It might make a larger omelette but a bigger egg isn’t necessarily a better one : and it certainly doesn’t make the hen that laid it very happy.
That is the view of the chairman of the British Free Range Producers’ Association, who says that if you want to be kind to hens, you should eat medium, not large or very large, eggs.
â€œIt can be painful to the hen to lay a larger egg,”Tom Vesey, who keeps 16,000 hens on 45 acres at Dingestow, Monmouth, told The Times.”There is also the stress, which is a big problem as it takes more out of hens to lay large eggs. It would be kinder to eat smaller eggs. Whenever I go to the Continent people eat medium-sized eggs yet here the housewife seems to be wedded to large eggs.”
He also suggests people would do better eating a breakfast of two medium-sized eggs rather than one large one.”I prefer medium eggs,”he said. They taste better, are less watery and don’t run off the plate.”Mr Vesey, who says he is determined to change egg-shopping habits, insists that farmers only produce large eggs because they receive more for them from supermarkets. The average price for 12 free-range eggs paid to a farmer is 77p for medium, £1 for large and just over £1 for very large.
Mr Vesey has been criticised by industry chiefs for raising the issue in The Grocer but animal welfare experts say his argument is valid. Phil Brooke, of Compassion in World Farming, said:”Selectively breeding hens for high productivity, whether larger eggs or larger numbers of eggs, can cause a range of problems such as osteoporosis, bone breakage and prolapse. We need to breed and feed hens so that they can produce eggs without risk to their health or welfare.”…