Earlier this week I traveled to eastern Ontario to visit Burnbrae Farms, A Canadian family egg business. A group of 12 bloggers from across Canada was invited to visit the family run farm.
Most of the bloggers met up in Toronto and hopped on a party bus to make the drive to the farm.
I had grown up in a farming community, so I went into this visit with my own thoughts of what the farm and factory would be like.
Let me introduce you to the 3 different types of housing systems I got to see on my visit to Burnbrae Farms.
First there is a Convention Housing System. We were told that this is the most common type of hen housing in Canada. The food and water are on opposite ends of the cage which is done so that the hens have equal access to the feed and water.
The next barn we saw was the one with the Enriched Colony Housing System. These cages provide hens the same benefit as the conventional cages, but these are larger cages which include a perch and nesting area in every cage.
And the last barn we got to see was a barn that had the Free Run Housing System. In this system the birds can move around, nest and roost.
Now for my own thoughts on the housing systems. When considering each of these 3 types of housing systems, I always thought that the best kind of eggs to purchase from a grocery store would be the free run. After I saw all 3 housing systems for myself, the Enriched Colony Housing Systems appealed the most to me. I think it was because the first system seemed small and the last system was not as glamorous as I expected. In the Free Run system, I found the dominant hens were pecking a lot on the less dominant hens and even though they had a lot of space, they were all together in one small area. The Enriched Colony Housing System seemed to provide the most comfort to the hens because they had room, but there were not a bunch of dominant hens in one cage that could peck so much on the other ones like in the free run system. I am glad I could see all the barns for myself.
The egg factory was quite high tech. I enjoyed walking through the factory to see each step of what happens with the eggs.
Did you know that if eggs are not washed they do not have to be refrigerated? When eggs are washed it takes the protective barrier off the eggs so bacteria can get in unless they are refrigerated. I thought that was an interesting fact. In North America, store bought eggs are all washed and refrigerated because that is the standard that is in place.
Here are a few more photos from the trip – pictures are always more fun to share than having my posts get too wordy.
My family eats eggs every day. Eggs are a healthy, affordable food that are easy to prepare and serve. Here is my recipe on how to make the perfect hard boiled eggs.
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Disclosure: I am participating in the Burnbrae Farms Blogger Farm Tour program as a guest of Burnbrae Farms. All opinions are 100% my own.