Humane certified pasture raised hens have 108+ square feet to roam and forage. At Handsome Brook Farms, humane certified pasture raised means we never ever confine our hens in cages. We raise our hens on wide open hills and woodlands with ample space to roost in our barns. This makes for happier hens and exceptional eggs.
Pasture Raised Hens actively graze and forage outdoors. Each hen has 108+ square feet per hen. At Handsome Brook Farm, we provide expansive doors, outdoor shade, protection and water. We also provide comfy, protected nests and roosting area indoors. A pretty sweet set up.
Organic Eggs mean that all non-grass and grubs, supplemental feed, our chickens eat is certified organic. Certified organic feed is non-GMO and free of all toxic chemicals. In the pastures and woodlands where our hens roam, we never spray harmful pesticides or herbicides. Important, but only part of a healthy hen lifestyle.
Free Range Hens live in similar conditions, with the addition of limited outdoor access. The typical free-range setup provides about two square feet of space per hen, often a cement patio or dirt lot. Sounds nicer than it is.
Cage Free Eggs are sourced come from hens raised in cramped barns, often with several hens per square foot, with no access to the great outdoors. Not so friendly.
Our hens’ natural and wholesome diets foster brighter, more orangey-yellow yolks, and a fresher, richer taste. Our customers frequently write to us to share that Handsome Brook Farm pasture raised eggs are the best-tasting eggs, with superior baking performance in muffins and cakes. So it turns out, when you treat your hens with respect and care, they treat us well right back.
No way. Handsome Brook Farm’s pasture raised hens, their diets, and their eggs are all hormone and antibiotic free.
Our hens wake up each morning in our spacious barns. They typically will lay their eggs first thing. We open the barn doors so the hens can go outside to forage at their leisure, pecking at grass and bugs, socializing with one-another, lying around relaxing in the sun or shade. Instinctually the chickens return to the barn to sleep as the sun sets. We say our goodnights and tuck them in by closing the barn doors to keep them safe and sound.
A small percentage of our feed is soymeal, which is needed to supply the chickens with adequate protein for laying. We extensively looked into alternative protein sources, but have yet to find a non-animal source that meets our chickens’ nutritional needs. In our investigations we have consulted with allergists, who have advised us that the soy protein in the soymeal is broken down inside the chicken prior to egg-laying and is not found in eggs in sufficient amounts to trigger allergic reactions in most people. Of course, if you have a medical condition regarding soy, it’s essential you consult your physician. To date, we have not received any complaints regarding a soy reaction by any of our customers. In fact, many customers who usually have reactions to eggs (due to gluten intolerance) find that they can eat ours.
Even when the weather is bad, we open up the barn doors so any hardy souls can go outside if they wish. During severe weather like snowstorms and such, we do keep the chickens indoors for their safety. But even with the occasionally wild weather, our hens are still outside at least 300 days per year.
We certainly do. Here are a few:
• USDA Certified Organic
• American Humane Certified
Yes. A small percentage of the feed is soymeal, which is needed to supply the chickens with adequate protein for laying. We have looked into alternative protein sources, but have not yet found a non-animal source that meets our chickens’ nutritional needs. We have consulted with allergists, who have advised us that the soy protein in the soymeal is broken down inside the chicken prior to egg-laying and is not found in eggs in sufficient amounts to trigger allergic reactions in most people. Of course, if you have a medical condition regarding soy, it’s essential you consult your physician. To date, we have not received any complaints regarding a soy reaction by any of our customers. In fact, many customers who usually have reactions to eggs (due to gluten intolerance) find that they can eat ours.
American Humane is one of the oldest animal welfare certifiers in the United States. With more than 100 years of service to our animal friends, they have very high standards that they mandate all Handsome Brook farmers meet in order to be certified. All of their standards are set by a scientific advisory board comprised of experts in the fields of veterinary science, animal welfare, and sustainable agriculture. Check them out here: http://www.americanhumane.org/.
We’ve worked closely with poultry nutritionists and experts in the field to formulate supplemental feed provisions that support our hens at every stage of life. These rations are primarily designed to make sure they receive enough protein and calcium to adequately support their bodies through egg production. And since we open our barn doors wide during the day and encourage our hens to move freely between their roomy indoor space and our outdoor pastures, they can also eat grass, bugs, and other natural fare.
We work with a network of family farms across 10 states from the East Coast to the Midwest. All of our farms are small, family owned, and almost all are organic.