PC free run eggs [General]

2009 Jul 10
These eggs are listed as "free run", the PC description is:

"These Canada Grade A eggs are exclusively from free run hens. These hens live in an open concept, weather-sheltered barn environment, where they are free to roam, feed, roost, nest and perch."

Links to eggs in question

www.presidentschoice.ca

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They are a pretty good price at about $4/dozen xl eggs. I'm trying to do my little part in buying eggs that are not from caged birds. However, descriptions can be deceiving and was curious how many chickens they cram into these barns, and if it's much better than the cheaper caged chicken eggs.

I was able to google some reviews of the eggs flavour and such but not much about how they are raised.

Anyone here with better search skills or info about this?


2009 Jul 10
I cannot say for this specific eggs, but I do know from vids I've seen that "Free Range" (not sure about "Free Run") can still be a pretty nasty environment. There was a video I posted here a while back about supermarket secrets or something. They had some stuff in there about it IIRC. I guess it is a small step up from the cages from what I saw, but still not something that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, really.

2009 Jul 10
Open concept? Does that mean that they eat and watch TV in the same room?

Bekings are $3.29 per dozen of large, and they're "free-run" as well. Plus, you can visit their farms.

I will do more research out of curiosity. Plus I like google.

ETA: I find it very interesting that the PC Free Run eggs have a definition of Free Run in the product description, but that the PC Organic Free Run do not. Very interesting. More research required.

Also, upon googling, I found this: niransab.wordpress.com

but I don't have access to wordpress blogs at work.

2009 Jul 10
You both seem to be as skeptical as I am ;-)

Thanks for the help

2009 Jul 10
Okay, It's me again. And I am raising laying hens - Free- RANGE, FREE-to-Roam - Free period. Bekings are my neighbours and I BUY their rejects (hens that are too old - 1 year old). free- RUN is the NEW GOVERNMENT REGULATED way that ALL Egg producers have to house their chickens. Instead of ONE to a cage - it is eight in a large cage with a middle space in the barn. they NEVER see the light of day. the NEVER learn to scratch in the dirt or peck for food. I even have to teach them to eat when they come to the farm. zymurgist is right, it is the same nasty environment, I've been there and so have other neighbors. We 'rescue' - buy the rejects for $2.00/piece and they are EXCELLENT layers and farm hens - once they learn how to be a chicken - lol ( I don't have any eggs for sale right now - sorry)

2009 Jul 12
I've become interested in this topic after having recently seen Jamie Oliver's special on the chicken industry. It seems like there is a lot of obfuscation in the marketplace when it comes to classifying the environment in which the hens are raised. Does anyone have any tips when buying eggs other than relying on the message on the packaging?

I'll gladly pay more for more ethical eggs but I'm weary of being misled by advertising.


2009 Aug 8
"Free Run" Chickens

Hello

I would like to reply to the thread quoted here by Irishgal2.

I too buy chickens from the Bekings when it is time for them to get new ones. I found this post was slightly incorrect in some way and thought it only fair to correct it because I believe the Bekings are doing a great thing for their chickens!

Please keep in mind this is a commercial egg production buisiness we are talking about...

Irishgal2 says she has been in the Beking chicken barns. But I think she may be thinking of before they had the chickens free range.Or perhaps she visited their facilities when the chickens were new?(i will explaine more...) I too have been in the Bekings chicken barns, both before they switched over and after. I've helped them out when they were short staffed so I know their barns well.

The first thing I would like to comment on- Quote: "Instead of ONE to a cage - it is eight in a large cage with a middle space in the barn."

I do not know what exactly she means by this, but I can tell you that there are no cages in the barn. The middle of the barn DOES have nesting boxes where they lay their eggs. AND for the FIRST FEW weeks the chickens are confined to a smaller area in the middle of the barn so they learn to lay in the nesting boxes. Otherwise you would have eggs everywhere and they would all be step on them and break them.

After the first few weeks the chickens are alowed into the rest of the barn where thousands of chickens are running around in the barn "free range" style. No they do not have dirt to scratch, just shavings, and no they do not get to see the light of day, but AT LEAST THEY ARE FREE to move around!

MOST commercial egg facilities acctually have 6 or 8 in a CAGE that they have hardly any space to lay down in.

Second quote:"I even have to teach them to eat when they come to the farm." Well this sounds strange to me! I buy chickens from the Bekings as well, and when I bring them home they are happy to eat whatever I give them! I did not have to teach them how to eat!

Third quote: "zymurgist is right, it is the same nasty environment, I've been there and so have other neighbors." Have you and other neighbours been to OTHER chicken farms?? THIS FARM IS NOT THE SAME NASTY ENVIRONMENT!! Maybe some but not the Bekings.

PLEASE REMEMBER we are talking about two totally different things: You and me raising chickens on a SMALL SCALE and the Bekings COMMERCIAL SIZE chicken farm. They were one of the first farms to take initiative to go the free range way and I THANK THEM FOR IT!

As for 'rescuing' their "EXCELLENT layers" Yes they are still good layers and I wish more people like us would take them. But in a commercial scale they start producing less after the first year and it is not cost effective to keep them...

Lets STOP ATTACKING the people that are TRYING to do the right thing in a large scale!


2009 Aug 8
Oh ya from a foodie perspective though: commercial "Free range" is nothing like real free range; but its still better than none free range!!

I have my own free range chickens that get leftovers from fruit and veggies, they pick at the grass and the bugs and let me tell you, their eggs are much better tasting!

2009 Aug 9
Thanks for the info. Based on what you've written, I'd probably buy Beking's.

2010 Feb 28
Bump

2010 Feb 28

3 parts in Grading System

1:Interior factor: roundness and location of yolk. Size of air pocket( smaller the airpocket, fresher the egg)
2:Shell factor: cleanliness. shape.
3:Weight factor: sizing from peewee to jumbo (including shell)
Peewee:less than42g S: at least 42g M:at least 49g L: at least 56g EL: at least 63g Jumbo :70g or more

Egg grading stations are registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) The eggs are washed and sanitizied in a high speed washer and sprayed food grade mineral oils. Then go under the process called "candling " or "screening." In canding, the egg passes over a strong light which makes the interior of the eggs visible. This allows the grader to see the condition of the shell, the size of the air pocket, whether the yolk is well-centred.

Canada Grade A egg means : egg has a clean, un-cracked shell, a round and centered yolk, a firm white, and a small air cell. It is sold in retail store.

Canada Grade B egg: egg has un-cracked shell that might have a rough texture. The yolk is slightly flattened with a watery white. it is sold for commercial baking or for further processing into foods such as mayonnaise, noodles, or baked goods.

Canada Grade C egg: egg is the lowest grade. The shell may be cracked, the yolk loose, and the white thin and watery. It is not sold to consumers but to commercial processors for further processing.

This is what I learned at school, I think all the eggs sold at retail are Grade A.

www.inspection.gc.ca
www.eggs.ab.ca

2010 Jun 8
I saw this article on twitter today and am just curious if PC Organic Eggs are dipped in Chlorine or any other sanizatization agent?

articles.mercola.com

2010 Oct 10
I know this an older topic, but I had a chance to chat with the people from Beking at the Main Farmers' Market, just yesterday. According to them, they have three barns, each of which is the size of a football field. The barns could hold up to 24,000 chickens, but they've chosen to only fill them with 14,000 chickens per barn. I suppose this is an improvement, especially over caged farming methods, but it still sounds very much like factory farming to me. My recommendation, if you're not able to raise a few of your own chickens, is to see if you can source some from one of the local organic farmers. Check out the Ottawa Organic Growers' website to see if there are any good leads in your area. Keep in mind that eggs keep quite well, so if you're buying them fresh from the farm, buy a few dozen to make the trip worthwhile.

2010 Oct 10
Are there any places in town that sell ready-to-go coops, etc? I've been trying to convince my gf for months that we should go the fresh egg route.

2010 Oct 11
This is an interesting topic!
Did not know everything about eggs...

If you still want to get Backings eggs and can not make it to the farmers market you can pick up the eggs at Natural Food pantry in billings bridge
or else Cedars and Co market on bank st sells them and they are open till 10pm every day.

Are any of the organic eggs you see at some natural stores and maybe grocery stores better?
or just organic ones from the farmer directly?
this is quite confusing...

2010 Oct 12
Dunrobin Bucher and Constance Bay Grocery both carry the Beking eggs But if I am not wrong, drop in at Dekok Farm for fresh eggs, go back to the farm probably better but(?) not organic. I.m not sure...Bright yellow yolks.

2010 Oct 12
I believe the Village Butcher in Manotick sells the Beking eggs as well? Can someone confirm?

2010 Oct 13
Yes. I can confirm.