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!
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.
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.
In Canada, you can trust that eggs are always free of added steroids and hormones.
Canadian egg farmers follow feed regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, part of which states that added steroids and hormones are not approved for use in Canada. This means that the eggs you buy at the store do not contain added steroids or hormones.
Registered Canadian egg farmers take part in a national Animal Care Program and comprehensive on-farm food safety program, called Start-Clean, Stay-Clean™. These national programs set out important guidelines, based on the latest research and information, and were developed by Canada’s leading experts. Farms are inspected by trained field inspectors and audited against Egg Farmers of Canada’s national programs. Learn more.
A hen will naturally lay on average, an egg almost once a day.
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.
From classic white and brown eggs to free range and free run to organic, omega-3 or vitamin D enhanced, Canadian egg farmers provide you with choices and they all have one thing in common--they are all produced to the same high standards. No matter what type of egg you choose, they all make a nutritious and delicious choice.
Regular white or brown eggs come from hens that are housed in small group settings with plenty of access to food and water.
Vitamin enhanced eggs have more of a certain nutrient (e.g. vitamin D or omega-3). Hens are fed a nutritionally-enhanced diet containing higher levels of certain nutrients that make their way from the diet of the hen into the egg.
Organic eggs come from hens raised in a free range system with access to the outdoors. Hens are fed a certified organic feed.
Furnished or enriched eggs come from hens that are housed in small group settings with amenities such as perches and a curtained off area where hens lay their eggs.
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.
Processed eggs are shell eggs broken by special machines and pasteurized. They are further processed and packaged in liquid, frozen or dried form.
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.
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.
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.