Rabbit River Farms is the first Canadian egg brand to feature SPCA Certified cage-free white eggs. The eggs have an added nutritional benefit of enhanced Omega 3, Omega 6 and vitamin E resulting from a special diet the chickens are fed. What does this mean for the hens and consumers?
“We receive requests from our customers who prefer a white egg but don’t support caged housing for hens,” states Steve Easterbrook, founder of Rabbit River Farms. “Through research and field trials, we found that the Lohmann, a white Hybrid bird, did very well when raised in a cage-free environment. Thus we now have a cage-free white egg for our customers.”
It is often thought that brown eggs are a healthier food product than white eggs. However, unless an added nutritive factor like Omega 3 is fed to the hens, there is no nutritional difference between a white egg and a brown egg.
As with other egg farms registered in the SPCA Certified program, certified hens are raised in an environment that provides for the hens’ well-being including nest boxes, perches, and an area covered in litter for scratching, foraging and dustbathing.
In Canada, 95% of hens are raised in battery cages: small barren cages in which three or more hens are kept while laying eggs. The battery cage provides food and water for the hen and allows separation of the bird from its droppings, but the cage does not allow the hen a quiet place to lay her egg, a place to scratch and forage, or space to escape from aggressive hens.
The rest of hens in Canada (5%) are raised in cage-free environments, whether they are free-run, free-range, certified organic or SPCA Certified. In B.C., 16% of hens are raised cage-free, due in large part to consumer demand for cage-free eggs.
About SPCA Certified:
SPCA Certified is a farm and food certification program that brings stakeholders together to further common goals in farm animal welfare.
Products come from farms annually assessed to BC SPCA farm animal welfare standards and policies by trained, independent inspectors, with certification determined by third-party, independent reviewers.
To learn more about the SPCA Certified program, watch our video series which introduces you to some of our farmers and describes how the program works.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.