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.

Are there different types of hen housing?

In Canada, egg farmers use a variety of housing systems for their hens. Each housing system provides a clean environment, fresh food and water, and protection from predators. Due to the variability of the Canadian climate, most hens are housed in temperature-controlled coops, allowing for a consistent temperature as well as protection from adverse weather conditions.

In conventional systems, hens are housed in small groups and have easy access to food and water. Improved systems are equipped with perches and a curtained-off area where the hens lay their eggs. In free-run systems, the hens move freely across the entire floor area. Some free-run systems also have multi-tiered aviaries. Finally, there are free-range housing systems that feature an outdoor area for the hens.

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 farmers care for their hens?

Responsible animal care and ethical animal welfare management are priorities for Canadian egg farmers. Farming practices are consistent with a national Animal Care Program based on the Code of Practice, which was created in partnership with leading veterinarians and scientists as well as representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, industry, and government. Egg farmers fund several independent research studies on welfare and farming practices and are committed to implementing this knowledge throughout the industry.

What are laying hens fed?

Egg farmers work with nutrition specialists to build a balanced and nutritious diet consisting of grains, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Hens also always have access to fresh water. A balanced diet is essential in maintaining a hen’s health and plays an important role in the quality of produced eggs. Egg farmers across Canada follow the regulations set forth by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

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