Ask an Egg Farmer: Egg Products

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I brought free-run brown eggs last week and fried some this morning, and they tasted fishy! What is with the fishy taste?


Any eggs that come from hens that were fed a diet high in flaxseed could smell ‘fishy’, as a result of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that flaxseed naturally contains. Increasing the flaxseed component in hen feed is one of the most common ways for hens to produce Omega-3 eggs; the ‘fishy’ smell actually comes from the omega-3 fatty acid, even in fish.


What methods of euthanization are used on male chicks in Alberta, and how can I find out which method is used by a specific egg farmer when I am choosing which eggs to buy?


Male chicks are humanely euthanized at the hatchery, before the day-old chicks are sent to a pullet grower. Those hens are sent to egg farmers when they reach 19 weeks of age and start laying eggs. All registered Alberta egg farmers use an approved and humane method of euthanasia, whether at end of lay, or when a bird is sick or injured. The more than 17o egg farmers in the province sell their eggs to a grading station, who inspect and package the eggs before selling them to retailers and restaurants, so the eggs cannot be traced back to a specific farm.

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