Classification of eggs and types of farming. What do the categories, classes and codes we read printed on each egg and on the package label indicate.
Regardless of what came first, theegg or the hen, certainly theegg it had to be organic and the hen raised outdoors!
Unfortunately, today, the majority of farms focus on hens locked in cages who are given drugs and dubious feed (including dehydrated and ground meat and bones).
Thereegg classificationtakes into account a large number of factors:
- of the breeding method
- quality or category
- of traceability
Thereegg classificationon the basis of the type of breeding sees the distinction betweeneggsfrom organic farming, from open-air farming, from free-range farming and from cage farming.
Below we will provide you with all the notions you need to understand theclassbelonging to theeggstarting from simple alphanumeric abbreviations and tracking codes.
The package shows the size of theegg while on the shell there is one theme song indicating the type of breeding and other codes for the traceability: country of origin, ISTAT code of the municipality where the farm is located, initials of the province in which the farm is located up to the identification code of the farmbreeder.
Thereclassificationof the size is inserted on the package with a conventional code (XL, L, M and S). The criteria ofegg classificationsee the acronym:
- XL, assigned to very large eggs, of at least 73 grams;
- L, assigned to large eggs with a minimum weight of 63 grams;
- M, indicates medium-sized eggs, with a minimum weight of 53 grams;
- Yes, these are the smallest eggs weighing less than 53 grams.
As regards the type of farming and the traceability of the product, on the shell of theegg there is an alphanumeric code that provides, in order, the following information.
The first digit indicates the type of breeding, with the following classification:
- 0 indicates that the egg comes from organic farming
- 1 indicates that the egg comes from galine raised outdoors
- 2 indicates that the egg comes from a free-range farming
- 3 indicates that the egg comes from caged breeding
The second data provided by the alphanumeric code is the acronym indicating the country of origin, for Italy (IT);
Immediately after the initials "IT", the ISTAT code of the municipality where the farm is located follows. Again, following the abbreviation of the province of the breeding and finally, the breeder's identification code.
Egg codes and types of farming
The type of breeding is indicated with a number ranging fromzero 0, for organic farming - the most natural - to the number three 3, which indicates the most intensive breeding. Let's see the differences that these codes can describe to us.
Organic farming, code 0
In organic farming, the hens must have a large grazing area and ponds. In the chicken coop (a covered shelter) there are also roosters.
The feed given to these hens must be exclusively of biological origin.
On this farm, the use of additives to promote growth, synthetic amino acids, genetically modified feed and fish meal is strictly prohibited. The chicks must themselves come from organic farms.
Outdoor farming, code 1
The hens have a covered shelter and a grazing area available. A maximum of 2,500 chickens can be kept per hectare in the open air: that is, there is an area for each animal that touches 4 m².
There are no restrictions on the type of feed, so these hens can be fed with chemicals to promote egg laying, fishmeal (i.e. dried and powdered fish bones and carcasses) and more.
Ground farming, code 2
The term “free-range farming” is misleading because in this type of farming the hens are locked up in large sheds, that is, in a sort of large cage where in a square meter of surface there are seven hens piled up.
Egg laying takes place in common nests, there are no restrictions on the type of feed to be administered to the hens.
Caged or battery rearing, code 3
It is, without a doubt, the most intensive breeding.
If you think of seven hens for every square meter of surface there isscandalized, know that in this type of breeding 14 hens are allowed for every square meter of surface.
According to the legislative decree 267/2003, an intensive breeding still guarantees the minimum conditions of well-being of a poultry animal. It is understood that, upstream, there is a wrong regulation that allows egg producers to keep hens in terrible conditions.
The cages or batteries are made of iron wires, are 40 cm high and have an area of 750 cm². The hens are locked in cages, in large huts where artificial light is used to stimulate egg laying.
There is a furtheregg classification. In fact, we havecategory eggsA, B and C. Lacategoryindicates the quality of the egg.
- Category A, fresh or extra fresh eggs
- Category B, second quality or preserved eggs
- Category C, downgraded eggs intended for the food industry
Here comes another bad news for us consumers. When we buy a product, unless it is an organic brand, if it includes egg among its ingredients, it is almost certainly category C.
the livernose breed lays white eggs which have the same nutritional properties as dark-shelled eggs.