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!
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.
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 eggs are produced by more than 1,000 farm families across every province - even the Northwest Territories. No matter where you shop, the eggs you buy at the store are local.
Eggs that are sold as organic are produced under specific standards laid out by the Canadian General Standards Board and certified by a reputable organic certification board. All certified organic eggs in Canada are produced in free range operations and the hens are fed certified organic feed. Visit the Canadian General Standards Board’s website for more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you can freeze eggs. First, crack the egg and remove the shell, then place the raw egg in an airtight container, and into the freezer.
If you want to freeze just the yolk, add a pinch of sugar or salt to prevent the yolks from gelling.