The jargon for egg production is as varied as it is for poultry production but the descriptions below are standard:
If hens are allowed to free range they will not produce vegetarian eggs since hens will eat insects, worms etc.
If they are caged and fed a vegetarian diet they will be vegetarian eggs. These hens are restricted from eating a diet containing ingredients sourced from either meat or fish. Most consumers seeing the label ‘vegetarian eggs’ will think the eggs are good for us and that the chickens will have been kept humanely. Often there is nothing further from the truth.
Eggs labeled as omega-3 eggs are laid by hens that have been fed a diet high in omega-3 and vitamin E than the normal feed.
Free Range Eggs
Eggs from hens that are free to move over an area of open ground during the day can be labeled ‘free range eggs’. They do not have to be organic.
Barn laid eggs
Barn laid eggs are from hens that are housed in a large shed with deep litter. They normally have enough freedom to walk about and flap their wings and scratch the floor.
Conventional cage eggs or Traditional cage eggs
These eggs are laid by hens that are caged in battery style cages. These eggs account for the majority of eggs available for sale in Australia.
Organic egg production is free from artificial chemicals, antibiotics, and the production methods are humane. Organic eggs provide more nutrients and less toxins than conventionally produced eggs. Due to the lack of artificial colour in organic poultry feed, organic eggs are paler than other.