Is it the egg before the hen or vice versa?

December 12, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
Did you ever follow the head-hurting consideration about who was there first - the hen or the egg? What did you come up with? The egg - well then who laid it. The hen - well, where did it come from?

Sure enough, in today's economy the egg most certainly comes before the hen! That is because egg farmers will make money of the egg, not the hen. Actually, the hen could be considered a cost centre! To reduce the cost - because the egg farmer is interested in a healthy margin and profit at the end of the year, the space for the hen was reduced to something smaller than the size of my blog on your computer screen. Actually, about two hens per letter head paper is roughly the amount of space our egg-producers are granted.

Unless, of course, you choose free-run, free-range or certified organic eggs.

Here is a small "eggucation", curtesy of the SPCA Animal Sense Magazine, in egg terminology:

Free-range: Free-range hens have the opportunity to go outside if they choose.
Free-run: In a free-run operation, birds are housed indoors.
SPCA certified free-run: the hens are indoors but with sufficient space to freely move about, nest boxes and areas to do what hens tend to do - forage, dust bathe and perch.
Certified organic: Chickens range free on organic pasture and are fed certified organic feed. The feed is GMO free, all vegetarian and does not contain any animal byproducts. There are no antibiotic or synthetic chemicals used in either the feed or flock management. Hens are completely cage free both inside and outside the barn. (Source: Rabbit River Farm)

In conventional farms, hens stand on wired cages their entire lives, they do not have the opportunity to maintain the distance common hen-curtesy requires, they pick on each other and they may not even be removed if sick or dead until spotted later.

SPCA certified farms are cage-free. Hens can choose (what novice idea) to either rummage around the farm floor or sit on the perch. They can keep a distance or cuddle up to their best mate!

One way of course, to choose your certified organic or certified free-run eggs is to look a the labels on the packaging. SPCA labels can be easily identified with the red barn image. Rabbit River Farm eggs are also clearly marked.

I have long made the choice to never buy non free-run or certified organic eggs, unless I can absolutely not avoid it. Even my dog only gets certified organic eggs. They taste better, are healthier and they support a better life for the bird that delivers about 320 eggs per year to us, regardless if it came before or after the egg.

Join me in the "eggolution"and boycott eggs from conventional farms. That is the only way to change the way farmers treat their hens.

You will feel good about it once it has become part of your normal routine.
Thanks for your consideration!

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