There is currently no such program to adopt end-of-lay hens in Alberta.
That question is hard to answer, since no two egg farms are the same. Most Alberta egg farmers operate their layer barn as part of a larger farm, with a variety of animal agriculture and crops, which together form their business. It really depends on the size and makeup of the entire farm, and the egg barn may only be a piece of a much broader puzzle.
Canada’s egg industry operates under the supply management system, where the price farmers get paid per dozen eggs is based on the national average cost of production. Farmers producing specialty eggs tend to receive a higher price, since the cost to produce specialty eggs is typically higher. For the free-range organic eggs you buy, the cost of organic feed is higher, birds running around (in and outside the barn) require more feed and water since they burn more energy, the barn has a larger footprint that requires more electricity to heat, etc… As an FYI, supply management only sets the price that farmers receive from the graders. The graders then negotiate the price they get from retailers (ie: grocery stores and restaurants), and the retailers are free to set the price that consumers pay for their eggs.
Egg farming, and agriculture in general, is integral to being able to provide safe, fresh, high-quality, nutritious, locally grown/raised food for all Canadians. In 2015, Canadians consumed more than 600-million dozen eggs (well over 7 billion eggs!), marking the 9th straight year that national demand for fresh, local eggs has increased. There are more than 1,000 registered egg farming families across the country, who are happy to feed their fellow Canadians!
Alberta agriculture has a wide variety of resources available for small-scale, unregistered egg farmers, which can be found on their website. You can also call them at 310-FARM (3276). Just be sure to confirm that raising chickens is legal in your area.
All chemicals used to clean eggs at the grading station are food-grade chemicals that are approved by both federal and provincial regulations, which are verified to not contain any priority allergens (corn is not a priority allergen in Canada, so CFIA would not be specifically looking for it). Also, the egg’s natural coating is removed during the cleaning process. You should always follow recommendations for storage and handling of eggs.
For egg farmers, it really depends on how many hens they have, how many grade-A eggs the hens lay, what type of eggs they lay (ie: regular white, omega-3, free-run, organic, etc…), and what other livestock and/or crops they raise on their farm. If you’re talking about employees at an egg farm, then it’s whatever wage is negotiated between the employee and the farmer.
Most small and pee-wee eggs get eaten at home by the farmer’s family, or else they are sent to the egg processor.
EFA and the province's egg farmers would be happy to answer some questions for you!