Verbraucherinfos

EifrischVerbraucherinfos

From egg to hen

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
For us, the answer to this philosophical question is:
Only a healthy chick can grow into a healthy hen which lays eggs that comply with our incomparable Eifrisch quality standards.

The egg is formed

It takes around 24 hours to get from ovary to cloaca (outlet) Biologically, hens can only lay one egg per day. Average laying rate per year = approx. 300 eggs

Breeding

Eggs are ready after around 3 weeks.

Chicks

Chicks are reared, growing up according to their designated husbandry method right from the start.

Pullets

At 18 weeks of age they are relocated from the nursery to the hen laying farm. Pullets gradually begin to lay eggs.

Egg-related information

Eggs are much better than their reputation would suggest. They are packed full of vitamins and mineral such as vitamin A, K and B2 as well as folic acid, calcium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, micronutrients and protein. Their valuable protein is quickly transformed into the body’s own protein upon consumption. Yolks consist of up to 65% unsaturated fatty acids which positively influence blood fat.

Incidentally: With a fat content of 6 grams per unit, eggs count as a food with a moderate fat content. For healthy metabolisms, there is therefore no upper limit for daily egg consumption. Its contents also include lecithin which reduces the intake of excess cholesterol eliminated from the intestine.

Structure of a hen’s egg

1 = Calcareous shell & membrane
2 = Chalaza
3 = Egg white
4 = Yolk
5 = Germinal disc
6 = Air pocket

Biological value

The biological value of protein in food is a measure of how efficiently dietary protein can be transformed into the body’s own proteins. With 94 points, the egg has the highest value since the body is able to absorb and utilise almost all of the ingredients.

Shell colour

This is primarily a question of breed, but the earlobes always indicate the egg colour:

  • Light earlobe = white egg
  • Dark (red) earlobe = brown egg

Egg-related questions

An egg needs to ripen. It tastes best 4 days after being laid.

In fresh eggs, the protein (also called egg white) sticks firmly to the shell. As a result, if the egg is very fresh no air is able to get between the skin and the protein. Boil the oldest eggs first. That will help.

Legislation determines the shelf life of the eggs for us. Laying date + 28 days = use-by date. After the use-by date, eggs should only be prepared that have been thoroughly cooked.

The cooling day is calculated by the laying date + 18 days. After the cooling date, eggs should be stored in the refrigerator. This is due to the egg’s own protection against the threat of bacteria. A freshly laid egg has its own outer layer to protect against bacteria. As it ages, this protective layer becomes porous and more susceptible to bacteria. Bacteria are unable to multiply when an egg is stored in a refrigerator.

The cause of this unpleasant fishy smell is trimethylamine which is present as a gas in the digestive system. Trimethylamine (TMA) is normally oxidised by an enzyme in the liver and excreted via the intestines as an odourless TMA oxide.

Due to an enzyme deficit in the liver it results in a metabolic disturbance, meaning this gas is also passed on to the egg that is developing in the body. This metabolic disturbance rarely occurs, the hens are discreet and it is not possible to separate it.

Incidentally: This metabolic disturbance also occurs in people. These people often have bad breath and excrete the TMA through sweat and urine.

In eggs, this smell is only noticeable in temperatures above 25°C; freshly laid and opened eggs will not smell. These eggs are not harmful to health but are barely consumable due to their pungent smell.

As the word suggests: Laying hens. No cock – no fertilisation. The eggs are gathered immediately after laying. The necessary incubation period is not possible.

Young hens develop during a period of around 19 weeks into laying hens. The ovaries and fallopian tubes begin to form from the 16th week. During this maturity process, the pituitary glands (the body’s own regulation of the follicle-stimulating hormone FSH) is distributed, stimulating the maturation of the yolk. Upon reaching the age of 19-20 weeks, the first yolks appear in the fallopian tubes which are surrounded by the egg white and then encased with a shell. The first eggs are then laid.

During this initial phase of egg production, 2 yolks often form in the ovaries and then travel to the fallopian tube at the same time. The egg white is formed in the fallopian tube, and then finally the shell encasing the two yolks. Double-yolk eggs are then laid which are usually slightly larger than normal eggs.

At the beginning of the laying phase, hens begin laying eggs in class S (approx. 46 to 53 grams).

The laying cycle of a young laying hen is such that double yolks will rarely form after approximately 23 weeks.

An egg’s flavour is directly related to the feed and condition of the hen’s health. Under these same conditions, it is impossible to determine a difference in nutritional value and flavour. Simply test out the flavour. Soft-boil both a brown and white egg and serve them shelled. Can you taste a difference?

Eggs crack when the air inside the egg expands too quickly during cooking. Eggs taken from the refrigerator should therefore be placed in cold, rather than hot, water when cooking. The cooking time starts when the first bubbles appear in the pan. Cracked shells are best prevented by piercing the round end of the egg and adding a little vinegar into the saucepan.

Based on placing into hot water, the following cooking times are ideal:

  • Runny egg: 5-6 minutes
  • Soft-centre egg: 7-8 minutes
  • Soft-boiled egg: 8-10 minutes
  • Hardboiled egg: 11-13 minutes

Rearing methods

Barn farming

Barn farming is where animals roam freely in the barn and have access to the entire premises at all times. Barn floors are covered with natural materials such as sand or straw; at least 1/3 of the barn area is available for the birds to scratch. The barn is spacious with a maximum of 9 hens per m²  and max. 6,000 hens per unit. In order to replicate the natural behaviour patterns of hens, protected laying nests are provided. These nests consist of a base made from malleable materials and can be used by the animals at all times. A sufficient amount of perches provides each hen with at least 15cm of room, allowing them to relax without damaging the balls of their feet or claws.

Fresh water and food is freely available at all times and the barns let in natural light for a natural day/night rhythm. Continuous ventilation provides the barn with sufficient fresh air and provides an optimum barn climate.

Free-range farming

The same criteria applies for free-range farming as with barn farming. The animals also have access to a free-range area close to the barn at all times. The free-range area provides plenty of protection and shelter for the animals in the form of hedges and maize, etc. To comply with KAT free-range farming, a cold scratching area is required to be built onto the barn. Similar to the free-range area, this must be accessible directly from the barn and offer the animals a bright, spacious area which also complies with legal requirements for keeping poultry indoors.

Organic production/Organic husbandry

Organic production – also known as organic husbandry – means eggs are produced using completely organic methods. The feed used is exclusively organic with no genetic engineering. The preventive use of antibiotics and hormones is prohibited.

The space for each hen is even greater than that for barn and free-range hens. Only 6 hens per m² are permitted in each stall and the group size is limited to 3,000 animals per unit.  The perches in the stall also offer more space.

Stand: 2016

Rearing methods

Barn farming

Barn farming is where animals roam freely in the barn and have access to the entire premises at all times. Barn floors are covered with natural materials such as sand or straw; at least 1/3 of the barn area is available for the birds to scratch. The barn is spacious with a maximum of 9 hens per m²  and max. 6,000 hens per unit. In order to replicate the natural behaviour patterns of hens, protected laying nests are provided. These nests consist of a base made from malleable materials and can be used by the animals at all times. A sufficient amount of perches provides each hen with at least 15cm of room, allowing them to relax without damaging the balls of their feet or claws.

Fresh water and food is freely available at all times and the barns let in natural light for a natural day/night rhythm. Continuous ventilation provides the barn with sufficient fresh air and provides an optimum barn climate.

Free-range farming

The same criteria applies for free-range farming as with barn farming. The animals also have access to a free-range area close to the barn at all times. The free-range area provides plenty of protection and shelter for the animals in the form of hedges and maize, etc. To comply with KAT free-range farming, a cold scratching area is required to be built onto the barn. Similar to the free-range area, this must be accessible directly from the barn and offer the animals a bright, spacious area which also complies with legal requirements for keeping poultry indoors.

Organic production/Organic husbandry

Organic production – also known as organic husbandry – means eggs are produced using completely organic methods. The feed used is exclusively organic with no genetic engineering. The preventive use of antibiotics and hormones is prohibited.

The space for each hen is even greater than that for barn and free-range hens. Only 6 hens per m² are permitted in each stall and the group size is limited to 3,000 animals per unit.  The perches in the stall also offer more space.

Stand: 2016

LabellingWhat appears on the egg?

1

Farming method code

  • 0 = Organic husbandry
  • 1 = Free-range farming
  • 2 = Barn farming
  • 3 = Small-group farming
4

Company number

Each egg production company has its own unique number so that the egg’s origin can be accurately determined.

2

Country code (origin)

  • AT = Austria
  • BE = Belgium
  • DE = Germany
  • NL = Netherlands
3

Federal state

  • 01 = Schleswig-Holstein
  • 02 = Hamburg
  • 03 = Lower Saxony
  • 04 = Bremen
  • 05 = North Rhine Westphalia
  • 06 = Hesse
  • 07 = Rhineland Palatinate
  • 08 = Baden-Württemberg
  • 09 = Bavaria
  • 10 = Saarland
  • 11 = Berlin
  • 12 = Brandenburg
  • 13 = Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • 14 = Saxony
  • 15 = Saxony-Anhalt
  • 16 = Thuringia

What appears on the label?

What appears on the packaging?

  • Use-by date.
  • Cooling date
  • Weight class
  • Packing centre number
  • Number of fresh eggs
  • Goods class
  • Consumer information
  • Distributor
  • Husbandry method

Weight class

We are always asking ourselves: What do the various sizes on the egg packaging mean?
Here you will receive an overview of the 4 sizes.

Weight class S

Eggs in weight class S are the smallest. Their weight is a maximum of 53 grams.

Weight class M
Weight class M contains all eggs with a weight between 53 and 63 grams.

Weight class L
Eggs in weight class L weight between 63 and 73 grams.

Weight class XL
With a minimum weight of 73 grams, XL eggs are the largest hen’s eggs on the market.

Goods class A
Eggs in class A must display the following characteristics

  • Shell: Normal, clean, undamaged
  • Egg white Clear, gelatinous consistency, free from extraneous matter of any kind
  • Yolks: Visible as a shadow only when illuminated, does not significantly move from its central position when rotating the egg, free from extraneous matter of any kind
  • Air pocket
  • Height of no more than 6mm, fixed