Ever wondered what egg farmers in Canada feed their hens? Or what is the difference between brown and white eggs? We’ve got answers to your questions and many more!
Egg farmers work with nutrition specialists to ensure their hens eat a balanced and nutritious diet of grains, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. And of course, water is always on the menu! A balanced diet is vital for maintaining the hen’s health and also plays an important role in the quality of eggs produced.
Canadian egg farmers follow feed regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Steroids and hormones are not approved for use in Canada. This means that the eggs you buy at the store do not contain steroids or hormones. Learn more.
Aside from the colour of the eggshell, there is little difference between brown and white eggs. The eggshell colour depends on the breed of the hen. Generally speaking, white shell eggs come from hens with white feathers, while brown shell eggs are produced by hens with brown feathers. Nutritionally, both brown and white eggs are identical unless the feed has been enhanced for speciality eggs such as Omega-3.
An average of 650 million dozen eggs are produced each year by registered egg farmers.
A hen will naturally lay on average, an egg almost once a day.
Decades of research have confirmed that dietary cholesterol (cholesterol in food) does not affect blood cholesterol or increase heart disease risk. Eggs can be included every day in a varied and balanced diet.
Eggs, like many other perishable foods, should be stored in the refrigerator until they are needed to help maintain their freshness. The lower and consistent temperature limits moisture lost through the pores of the egg shell.
This keeps the egg fresh right up to the "best before date" that's stamped on the exterior of the carton. Learn more.
Free run eggs come from hens that roam the entire barn floor. Some of these barns may be equipped with multi-tiered aviaries.
Free range eggs come from hens that roam the barn floor and when weather permits, go outside to pasture. Outdoor access is only seasonally available in Canada.
There are no differences between the nutrient content of these eggs and classic shell eggs.
In some parts of Canada, a code is stamped onto the eggshell. This code is part of a traceability system which identifies information like the farm where the eggs comes from, the place it was graded, and the best before date.
Through programs like this, we are able to ensure Canadians have a constant supply of fresh, safe and high-quality eggs and that you continue to have confidence in the food you buy for your family.
In Canada, egg farmers use a variety of different systems to house their hens. Each system provides a clean environment, access to fresh food and water, and protection from natural predators. Most hens are housed in temperature controlled barns because the Canadian climate is so variable. This allows farmers to keep a consistent temperature in the barn, and protects the hens from inclement weather like rain, snow, heat and humidity.
In conventional systems, hens are housed in small group settings with plenty of access to food and water. Enriched systems are equipped with perches and a curtained off area where the hens lay their eggs. In free run systems, hens roam the entire barn floor. Some of these barns are also equipped with multi-tiered aviaries. Similar to free run systems, in free range systems hens also roam the barn floor, and when weather permits they go outside. Learn more.
Canadian egg farmers do more than supply Canadians with fresh, local, high-quality eggs. We are leaders when it comes to being socially responsible and our approach is rooted in our values of integrity and sustainability. Egg Farmers of Canada supports causes that matter to Canadians and our farmers. Learn more.
The newest infant feeding guidelines from Health Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada now recommend introducing whole eggs starting at six months of age, or as soon as your child starts eating solids. Experts no longer recommend delaying the introduction of common allergens to twelve months. In fact, research shows that introducing whole eggs early can actually help to lower your baby’s chance of developing an egg allergy. Learn more.
Each large egg contains 6 grams of protein and 14 important nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, folate, iron and zinc. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Learn more.
Canadian eggs are produced according to some of the highest possible standards to ensure the eggs you buy at the store are fresh, high quality and of local production. Here are two important programs farmers follow today:
Canadian egg farmers take part in a national Animal Care Program and comprehensive on-farm food safety program, called Start-Clean, Stay-Clean™. These programs set out comprehensive and rigorous standards, based on the latest science and information, and were developed by Canada’s leading experts. Farms are inspected by trained field inspectors—and these programs work because farmers are committed to providing exceptional care for their hens, and keeping eggs safe and fresh for all Canadians.