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I've heard the slogan 'Happy chooks make for happy cooks', implying that free-range eggs make for more successful cooking.

Do eggs from free roaming chickens actually have a discernible difference in baking or cooking?

I am not asking for a moral opinion, purely a cooking/baking question.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

True free range eggs are noticeably different in terms of yolk colour (a much deeper yellow) and taste. Free range chickens are allowed to supplement their diets with naturally found grubs, inscets etc.

You might find this of interest:

Nutrition – Free-Range vs. Battery-Cage Eggs: Hens with Outdoor Access Produce More Nutritious Eggs

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I understand the yolks also tend to be a larger proportion of the egg. This will have an effect. – Richard Jul 18 '10 at 9:45
It shouldn't, unless they are exceptionally large. – Pulse Jul 18 '10 at 9:49

I think they're generally higher quality, larger, have firmer, brighter yolks, and taste better. They also tend to have a higher proportion of omega-3 fats then caged/grain fed eggs. I think it matters less for baking, but I notice the difference when slow-boiling, sauteeing, or making an omelet.

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