What is “Cage-Free?”

It’s a sad fact of agriculture: Most U.S. egg-laying hens spend their whole lives confined in cramped, wire-floored “battery” cages, often stacked in frighteningly high towers. There’s no room to stretch their wings, or even move much. It’s an unhappy and unhealthy way to live.

All of our hens are cage-free, and always will be. They live in spacious barns where they can move around as they please, lay their eggs in a nest, scratch and roost. Our hens can act like chickens!

Don’t be fooled. Lots of egg cartons tout “cage-free” on their labels these days. We’re delighted that some other egg producers are starting to raise their hens in cage-free barns, where hens at least have a little room to move around. But the mere absence of cages doesn’t always mean that hens are also treated humanely.

That’s why all our eggs are also labeled Certified Humane®, meeting the rigorous requirements of the “gold standard” of farm animal care. It’s your guarantee that our hens’ cage-free life is also a healthy and happy one!

Outdoor access to organic grass—with care. Unlike many “cage-free” hens, our organic hens also have plenty of access to the outdoors, on organic grass fields. All summer, they roam as they please outside our barns on organically-grown grass, amid clover and wildflowers. In early spring and late fall when it’s cold and muddy outside, they scratch, perch and roam around freely inside our big, spacious cage-free barns.

Outdoor access for our hens is important, but we also have to insure that our hens are safe from predators and disease from wild birds.

We protect our hens by not allowing them outside during the following conditions:

  • During cold and inclement weather (would you want to go outside barefoot in the middle of a New England winter? Hens generally feel the same way).
  • When ground predators such as fox and coyote are seen in the immediate area.
  • During migratory bird season, or when large flocks of small birds roost nearby, to prevent exposure to diseases such as avian mites or Avian Flu.

We’re committed to giving our hens a safe, clean, and comfortable place to live, with plenty of room to spread their wings, strut, and socialize. Just between us chickens, we think it makes for better eggs too!