Cage-free, organic, pasture-raised and free-range eggs: what is to be known

Actually, the bio way of life has become so trendy that the supermarket’s egg aisles are more or less bound. The reason is that many consumers spend more time there to browse and compare the products they are face to. Besides, the brands suggest more and more products. And the universe of the eggs meets nowadays an assault of descriptors and qualifiers.

Cage-free egg

It is a term that is often seen in the packages of some eggs. Cage-free is regulated by the USDA and when you see it, it means that the eggs are a product of hens that are not put in cages. They may be kept in a building, a room or enclosed area where they had unlimited access to food and fresh water. But these hens cannot get outdoors.

Of course, this lifestyle is better for the hens that deliver better egg. But as drawbacks, compared to facilities that use cages, cage-free facilities present more hen-on-hen violence but also lower air quality.

Free-range egg

Besides, within the aisles, you can also see free-range egg in some products. As from powder egg, free ranger egg, these products are derived from hens that have a kind of access to the outdoors. But even if the hens have this access, it does not mean that they actually go out.

The reason is that these outdoors areas may be restricted, small or that the farmer does not always open it. Otherwise, free-range egg is also a term that is regulated by the USDA.


Sometimes, the indication “pasture-raised” is accompanied with the “certified humane” and/or “animal welfare approved”. These indications stipulate that the hens that give the eggs isrised within a 108 square feet of outdoor space with barn space indoors.

Actually, it represents a very tied space but large-scale egg producers are numerous to practice it in order to increase their egg production.

Local egg

Local eggs are eggs that are produced within a specific town or state. There is no precise distance from the processing facility and the seller but if the eggs come from another town or another country, whatever its label or its mean of delivery or its quality, it is no more considered as local egg.

Organic egg

As far as organic egg is concerned, it is to be known that it is the quality of the egg that is pointed out within the expression. In fact, the organic egg mainly comes from the hens that have been fed with organic feed.

Here, the definition does not depend on the space per hen nor the access to the outdoors. But generally, the organic egg are free-range.

Vegetarian egg

Within the aisles, you may also happen to meet some vegetarian-fed egg label. As hens are normally omnivorous, they may eat worms and bugs and larvae and the other crawly beasts. But if they are raised in a mass-scale production sense, they do not necessarily eat that.

In principle, they can be fed with animal byproducts such as feather meal or chicken litter. So, it not truly specified that the hens deliver vegetarian egg or not.

Hormone-free egg

This is also an indication that attracts the consumer’s attention. A hormone-free egg is egg that comes from hens that didn’t receive hormones during the whole process of production. Hormone-free egg is classified among the most recommended egg.

Besides, the administration of hormones and steroids are banned by the FDA.

No added antibiotics egg

It is also a term that appears in some products. It suggests that the hen wasn’t administrated antibiotics. But in practice, only few of them are.

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