Watch the video to learn about laying hens. Read the article to see Alberta Egg Producer’s answers to student questions.
We asked students what they wanted to know about hens and these are their questions. Thank you to a laying hen expert from Alberta Egg Producers for providing the answers.
- How long before a hen lays an egg?
- A baby is called a pullet. Starting at 19 weeks of age, hens typically lay for about one year.
- How many birds would a farmer raise?
- It depends on the farm. A farmer who raises hens for a living and not just for his family to eat will have a large flock! Alberta’s average flock size is 12,250 birds
- On average, how many eggs in a year does a hen produce?
- What does a hen eat?
- Egg farmers work with nutrition specialists to ensure that their hens receive a diet consisting of grains, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
- What’s the difference between free-range, free-run, conventional housing?
- Every housing system is designed to provide a clean environment, fresh food and water, and protection from predators.
- Additionally, indoor housing systems provide consistent temperature, humidity and lighting.
- Learn about hen housing here: http://eggs.ab.ca/farming/hen-housing/
- I saw a commercial about eggs and it mentioned hormones, steroids and antibiotics, what does that all mean?
- Hormones and steroids are illegal in Canada
- Antibiotics are not routinely administered. Any use of antibiotics is done in compliance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and eggs from those hens cannot be sold until residual antibiotics are no longer present.
- How are eggs graded?
- All eggs are washed, inspected (graded), sized and packaged at grading stations, which are registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
- Why are some eggs white and others brown?
- Brown eggs come from hens with brown feathers, white eggs come from hens with white feathers. The taste and nutrition is the same.
- How fresh are eggs in the grocery store?
- It takes less than a week from farm to store
- Why are some yolks darker than others, have they gone bad?
- No! It’s because of their diet. Hens feed a wheat-based diet produce an egg with pale yolk vs a corn diet produces a darker colored yolk
- Are eggs healthy?
- Eggs are one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods. One large (53g) Grade-A egg contains 6g of protein.
Hear from an Egg Farmer:
Learn about eggs here: http://eggs.ab.ca/eggs/
Check out these hens!
Footage and facts provided by Alberta Egg Producers (2017).
All images courtesy of: http://eggs.ab.ca/farming/hen-housing/, https://pixabay.com/en/animal-barn-bird-chicken-eggs-1867521/