Inside the Barn at Burnbrae Farms

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What happens when you combine 13 Canadian bloggers, fantastic food, a party bus and a trip to Burnbrae Farms? Learning, that’s what happens! Last week 13 bloggers from across Canada were brought together to experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the main production facility of Burnbrae Farms.

Planes, trains and automobiles were needed to get this crew together to spend a day learning all about the production of eggs and life on the farm with the Hudson family. Many of us met at the Burnbrae Farms office in Mississauga early in the morning to board what proved to be a rowdy party bus. Stocked with hard-boiled eggs, fruit and coffee we set off to the village of Lyn, Ontario where the Hudson family has been producing eggs for over 60 years.

IMG_20140609_081112.jpg The bus ride was a long one but thankfully we had Margaret Hudson with us and she took the opportunity to give us some history, highlighting the progress Burnbrae Farms has made in the egg production industry in Canada. Some of the key points I didn’t know:

  • Burnbrae Farms was the first to introduce Omega 3 eggs to the Canadian market in 1996
  • Burbrae Farms introduced the first egg-white product in 1997
  • Recycled PET plastic introduced as packaging for Naturegg Omega 3 eggs in 1996

We arrived at Burnbrae Farms and were greeted by the friendly employees and an enthusiastic mascot who must have been “fried” in the heat.

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Next we enjoyed a demonstration and lovely lunch prepared by chefs from the Brockberry Cafe. If ever you are in Brockville, ON you simply much check them out, the food is wonderful.

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With bellies full, we headed off to begin the tour. First stop was the

Hen Housing at Burnbrae Farms

Burnbrae Farms have three different types of housing for the hens; conventional, enriched and free-run.

Conventional Housing Systems  where the hens are housed in smalls social groups and research has shown that raising hens in smaller social groups helps to reduce aggression and disease. The hens have equal access to feed and water.

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Enriched Colony Housing Systems is where enclosures are designed to provide all hens with the same benefits of conventional housing, but with the added benefits of perches, nestling areas and more space.

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Free Run Housing System is where birds are allowed to move around freely to nestle and roost.

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With over 300,000 hens in their barns, it’s no surprise that Burnbrae Farms is conscientious about their care and the quality of eggs they supply. They are the #1 producer of eggs in Canada, the #1 marketer of specialty eggs {including Omega 3, Omega Pro, Organic, Free Fun and Nature’s Best} and the #1 leader in liquid eggs in Canada.

Egg Production at Burnbrae Farms

We also had the pleasure of touring the production facility and learning how eggs move from the hen to the store. Did you know that in Canada regulations require each egg to be washed, this is the reason we must refrigerate the eggs. In other countries where they aren’t washed, the eggs can sit on kitchen counters.

egg washing

Once a hen lays an egg at Burnbrae Farms, the egg is placed into a refrigeration unit. Next it will travel to a washing station where it is bathed at 104 degrees F to remove any dirt and bacteria.

Next, the eggs move onto the candling process. My husband’s Grandmother’s very first job was at an egg farm where she’d hold eggs up to a candle to ensure they were free of defects. Thankfully this process has been improved, now they use an automated lighting system under a conveyor which allows a computerized camera to spot cracks or internal defects. When defective eggs are spotted, they are expelled from the conveyor and discarded.

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The eggs which are approved then move onto the grading station.

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Grade A eggs are sold in supermarkets for consumer consumption. These eggs are perfect, they have to be free of any leaks, cracks, imperfections and internal defects.
Grade B eggs are used primarily for commercial use such as hospitals, schools, bakeries. They may have odd shapes, small cracks or minor internal imperfections.
Grade C eggs are the lowest grade and aren’t sold in stores. They would be used in the production of processed egg products.
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I am truly proud to be a Burnbrae Farms Ambassador and was honoured to have been invited inside the Barn and Home of the Hudson family. Their dedication to quality, environmental concerns and welcoming hospitality was humbling.
I encourage you to reach out to them on Twitter and Facebook to get to know them!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Burnbrae Farms Blogger Farm Tour program as a guest of Burnbrae Farms. All opinions are 100% my own.

Comments

  1. Soozle says

    what a great post! I really like the fact that the Burnbrae company is willing to have others enter the cfacility – it gives me a feeling of trust to know they are open to what takes place.. and by the looks of it, it is a well run and humane operation! :)

  2. Michael Hurst says

    That was a great post Jen looks like you learned something and had fun too, Thanks for all you do and the fact your share it here for us!

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