What does the rearing of chickens entail

Chicken farming

How to crack the egg code

A producer code can look like this, for example: 2-DE-1234567

The first number on the stamp stands for the housing system:

0 = organic farming
1 = free range
2 = barn housing

The following letters indicate which country the egg comes from, for example:

AT = Austria
BE = Belgium
DE = Germany
IT = Italy
NL = Netherlands

A multi-digit number shows where the hen that laid the egg lives. Companies that belong to the Association for Controlled Alternative Animal Husbandry (KAT) can be found on the website www.was-haben-auf-dem-ei.de.

What the different types of posture mean

A species-appropriate keeping of laying hens is now a legal requirement in Germany. According to this, the hens should be able to live out their natural behavior in a separate nest area.

Keeping them in cages is now banned in Germany - these chickens once vegetated on a wire mesh that was the size of an A4 sheet of paper. In Germany today only free-range, free-range and organic farming are permitted.

Free run

Scratching, bathing in the dust and flapping their wings - hens can do that at least to a limited extent when kept on the floor. There may be a maximum of nine chickens in one square meter of housing space. A third of the area must be covered with litter.

If several levels are used in floor housing, this is called aviary housing. In this case, a maximum of 18 hens per square meter are allowed to live. This means that a hen has less space than an A4 sheet of paper.

Free range

When kept free-range, the chickens stay outside in addition to the barn. The run must be mostly green and offer shelter or trees and bushes so that the animals can find protection from natural enemies. Each chicken must have at least four square meters of outdoor space.

Organic farming

Organic chickens can also go outside during the day. The animals have more space available in the barn than in free-range housing - only six animals per square meter are allowed.

The hens come from organic rearing and receive organic feed. You can eat this with an intact beak, because it must not be cut in organic chickens.

Brown or White Eggs?

A white chicken can lay a brown egg just as a brown chicken can lay a white one. Because the color of the eggshells is not related to the color of the plumage. Genes determine whether an egg has a white or a brown shell.

A rule of thumb is that what are known as the hen's ear discs can provide information about the color of their eggs. If the ear discs are red, the hen usually lays brown eggs. If, on the other hand, the ear discs are white, the eggs are also white - at least most of the time.