Because I am appalled at what I've learned about the way most commercial eggs are produced (most recently the NYT piece on chickens being dosed with Prozac and caffeine), I've developed an intense interest in keeping chickens, not that I am going to keep chickens. Of course, one can go to the store and pay a little extra for "organic" and/or "free range" eggs, but more than those little labels, what I believe would add the most most value to an egg is, simply, more information and even stories. How about a webcam into the hen house, knowing the names and histories of the individual chickens, videos with the owner, a report on what they ate this week, etc, etc.? I'd love it-- I'd sign up tomorrow, happy to pay the premium-- if someone in my neck of the woods would start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with farm eggs raised on a small scale with this kind of added information, and a good, frequently updated, customer service-oriented website.
As a writer (of fiction and travel memoir) I've been blogging, and making videos and podcasts for sometime now, and so I know, first hand, that it's not that expensive to do, nor is it rocket science.
Just surfin', I was delighted to come across Terry Golson, chicken keeper (um, is that the word?) who has a webpage.. full of webcams!
Pictures and information about the individual chickens!
>How to bathe a chicken
>Including an excellent and free Introduction to Chicken Keeping
Cluck cluck cluck!
And here is an interview with Terry Golson on the Soil Sparks blog.
P.S. See also the very informative Mother Earth News "Chicken and Egg Page."
And Gene Logsdon, irreverently wise as ever, now has a new take on keeping chickens. OK, OK, I'm thinking about it. I don't like the coq au vin part.
And artist Kathryn Dunn of Apifera Farm, on her very photogenic chickens, blog starlets all.