It might have been the pink egg carton with 11 brown eggs and one green one inside that grabbed our attention. But once we cracked open the Cottonwood Creek Farm eggs, we were reminded of what we already knew…farm fresh eggs simply taste the best.
So we set out to meet Matt Kautz at his family farm in the wide open flatlands of northeastern Colorado to learn more about what makes their eggs so special. We arrived on a blustery morning to find Mark and his mother tending to the chickens. Kathy walked around with a bucket in hand, plucking eggs from the hay beds under the “happy hens.” She said these are the calming moments of her busy day.
Matt’s Grandpa Milt started farming in Merino, Colorado in 1932. Three generations of his family have grown corn, alfalfa, wheat, sugar beets and pinto beans. Their livestock has benefited by being rotated on their pastures and fed primarily by the fresh vegetarian diet that the farm provides.
The entrepreneurial side of Matt surfaced when he was eight years old and sold eggs to the neighbors door to door on his All Terrain Vehicle. Since then, his business has slowly grown to raising hens that live in an open, no pen environment and produce up to 115 dozen eggs a day. While we were intrigued with the notion of one green egg in the dozen, the Americana hens that lay those colored eggs are an anomaly and not consistent enough to make a promise of a multi-hued dozen every time.
Hatching chickens is a tricky business but one that Matt is not ruling out attempting in the future. We got a peek at some two-day old Americana chicks trying to acclimate to their new environment after just being dropped at the farm courtesy of the US Postal Service less than 24 hours earlier. We were surprised to find out they were not originally from the farm.
So for now, Matt’s answer to “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” is going to have to be the egg.