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!
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.
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.
The day on the farm starts when the lights go on in the barn. On Susan Schafers’ farm, this is 6am. Floor eggs at her free run operation are gathered at 7am, which is an opportunity to walk through the whole barn.
Following that, she works on paperwork and record keeping for the national Start-Clean, Stay-Clean™ program and Animal Care Program including water, humidity and temperature checks.
Next up is egg gathering which takes about an hour, followed by a break. A second egg gathering and barn check happens later in the morning, and for the rest of the day the hens can do what they like. A third barn check happens in the afternoon with more record-keeping, and her day ends with a final barn check around 7-8pm.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The food a hen eats affects the yolk colour of her eggs. Generally speaking, if she eats a wheat-based diet, she lays eggs with pale yellow yolks. Feed that contains corn or alfalfa produces eggs with medium or darker yellow yolks. Learn more.
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.
Once eggs have left the farm, they go through the grading station where they are washed, candled, weighed and packed. All grading stations are registered and inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.