Are organic hens free range

Yes, all hens raised organically are automatically free-range because the standards set out by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Organic Certification Bodies (IOFGA and The Organic Trust) demand it. They must have access to the outdoors and be housed below certain stocking densities.

What is organic Food?

Organic food is food which has been produced to standards designed to keep the production more ‘natural’. Fewer, if any, chemicals are used and most pesticides are banned – when they are used they are very carefully controlled.

How are organic hens treated?

Really well – They have much more space than non-organic hens. They are not allowed drugs like antibiotics and hormones. Our hens are free to scratch about and get plenty of sunlight.

Can organic food contain genetically modified (GM) elements?

Genetic modification of plants and animals goes against the principles of organic food and farming. No GM inputs are allowed in the organic system and if they are found in produce it cannot be sold as organic.

Why does organic food cost more?

Organic food costs more to produce because animals are held at lower stocking densities, for their well-being. The careful controls placed on it is more labour intensive and the feed our hens are fed on is organic, which is more expensive than non-organic feed which is used by free-range, barn-fed and caged systems.

Nutritional Value of Egg and Egg White

An egg is one of the most nutritious food items in our diet. It is rich in minerals, proteins, and vitamins, all of which are easily absorbed by the body. Organic eggs are power packed with significant quantities of healthy nutrients. Full of Vitamins A, D, B12, B2, Niacin, and Folic Acid, organic eggs constitute a vital energy food.

How can I tell if my egg is fresh?

One simple test of freshness is to place an egg in water: generally, if the egg is stale it will float and, if it sinks, it is fresh. Butler’s Organic Eggs are delivered fresh to farmer’s markets and stores with a three week sell by date. Our organic eggs are sold out each week! This ensures that all of our eggs are fresh, fresh, fresh.

What is a double yolk?

Double yolk eggs can happen with new layers who systems haven’t quite adjusted to producing eggs, so they release two ovum together.

In these cases, the hen’s body usually adjusts to the new influx of hormones quickly, and she then starts laying eggs with a single yolk, never to lay another double yolker again.

Because of there are two yolks in them, double yolk eggs tend to be larger than their normal counterparts. (Ducks can lay double yolk eggs too, by the way).

Are double yolk eggs safe to eat?

Of course! They’re no different than regular eggs, there’s just two yolks in them. They are special. If you find one send us a picture on Instagram @butlersorganiceggs

Egg Size

Several factors influence the size of an egg. The major factor is the age of the hen. As the hen ages – her eggs increase in size.

What is the red spot in the yoke

This is called a ‘blood spot’, which comes from a ruptured blood vessel. It is relatively common and very safe to eat.

What is the brown spot in the yolk?

This is a ‘meat spot’, which is caused by tiny pieces of the reproductive systems being caught in the production of an egg. Meat spots are usually, but not always, brown. It is relatively common and very safe to eat.

Why are some egg yolks paler than others?

The colour of the yolk is dictated by what the hen eats. The organic status bans the use of the colourant canthaxanthin, so natural carotenoid ingredients such as grassmeal, maize, capiscum or marigold products are often used in hens’ feed. However, you will notice that a Butler’s Organic Egg has a bright yellow yolk! Enjoy.

Why are some egg shells brown and some eggs white?

The colour of the egg shell is dependent on the breed of the hen. In general, white hens produce white eggs and brown hens brown eggs. There is no nutritional difference between white and brown shelled eggs. Our hens are brown!

Can I use raw eggs?

Food Standards Agency advice, recommends that vulnerable groups such as the elderly, very young, sick and pregnant women should eat eggs that are thoroughly cooked. To minimise any food safety risks, use eggs that are keep in the fridge and use before the use by date.

Can eggs be cooked in the microwave?

Eggs can be cooked quickly and successfully in a microwave oven; however, they should NEVER be cooked in their shells in a microwave oven as pressure will build up inside the shell and the egg may burst either inside the oven.

Can eggs be frozen?

Eggs in their shells should not be frozen but when broken out they may be stored in a freezer for up to six months.

What is the difference between free range eggs and organic eggs?

There are no pesticides used in the feed or around the hens. Butler’s Organics Ltd. has a third party certify that its feed and its hens are organic, bringing you the purest of eggs. Our organic hens also enjoy outdoor access every day. So back to the original question:

Organic or free range is there a difference?

Clearly the difference is obvious. Whilst free range production systems do offer the opportunity to hens to access open air runs, in essence this is the only significant difference between free range production and conventional production.

On the other hand, certified organic poultry producers are subject to a strict production regime based on sound organic principles which cover the whole farm system – all with the aim of protecting our fragile environment;

  • maintaining a respect and concern for the welfare of our animals through strictly controlled rearing conditions and the use of high quality certified organic feedstuffs
  • an avoidance of contamination from antibiotic residues and GMOs – all of which results in wholesome and nutritious end products produced under conditions which nurture a respect for the sustainability of the land we live on
Why is Organic certification necessary?

Before any organic product can be sold in the EC (and most other countries), it has to be certified to show that it has been produced in accordance with organic Regulations.

Certification works on a “cascade” system. The land on which the produce is grown, or livestock reared, must have undergone an appropriate period of conversion to organic status and be certified as such. The processor who converts the raw material into a product or an ingredient must operate from registered premises and his products must be certified. The manufacturer of an end product must be registered and his production must be certified………..in fact if the product is altered in any way, even by sub-dividing, the operation has to be registered and certified.

In effect the description Organic can be regarded as a brand. So, consumers should be able to rely on the fact that the product complies with organic standards and has been produced or processed by approved operators. Certification provides assurance that this is the case. Butler’s Organics Ltd. is certified by Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association IOFGA.

What does the code printed on eggs mean?

Whether you buy cage, barn, free range or organic, a code is printed on the egg. The first number refers to the farming method; 0 = organic, 1 = free range, 2 = barn, 3 = cage. Followed by country of origin then farm where eggs were produced

What ink is used on eggs?

It is a food-grade ink

Organic Pesticide

Insecticide that is not toxic and kills by abrasion.

Organic Farming

The earth’s most delicious, most healthful foods are made when farmers work in harmony with nature. To produce organic eggs.

Animal welfare

Care is taken to ensure that livestock can freely express natural behaviours, have sufficient space and freedom to roam.

Butler’s Birds

We purchase organic laying hens at 17 weeks old. We do not rear hens from chicks. Once production reduces, after about 14 months, our hens are re-homed.


“We Are What We Eat” is a well-known phrase; the food scares of recent years have reinforced this, and have contributed to the increase in demand for organic produce; organic standards seek to prevent the incidence of artificial chemicals and other toxins from the food we eat


Organic food is not bombarded with radiation to prolong shelf-life.