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Updated: Feb 23, 2023

What is the difference between free run, range? Organic? Omega?


Key thing I look for on the label: the word "pastured". This means the animal had access to outside and exercise.

Have you thought about those cheap, no-name eggs you are tempted to reach for from the shelf? Is there really a difference in those eggs?

In my opinion YES. A happy animal that has had access to sunlight, exercise and social interaction will need less medical intervention and yield naturally healthier eggs with less supplementation.

Free run = chickens run free- many times this is still just within a barn. Chickens may have access to outside for an allotted time each day. Living spaces are confined and spend most of their time indoors. They are given a nesting box to lay eggs.

Free range = in theory, this definition means chickens are outside, can roam free and are given a coop for the harsh weather. They may or may not be given a nesting box.

Most farm chickens are true free range, meaning they have a coop for protection at night but then during the day they roam free.

The reason I said "in theory" ..

The degree to which eggs can be labelled "free range" depends on the farmer. This is why I would rather find a farmer and ask them questions, versus rely on a package label at a grocery store. Here is an article that was in the Globe and Mail, called "The dark side of free-range chickens".

Conventional / caged = chickens remain in a nesting box their entire life. They have no access to outside or to even stretch their legs. Eggs are hatched on top of a funnel that connects to a conveyor belt. This is the cheapest way to produce eggs for market, with little regard for animal life or nutrition value.

Why are living conditions so important? More things to think about?

FREE THE chickens

My favourite egg comes from a legit farm. I say "legit farm" because when you see the chicken advertisements in the subway tunnel, they say "Canadian Farmer's", show a smiling guy in plaid holding some eggs, but skip the picture of the barn full of thousands of chickens starving for sunlight..

Like us, chickens are animals, and live happiest in the great outdoors! This ensures they live a healthy life, have access to vitamin D, fresh air and ample exercise. Roaming outside also gives chickens access to their natural diet of insects, grass, and whatever else they like to peck at.

Natural feed VS Supplements

Optimally we hope for a diet that is GMO & pesticide-free. Plus foods they would naturally eat, like sprouted grains and seeds.


Did you know there are more antibiotics used as precautionary measure in animal agriculture, versus human medical use??

Animals raised in confined spaces are at higher risk for contracting infection. Precautionary use of antibiotics is how they prevent sickness from starting. On all your animal foods, look for the label: "Raised without the use of antibiotics"!


The use of growth hormone is illegal in Canada (not in the U.S), however the use of other hormones to manipulate fertility cycles and increase laying speed is not. Look for the label: "Raised without the use of hormones".

Omegas RICH

Conventionally grown chickens are fed a flax-rich diet to increase the content of omega 3 fatty acids in their eggs.

Free range chickens / chickens that run wild outside, will naturally produce eggs with a balance of all the omega fatty acids, including omega 3, due to their freedom in eating insects and living plants outside.


Have you wondered why some chickens lay multi-coloured eggs?

Over the years, and through the evolution of conventional agriculture, chickens like many other crops, have been bred to produce bigger and faster. They have bred out the animals that are fussy and lay different coloured eggs. Why? The goal of conventional agriculture is a uniform product that is simple and quick to produce.

What type of egg is important to you?



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