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!
An average of 650 million dozen eggs are produced each year by registered egg farmers.
No, antibiotics are not used in laying hens in Canada. Canadian egg farmers follow feed regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
In addition, eggs in Canada are always free of added steroids and hormones.
With the technology that’s available now, there is constant monitoring of feed consumption, barn temperatures and more, along with warning systems in place, but farmers still rely heavily on a daily barn check.
The best before date indicates the time the eggs will maintain Grade A quality, if stored properly. It is normally 28 to 35 days from the date of packing. If you use them after that date, they are better for baking, hard-cooking or scrambling rather than poaching or frying. Learn more.
Yes, it is ok. It’s rare to see as less than 1% of eggs will contain a blood spot. Normally during grading these eggs will be separated, however sometimes an egg will slip through as it’s harder to see blood spots in brown eggs.
Blood spots are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel during the formation of the egg. These tiny spots do not indicate a fertilized egg. If desired, the spot can be removed with the tip of a clean knife prior to cooking.
Once eggs have left the farm, they go through the grading station to be washed, graded and packaged. After this they are on their way to your local store. Eggs are shipped in refrigerated trucks and when they arrive are immediately put in the cold storage or in a refrigerated display case to help preserve freshness. Across Canada most eggs travel from the farm to the store in less than a week! Learn more.
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.
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.
Egg size is related to the age of the hen -- as a hen gets older, she lays larger eggs. Eggs are sorted at the grading station based on weight, not circumference, and packaged accordingly into the following sizes: pee wee, small, medium, large, extra large or jumbo. 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.
As a hen ages, the eggs that she lays get gradually larger. However, the calcium content deposited in the shell remains the same despite the size of the egg. So, the eggshells become thinner as the hen ages.
Our farmers are responsible stewards of their animals and responsible animal husbandry is a top priority. Farmers follow a national Animal Care Program based on a national code of practice. The Code of Practice is developed in consultation with Canada’s top veterinarians, scientists, as well as representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, industry and government. Egg Farmers of Canada actively funds independent research at leading universities on welfare and farming practices and we are committed to mobilizing this knowledge throughout the industry. Learn more.