eggs by the cartons each month! I would go pokkai (bankrupt) if I buy everything free-range. As of 25th Dec 2018, I could not find free-range or pasture-raised ones near me anymore.

Btw, if you’re curious how I am able to eat eggs by the cartons each month, it’s because I eat at least 3 eggs every day. I eat 3 raw eggs as my first meal of the day in the form of a smoothie. And I might cook my eggs on someday like half-boiled, scrambled or fried as an accompaniment to my meals. Yes, I eat conventional-raised eggs and chickens.

Free-Range, Conventional & Kampung Fried Eggs
Eggs for days!

Tsk, pasture-raised+grass-fed is the traditional way of raising chickens. So, why is it the chickens and eggs raised this way are so expensive while factory-raised-grain-fed-additives-and-antibiotics-injected chickens and eggs are affordable? I think it’s only when we lower the prices of pasture-raised, grass-fed and free-range chickens and eggs, can more people start choosing better options. And if the demand is not there for conventional-raised, that’s when poultry production (including other farming animals) will make a great shift towards betterness (especially better life for the animals). Well, at least that’s what I envision and hope for.

In Malaysia, it’s extremely difficult to find (I think none!) animal-foods that are pasture-raised, grass-fed, free-range, not fed additives and injected with antibiotics, not fed grains and have a good life in the farm. If you know one, tell me.



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4 Comments

  • Reply Edward Lim May 7, 2019 at 11:09 am

    You are right about yolk color determined by chickens diet. I’ve been consuming Yummykai Free Range and recently made a comparison with Premiers Free Range eggs. Latter is much lighter with clear yellow yolk (just like in the link) and pleasant flavour whereas Yummykai has much darker orange yolk with a heavy eggy taste (hope u know what i mean). I am still trying to compare which is better for long term consumption. Let me know if you have tried these free range eggs.

    https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2016/02/21/uncle-rani-chicken-farm-where-happy-chickens-live-and-change-the-way-we-thi/1063851

    Cheers..
    Edward

    • Reply Che-Cheh May 7, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Edward, I’ve have tried the eggs from both Yummykai & Premiers. I placed a little caution on those eggs because of the cage-free labeling. I don’t really fancy cage-free eggs because they are just a level better than conventional eggs but no better than pastured-raised or free-range eggs. Cage-free and free-range ain’t the same. Ideally a pastured-raised + free range chicken hence eggs really just spend their days foraging the lands, and in this modern world, they are given feeds in addition to their foraged meals.

      I’ve read about Uncle Rani but have not given the farm a visit. Would love to check the place out soon. Have you tried Uncle Rani’s chicken and eggs? Also, DQ chicken and eggs, have you tried them? I’ve tried DQ chicken and their sister’s company Al-Mashyur chicken and find their chickens quite tough. Have not had the chance to try their eggs yet.

  • Reply Edward Lim June 21, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Che-Cheh, pardon me for the late response. Yummykai does indicate both cage & free range on its cover though we can’t tell which is which. There isn’t much info we can find online on these supposedly ‘free range’ producers. I just read bout DQ but i have no idea where to purchase their eggs. As for Uncle Rani, i’ve yet to pay them a visit but i’ve heard they only sell/serve free range chicken

    • Reply Che-Cheh June 23, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Edward, it’s okay. 🙂 You can try Pasar Besar Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (stall no. TS18) for DQ eggs if you live near there or even several shops at Damansara areas. Check out their FB for more info.

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