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

Canadian egg farmers offer many egg options, all following the same high standards. No matter which type of egg you go for, they’re 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 free-range housing with outdoor access. These hens are fed certified organic feed.
  • Eggs laid in upgraded or improved systems come from hens housed in small groups with access to 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 poultry houses 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 powdered form.

Are white eggs different from brown eggs?

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

Why are there so many colour variations in egg yolks?

Egg yolk colour is affected by the hen’s diet. Generally speaking, if a hen is fed a wheat-based diet, she will lay eggs with paler yolks. On the other hand, if she eats corn or alfalfa, she will tend to lay eggs with darker yolks.

Why are there different egg sizes?

Egg size depends on the hen’s age. Over time, hens lay larger eggs. Eggs are graded by weight, not circumference, at the grading station, and are then packed and labelled 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’s a Grade A egg?

A Grade A egg is the kind we find at the grocery store. For an egg to be considered Grade A, it must meet three criteria: shell condition, yolk position within the egg and air chamber size inside the shell. If the shell is uncracked, the yolk is centered and the air chamber is very small, the egg meets Canadian Grade A egg standards.

What affects eggshell thickness?

As hens age, the eggs they lay become larger but contain the same amount of calcium and therefore eggshell. The eggshell becomes thinner as hens age because the egg underneath the shell gets bigger.

Why do some eggs have a code?

In some parts of Canada, eggs are marked with a code on the shell. This code is part of a traceability system that provides information about the egg: the name of the farm it came from, where it was graded and its best-before date. Thanks to the traceability program, producers are able to ensure access to fresh, safe, high-quality eggs at all times.

Star Egg
Counstryside Farms
Maritime Pride Eggs
Supreme Egg Products