What is the difference between the various eggs available at the grocery store?

Canadian egg farmers offer many egg choices, all following the same high standards. No matter which type of egg you go for, they are all delicious and nutritious choices.

  • Regular eggs with white or brown shells come from hens housed in small groups with easy access to food and water.
  • Enriched eggs contain more of a particular nutrient (e.g., vitamin D or omega-3) due to the laying hen’s diet.
  • Organic eggs come from hens raised in a free-range system with outdoor access. These hens are fed certified organic feed.
  • Eggs laid in upgraded or improved systems come from hens housed in small groups that enjoy coops with perches as well as a curtained-off area where they can lay their eggs.
  • Free-run eggs come from hens that roam freely across the floor. Some of these coops are also equipped with multi-level aviaries.
  • Free-range eggs come from hens that roam freely over the entire floor area and, weather permitting, can go outside. Outdoor access is only available on a seasonal basis in Canada.
  • Processed eggs are machine-shelled and pasteurized. They are then processed and packed in liquid, frozen, or powder form.

Are white eggs different from brown eggs?

Eggshell color depends on the breed of hen. As a general rule, white-shelled eggs are produced by white-feathered hens, while brown-shelled eggs come from hens with brown plumage. There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs, unless the hen’s diet has been enriched to produce specialty eggs.

Why is there so much colour variation in egg yolks?

The colour of the yolk is influenced by the hen’s diet. Generally, if a hen is fed a wheat-based diet, she will lay eggs with lighter yolks. On the other hand, if she eats corn or alfalfa, she will tend to lay darker-yolked eggs.

Why do eggs come in different sizes?

Egg size depends on the age of the hen. This is because hens lay larger eggs over time. Eggs are graded at the grading station according to weight, not circumference, and are then packed and labeled according to the following sizes: peewee, small, medium, large, extra large or jumbo.

How do eggs become certified organic?

Eggs that are sold as “organic” are produced according to specific standards set by the Canadian General Standards Board and certified by a recognized organization. All eggs labelled “organic” in Canada are produced in free-roaming systems where hens are fed certified organic feed.

What is a Grade A egg?

Grade A eggs are ones that we find in the grocery store. For an egg to be considered Grade A, it must meet three criteria tied to the following categories: the condition of the shell, the position of the yolk in the egg, and the size of the inner tube inside the shell. If the shell is not cracked, the yolk is centered, and the air chamber is very small, the egg meets the Canadian Grade A egg standards.

What influences the thickness of the eggshell?

As hens age, the eggs they lay become larger while still maintaining the same amount of calcium, and therefore the same amount of shell. The egg shell becomes thinner as a hen ages, because the egg under the shell is larger.

Why do some eggs display a code?

In certain parts of Canada, a stamped code may appear on the eggshell. This code is part of a traceability system providing information about the egg, including the farm the egg comes from, where it was graded, and its best before date. Through the traceability program, producers are able to ensure access to fresh, safe, high-quality eggs at all times.

What is the difference between free-run eggs and free-range eggs?

There is no nutritional difference between these two types of eggs. Free-run eggs come from hens raised in coops where they can move freely on slatted or littered floors. Their living space also includes perches and nests. Free-range eggs are produced in a similar environment, with the addition of outdoor access. Due to Canada’s harsh climate, the outdoor area is available on a seasonal basis.

Star Egg
Counstryside Farms
Maritime Pride Eggs
Supreme Egg Products