Laying hens are fed a nutritious, well-balanced diet that is vital for maintaining good hen health, which also contributes to the production of high-quality eggs. Egg farmers work with feed nutrition specialists to ensure that their hens receive a diet consisting of grains, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and abide by feed regulations set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Hormones and Steroids
Canadian eggs do not contain added hormones or steroids, since they are illegal in Canada and are not used by the egg industry.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides further details about food labelling requirements related to “use of added hormones”.
Antibiotics are not routinely administered to laying hens because they are not required. The Canadian egg industry has banned the use of Category-1 antibiotics.
If there is a need to treat a specific illness in a flock, antibiotics (Category 2 & 3) may be prescribed by a poultry veterinarian, provided the egg farmer has an established and valid vet/client relationship.
Any use of antibiotics is done in compliance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and eggs from those hens cannot be sold until the withdrawal time has been observed and residual antibiotics are no longer present.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides further details about food labelling requirements related to “use of antibiotics”.
Layer feed often contains either plant-based proteins or CFIA-certified meat meal, since hens require high quality protein. In Alberta, most egg farmers use crops grown on their own farm as the main source of protein in their feed.