Over the last decade, the media and our society have planted a seed in my head that anything ‘big’ must be corrupt, evil and/or horribly unhealthy – whether it be ‘Big Box’, ‘Big Agra’, ‘Big Brother’, ‘Big Bird’… no wait, I’m pretty sure that last one hasn’t been convicted yet.
As it turns out, ‘Big Egg’ sure has a ‘Little Egg’ feel here in Canada. Last week I had the opportunity to have a day on the farm and visited one of Canada’s largest egg producers, Burnbrae Farms.
During my day at the farm, not only did I become a plethora of egg knowledge (test me, I double dog dare you), but I also had the opportunity to check out all of the hens that are housed at the farm in Lyn, Ontario. The hens at this location are kept in one of three kinds of housing, Conventional, Enriched and Aviary (Free Run). There is lots of information on the advantages and disadvantages of each form of housing on Burnbrae’s website… but at the end of the day, I think if I were a chicken, I’d be pretty darn content to be in the conventional housing, and feel pretty spiffy to live in the enriched (meaning, since spending a day on the farm and doing a lot of independent research on the subject, I will now be buying regular ol’ eggs with a good conscience).
What stuck with me the most about my visit to Burnbrae Farms is that although this is a huge operation that supplies our entire country with eggs in one form or another and even has industrial customers south of the border, it is still a family farm. The Hudson Family have been farming on the land in Lyn for over 120 years, and producing eggs for half of that. The original homestead still stands on the property and the company is still privately owned and operated by the Hudsons.
Myself and the other 12 bloggers on the #BBFFarmTour were not just guests of Burnbrae Farms, we were the personal guests of the Hudson family. We were invited into their homes and their lives and were treated like old friends as soon as we met. Success has definitely not gone to their heads as they were all so down to earth and totally into their business; the Hudsons really care about being on top of their game when it comes to being as socially responsible as they can, whether it be the development of innovative packaging to the humane treatment of the thousands of animals they house. During the day I was taken back to my childhood many times and to the memories of days of visiting the farms near my home in the Annapolis Valley.
The word big is a whole lot kinder, gentler and smaller to me again.
Disclosure: I am participating in the Burnbrae Farms Blogger Farm Tour program as a guest of Burnbrae Farms. All opinions are 100% my own.