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!
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.
There are three main things that determine Grade A quality of an egg: the condition of the shell, the position of the yolk, and the size of the air cell inside the shell. If the shell has no cracks, the yolk is centered and the air cell is very small – it meets Canada Grade A standards. These are the eggs you buy at the store.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the grading station, eggs are washed in a sanitizing solution and scrubbed with revolving brushes to remove dirt and any bacteria that may be found on the shell. There is no need to wash your eggs at home. Learn more.
A hen will naturally lay on average, an egg almost once a day.