What’s the difference between free-range and cage-free eggs?

Firstly, there is no nutritional difference between these two types of eggs. Free-range eggs come from hens raised in poultry houses where they can move around freely on slatted or littered floors. Their living space also includes perches and nests. Free-range eggs are produced in a similar environment, but the hens also have access to an outdoor run. Given Canada’s harsh climate, the outdoor run is accessible on a seasonal basis.

Are there different types of poultry housing?

In Canada, egg producers use a variety of housing systems for their hens. Each housing system offers a clean environment, fresh food and water, and protection from predators. Moreover, given Canada’s variable climate, most hens are housed in temperature-controlled poultry houses, which allows producers to keep the barn at a consistent temperature and protect the hens from inclement weather.

In conventional systems, hens are housed in small groups and have easy access to feed and water. Enhanced systems are equipped with perches and a curtained-off area where the hens lay their eggs. In free-range systems, the hens move freely across the floor. Some poultry houses are also equipped with multi-storey aviaries. Lastly, free-range housing systems also allow hens to go outdoors.

Are laying hens treated with antibiotics?

Egg-laying hens in Canada are not treated with antibiotics and are free of steroids and hormones. Canadian egg farmers must meet the feeding standards set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

How do egg producers care for their hens?

Responsible animal husbandry is a priority for Canadian egg producers, all of whom ethically care for their animals. Breeding methods adhere to the national Animal Care Program, which is rooted in the National Code of Practice. This Code of Practice was created in partnership with leading veterinarians and scientists, as well as representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, industry and government. Producers fund a number of independent research projects on welfare and farming practices, and are committed to applying this knowledge throughout the industry.

What do laying hens eat?

Egg producers work with nutrition specialists to build a balanced, nutritious diet of grains, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. Of course, the hens always have access to fresh water. A balanced diet is essential for keeping hens healthy and plays an important role in the quality of the eggs they produce. Egg producers across the country comply with Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations.

Star Egg
Counstryside Farms
Maritime Pride Eggs
Supreme Egg Products