Our laying hens are organic, cage free and raised with lots of room to run all throughout the year. Hens have wonderful instincts and are happiest when they are allowed to do what is natural to them, perching, moving around, pecking, dust bathing and scratching in the ground.
We receive our layer chicks when they are less than 6 hours old straight from the hatchery. They are not fed any water or food until they reach our farm ensuring that the first food that they receive is certified organic and that no antibiotics are given to them. They are placed in a warm barn on a fresh bed of clean straw.
In the spring, summer and early fall the birds are raised in moveable shelters that are moved daily onto fresh grass. The hens are moved outside mid to end of April. We watch the weather closely in the spring in order to move the birds out at the right time. The shelters are large and the birds have lots of room to run around. They love to peck at the ground and eat the fresh grass. They are fed certified organic feed and fresh water is piped from our dugouts to the birds, allowing a constant source of fresh clean water. The hens have nesting boxes under the shelters that give them a comfortable place to lay their eggs and these eggs are collected by hand twice each day and taken directly to our egg grading and washing station on the farm.
After Thanksgiving in the fall when the weather turns cold the birds are moved inside where they are given lots of room to move. This protects them from Alberta’s cold and unpredictable winter weather. They are not in cages and are allowed to lay their eggs in nesting boxes that are spread throughout the room. The barns are clean and well ventilated; straw is spread on the floor to keep the birds clean and healthy. They are fed certified organic feed and dried alfalfa grass . This ensures that they get their greens even throughout the winter and ensures that the quality of the eggs remains the same throughout the year.
The breed of laying hens that we have are a Bovan Brown. They lay a nice brown egg and are a great bird for outdoor and indoor living. Our eggs have a nice yellow yoke due to the fact that they eat grass and alfalfa all year round. The feed which is certified organic has no antibiotics, animal by-products or GMOs and all ingredients of the feed have not had any pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers applied to them. We go through yearly inspections by our organic certifying body Ecocert, the Egg Farmers of Alberta for bird and egg safety, CFIA for our egg grading station, and Certified Humane for our humane treatment of the animals. That is over four independent inspections just for the hens alone.
Once collected our eggs are taken to our egg washing and grading station where they are washed, checked for cracks and other imperfections, sorted according to size and then packaged into new cardboard egg cartons. These are then kept in our cooler until they are taken to our markets and stores that carry them. No chemical washes are used and no sealants are sprayed on our eggs.
We know that we can provide you with some of the best eggs available. They have a nice yellow yoke and a wonderful taste. We know that you can feel good eating our eggs knowing they came from certified organic, certified humane, happy hens.
To see a video tour of how we raise our laying hens in the summer, watch our Family Farm Day Laying Hen Video
- Sunworks Farm