Animal Care Program

Ensuring hens get excellent care every day. 

Egg farmers have always made their top priority the care and well-being of their hens. They follow strict standards and protocols for animal care to keep hens healthy and ensure eggs are produced according to some of the highest quality standards in the world. 

All Canadian egg farmers take part in a comprehensive, national Animal Care Program (ACP). As part of this program, trained field inspectors visit the farm to ensure that hens have a comfortable environment, a well-balanced and nutritious diet, fresh water and clean surroundings. 

This program includes not only annual inspections of the barn and surrounding area, but also third party auditing to ensure standards set under the ACP are being met and that the animals are well treated and good records are being kept. 

Ontario farmers are committed to caring for their laying hens throughout the birds’ entire life, including end-of-life. Laying hens typically begin laying eggs around 19 weeks of age and are in production for one year. At the end of the laying cycle the birds are used for one of three beneficial purposes:

  1. They are processed into poultry products.
  2. They are processed for use in pet food.
  3. They are composted and returned to the soil to contribute valuable nitrogen and phosphorus as fertilizer.

Prior to being processed into human or animal food products, birds are rendered unconscious and humanely euthanized. Those that will be composted for fertilizer are also humanely euthanized on farm by trained professionals using methods approved by poultry veterinarians and according to government regulations.    

The entire Animal Care Program is based on the Code of Practice, developed by Canada's top veterinarians and experts in animal care as well as representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.