What Type of Eggs Do You Usually Buy?

Hello everyone just out of curiosity here what kind of eggs does ozbargainers buy?
For me i always go for free range. Although it is dearer than caged eggs, i always support free range.

Over 90% of the eggs sold in Australia are caged.
In Australia, caged eggs come from the 10.5 million caged hens in battery farms.

Poll Options

  • 130
  • 10
    barn laid
  • 213
    free range
  • 13


  • +7

    I used to purchase caged eggs, but made the switch to free range a couple of months ago. Though I have nothing against those purchasing caged eggs.

    Part of the problem with caged eggs:

    • -9

      Contrary to popular opinion it is quite possible - easy actually - to survive without eating the ovulations expelled from a bird's cloaca (that's a combined bum-vagina in case you didn't know).

      • +4

        That's why you only eat the inside of the egg.

        • +1

          Ohhhhh, that's where I'm going wrong.

  • +10

    are they the free range that can have 20000 hens per hectare even the the code recommends 1500 per hectare.

        • +2

          That's dumb.

  • +38

    chicken eggs

  • +11

    Easter eggs. Just Kidding :p
    Some articles say free range is loosely termed. It's too hard unless there's some sort of standard, so i just buy the cheapest eggs.

    • +4

      Some articles say free range is loosely termed.

      its not just "some articles" its simple fact. there is currently no legal definition or standards for calling something free range so the seller is pretty much free to label anything they wish even if its completely inhumane.

      • +1

        Not quite true. You might be interested in this guide.

        • +2

          The definition of free range is not what its cracked up to be.
          I'm just glad we don't have people selling fake eggs.

  • +4

    I would like another box for from the person who owns the chickens. For roughly $4-$5 a dozen.

    One of the guys I by from treats them like pets, very spoilt!

    You can taste the difference. Tasmanians are pretty lucky, they don't have to look too hard to find VERY happy chickens :)

    I personally don't see much difference between free range & cage from stores otherwise. Either you go to the extreme of the free range which is very expensive or just buy cage eggs.

  • +6

    I buy whatever my financial circumstances allow me to. It used to be home brand caged eggs, but it's now free range.

    There's nothing wrong with caged eggs, but I think if we can afford it, free range eggs are obviously the better choice.

    • +17

      Why is free range the better choice if there's "nothing wrong" with caged?

      I totally understand not everyone can afford to buy free range but to say there's nothing wrong with caged is taking it a bit far.

      • +4

        I think he means product wise not moral wise

    • There's nothing wrong with caged eggs, but I think if we can afford it, free range eggs are obviously the better


      How on earth do you come to that conclusion.

  • +14

    I'm going to be honest and say that I've always bought caged eggs, as it's the cheapest and it's also the only variety of eggs that's sold at the grocer that I frequent.

    as MMD pointed out, if you've been buying free range eggs in the belief that they came from chickens that lived outside of cages, is that the reality is the industry definition of 'free range' chicken eggs is extremely loose and hasn't been defined, at least not until 2015 where the parliament will decide on one and some manufacturers have exploited this fact and did some dodgy things.

    TLDR the free range label can't be trusted until you actually see what goes behind the scenes.

    • +6

      This. Currently, "free range" can be a quite misleading term and I would argue that it is not for the benefit of animal welfare nor the consumers until it is properly defined.

      One of interesting points that a lot of people tend to dismiss is that, in general, caged hens are better protected against potential diseases (including internal/external parasites) and well fed in comparison to free-range hens. So, you could potentially say that, in terms of animal health, that caged layer hens have better animal welfare than free-range layers which is more prone to various diseases. Also, caged layers tend to suffer less from negative behaviour such as cannibalism and feather pecking.

      Obviously, there are many benefits for free-range layers in terms of behaviour (eg. Dust bathing) but I just wanted to point out that even in terms of animal welfare, it isn't really a simple topic and it needs to be discussed in a more scientific/evidence-based manner.

      • +6

        Woah, I was just trying to point out that the positives to caged systems do exist.

        However, It is my opinion that the benefits of free-ranged or modified-cage system in natural behaviour is outweighs the negatives associated with those systems, as demonstrated by many journal articles. (eg. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPag...)

        • Korea, I feel ya, the people negging are just abusing the system. I know, the pain.


        • +5

          You dared to point out that people are wasting their money and their sense of moral superiority was unfounded. You were bound to be negged, koreainhyuk.

      • -1

        whoa, I accidently gave you a positive. It was supposed to be a negative. Read the guide and you can see which eggs to pick easily http://www.makeitpossible.com/guides/egg-labels.php

        There must be scientific evidence somewhere that says you would do better locked up in a cage unable to move.

        • +1

          As ridiculous as it might sound to you. Caged birds do have higher productivity and better health condition overall because they have everything in their environment controlled including water, temperature, etc. Their natural behaviour is severely impaired, but for whatever reason, it doesn't seem to cause enough stress on the layer hens to cause dramatic decrease in the quality and quantity of the egg production.

          What egg production systems should be aiming for should be a middle ground where their natural behaviour is maintained while their health is well managed. I think some of the newer alternative caging styles seem to work very well. (Probably like what @goosegog is referring to below)

          By the way, I can't believe that Animal Australia thinks that debeaking is a positive animal welfare for the free range birds. No debeaking = Increased cannibalism. It's not pretty…

        • @koreainhyuk: I appreciate what you are trying to say but by your logic, geese in France that are force fed are better off because they have higher productivity of foie gras, have tight environmental climate controls and ample food and water. Can you provide some link to backup the claim that caged hens are healthier then free ranged? 'Healthier' of course being a loaded word since many in the industry will link it to productivity rather than wellbeing. Feather pecking is actually natural behavior. The problem is that many so-called free range farms do not keep appropriate population densities. However as has been previously linked there are ways to track online which farms provide appropriate facilities. I always buy free range, and the brand I typically buy has a website with live camera feed to their farm for customers to verify the conditions. Easy solution - minimum investment of a few webcams and they can secure brand loyalty. Honestly don't know why every abattoir isn't connected for government monitoring by webcam. Such a cheap investment and some gov worker would just need to randomly check into the live feeds to keep them honest.

        • Sorry, what? Being kept in a cramped cage in a strictly controlled environment doesn't necessarily make them more productive, nor any healthier. Birds who are allowed to properly free range are often easily as productive as any caged chicken, and are in good health. They get their nutrition from a balanced diet as opposed to a coctail of various chemicals added to their mash.

  • Usually Hens eggs for cooking….

    • +9

      Sometimes I indulge in the rare rooster eggs myself.

  • +1

    I know free range doesn't really mean much these days but there are organisations like RSPCA who put their name to certain brands so I tend to buy those. A bit of googling (hehe googy eggs) of a brand will let you know about how they treat their chickens.

  • Interesting topic, so my apology in advance to break down comments for easier discussion.
    In the past - I buy my family free range. For myself I have caged eggs and a treat of free range sometimes.
    Now the price difference becomes minimal as you know where to buy, I'll get free range.

  • +1

    How do you choose fresh eggs?
    Mum used to take me to market, shone each egg under the light. If black dots, the egg is off. Not in Australia, as egg sold by a dozen and relatively fresh here.
    For two certain brands, the yolk never 'forms' when the egg is cracked - ie yolk mixed with the white. Initially I thought it was my skill. It was the eggs that were not right, so to avoid. One brand is free range.

    • care to share the brands?

      • Just personal experience - Manning Farm Free Range. Bought them in 3 separate occasion. Not trying again. Another one was an exclusive brand caged eggs from my local IGA … Sorry can't remember the name.

    • You can float eggs in a glass or jar of water to see freshness. Flat laying eggs are freshest. "Pointers" show gas build up.
      Rubbing eggs in Vaseline will increase self life, if you require that.

  • +5

    Often quote says 90% eggs in Australia are caged. Did it categorise between industry and residential use?
    Many of the eggs are used in manufacturing and restaurants, one can imagine caged eggs are used unless it is stated otherwise.

  • Find the eggs from the two BIG supermarkets are really overpriced. Am I the only one?
    If no special - their cheapest dozen caged are $4-$5. Free range are $7-9.
    For the same price of caged eggs, you can get the free range $3.50-4.50 from ALDI or Asian grocery. Caged is $1.99-$3.50.

    • +5

      Free range Woolworths brand is $4.99

    • +3

      Agreed, I get my eggs at farmers markets (new farm Jan power markets) from a nice old man what also sells spinach. Generally jumbo sizes for $4.5 a dozen and they taste so much better that store brought.

  • +6

    Certain brand has only 10 instead of 12 in a box. Will never buy them because I think it confuses consumers and not very honest.

    • +4

      What is this, the ABC? Why don't you just name the brand?

    • +4

      I, for one, welcome our new metric-system-following egg-selling overlords.

  • +3

    Free range woolies brand or usually on my local buy sell swap site there are people who have chickens and sell their eggs for around $3 a dozen so muh prefer that :)

    • +1

      Hi Hipmumma! If you don't mind sharing, where is this buy sell swap site? I want to buy some good chicken eggs too. Is this is Melbourne or in the country?

  • +3

    Over 90% of the eggs sold in Australia are caged.

    Actually, caged eggs are only about 50% (source: Australian Egg Corporation Annual Report). Free range is about 40% and barn-laid is the remaining 10%. The caged egg market has been dropping sharply over the last few years (i.e. from about 70% in 2009 to 50% in 2013).

    We buy free range. If you want more information about egg labels, see here.

  • +5

    We have chickens so don't buy any.

    • Are the eggs you get from them golden yolked? What do you feed them to get it?

      I had some eggs from a friend's yard chicken, the yolks were super pale yellow. I think they were only fed grain thats why.

      • +3

        If you feed them lots of lovely greens you'll get gorgeous dark yolks, plus happy chickens

        • +2

          What do you like personally? ;-p

      • We also have chooks and get a lot of eggs. Our yolks are dense orange. You can feed them a flower called marigold which can enchance the colour of the yolk alongside lots of other feeds/plants. I was eating my own organic eggs for over a year then the chooks got mites and lice and stopped laying. We eventually had to buy caged eggs again. The missses one day cooked me some egg and tomato dish and I came home that day and complained how off it tasted. I than asked her what was wrong with the eggs as I thought we were still eating ours until she told me it was caged eggs so I stopped eating them until ours started to lay again. Huge difference in taste that's for sure.

        We mostly feed our chooks a mix of chicken scratch( which is mixed grains), spent grain from a local who is nice enough to give us a fair amount every couple a weeks as he uses it originally for brewing beer,grass,bugs,grit, veggies scraps from the local markets/supermarkets and table scraps that consist of virtually anything we don't eat(including left over fish bones/shells).

        Also interesting to note we looked up egg sizing charts in Australia and realised the majority of our eggs were considered to be in the jumbo section which is the biggest kind. Ours were weighing 65g-73g on average.

  • +12

    I only eat the eggs of eagles. They give me super-human strength.

    Actually, come to think of it, perhaps my mum hasn't been honest about the source of the eggs she drops off on the weekend. I hope she has at least been honest about my super-human strength.

  • +1

    We have our own very spoilt backyard 'girls', but would only ever buy free range otherwise. Once you' ve had your own free range happy chickens I don't think you could buy caged eggs. Just my opinion. By the way, if you are considering it, they do make excellent pets.

    • +2

      your name is HEN!

      • Not by chance :-)

  • +2

    We only buy free range.
    It has been a long time since I made the switch after seeing the environment that cage egg hens were being subjected to. There is a lot of truths bent on the packaging of eggs that say that they are barn laid or free range, you really have to delve deeper to know what the reality is.

    So far the only ones that I have seen decent info on is the sunny queen eggs.

    • +3

      Depends on your reasons to go free range, but I just wouldn't feel comfortable buying eggs from a massive company which covers the market in free range, RSPCA approved and then also sells caged eggs.

  • Cheapest possible (usually caged), around 6 cartons per week. Protein!!!

  • Well personally since I eat a lot of eggs (bodybuilder) I want to buy the cheapest box that has the most eggs that are the biggest size. That way I can buy less often and crack less eggs.
    At Woolworths that equates to the brand 'Pace Farm' or something along those lines which sells a set of 15 in a nice cardboard enclosure that can be tossed in a bag. This is the best I can get for my needs at Woolworths.

  • +5

    We buy free range from a very lovely lady at our local farmers market. We're lucky that it is very close to us so we make it a point to go every fortnight to get our supply.

    If we run out, I must say I hesitate to buy free range from the supermarket, only because I can't be sure they really are free range. Even more so when the same brand sells both caged and free range. Not pro free range, but can't justify paying $7 for a carton when I'm unsure.

  • +11

    I am happy to pay a bit more if it means animals suffer less.

  • +2

    Free range from a local farm. I only ever buy eggs from the supermarket if we've run out and I'm not able to make it to the farm that day.

  • +1

    We get about 40 eggs per week from our 6 chickens but I would buy free range which regulatory speaking as far as I know is better than 'organic'. Better to support people supporting sustainable/safer (in terms of health) practices.

    • How much are you spending on chicken feed?

      • They suggest 120g of chook pellets per chook, per day. A bag of chicken scratch which is mixed grains cost us $21.50 per 25kg in the past(3 months ago) before the farmer price hike..maybe due to drought. The bags now cost $5 more.

  • We made the switch to free range eggs, I will get something branded when it is on special and get the $4.99 from Woolies otherwise. They do taste better than the cage eggs, one of the things we noticed straight away when we made the switch. Unfortunately they also feel smaller.

  • +3

    Has there been any chemistry testing done? Or even blind taste tests? Bit hard to control the variables but would be interesting.

    I would be very surprised if caged comes out better. They don't get sunlight and can only imagine they'd get pretty stressed and pissed off with the confined space and the noise racket.

    • +1

      This study (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09064709609415868...) seems to indicate that "no other effects on production or egg quality traits were observed." by different caging systems. Although, "Mortality, cannibalism, keel bone condition and foot condition were far more affected by housing system" and the breed.

      The article is paywalled unfortunately :(

    • +1

      My personal experience: fresh eggs from the backyard chooks definitely taste better. Can't taste the difference supermarket caged vs supermarket free range.

      • This. This is true the only way to get eggs, either your self, or get them from someone local who sells backyard eggs.

    • See my comment above :)

      • You do realise you're replying to a post from 2014, right? :)

        • I realised after I read the last comment and felt sad…

  • +1

    Free range eggs, generally from Aldi as the price isn't too much more than caged.

    I only hope Aldi ensure that free range is actually decent free range.

    I hope that the prices of free range pork comes down so it becomes more popular therefore more readily available.

  • +1

    I go to our local egg farm.Prices are $6.50 for 2 1/2 dozen ( 30) for mixed sizes or $7.00 for jumbo. Although these are not free range the owners of the farm are willing for customers to see where the chooks are housed. This is a HUGE chook shed which has plenty of space for all - they all seem very content & happy to be there. People buy from miles around & the shop is always busy. Very rarely will I buy from the major supermarkets when this farm is close enough & I feel better knowing that the chooks are well cared for.

    • +1

      I suppose if they have plenty of room to move, that's not too bad.

      They would be called barned laid eggs, much much better for the chooks than caged eggs.

      • +1

        It would be still considered as caged unfortunately, although it is MUCH better than conventional caged system. Barn-laid system is like this, http://www.aussieeggs.com/images/facts/barn-laid/1.jpg, which I would argue that it is probably worse than the newer alternative caged systems.

  • I bought caged eggs when I moved out because my I was on a tighter budget but now I buy free range. I still understand why people buy caged eggs so I'm just hoping if free range eggs become more popular, the price will go down.

  • caged for cooking, free range to eat mainly due to taste as some days I eat 5 eggs

  • I get my eggs from the markets in Brisbane. They are labeled free range, taste fresher, last longer, are cheaper by unit price.

    Going Coles/woolies/aldi/local grocery just seems too expensive by comparison. Same with red meat.. Can't buy Coles/woolies anymore due to price vs taste.

    • +1

      which market? do you know the exact shops or stalls?

      • +1

        Rocklea markets on a Saturday. I must confess, it is my fiance who usually goes and buys eggs. I just eat them lol. There are a number of places around, but I can't remember which one she goes to.

  • +2

    I tend to buy cage eggs from Woolies online and allow item to be substituted. 90% of the time i get free range eggs delivered. I am a happy chook.

  • +2

    If you live in tamworth my son sells our free range eggs for $3.50 a doz

    • If you were in sydney, hnnnggggg!!

  • +1

    Since there is no clear definition of 'free range' it really can be anything. Only difference between free range and caged is the price. IMHO

  • News last month re phrasing out caged eggs.
    What do you think?
    "Ms Drew said the best way for consumers to ensure that no hens were harmed was avoid eggs altogether."

    • +1

      That's right. Switch your protein source from eggs to chicken meat. The chooks will thank you in the long run :)

      • That's a good point. However you can boil a dozen eggs in 3 mins and leave them in the fridge for a snack

  • Edible ones which have not cracked inside the box usually if I want to eat them. If I want to use them to throw at someone I just ask for some rotten ones.

  • It would be great if there was an option called "cheapest available".
    I buy caged eggs most of the time and when I feel sorry about the egg laying hens, I buy free range.

  • I usually try to buy eggs that use humane farming practices as it's one of the small ways you can help curb the animal suffering that's ubiquitous in commercial farming. If you do a bit of research you can find producers that use paddock farming (without too much overcrowding) and don't use de-beaking and beak trimming. Although, these days I just eat my mum's home raised chicken and duck's eggs as I only eat 1-2 eggs per day.

    • And when they get too old, you can eat them for meat, provided your not a vegetarian or alike. Very big difference in taste, especially when you do soups. It's not that hard.

  • Free range all the way, including ones from person up the road who has rescue chickens from the egg farms. These ones are definitely free. $3.00 doz.

  • Eggs from our own hens - once you try one, you can never go back

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