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!
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.
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.
Eggs, like many other perishable foods, should be stored in the refrigerator until they are needed to help maintain their freshness. The lower and consistent temperature limits moisture lost through the pores of the egg shell. This keeps the egg fresh right up to the "best before date" that's stamped on the exterior of the carton. Learn more.
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.
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 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.
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.