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Brand Name Country Hen
Rating (2)    
Company by Country Hen
Location Hubbardston, MA
Market Area New England region, mid-atlantic
Web Site

Two-egg brands are generally larger vertically integrated operations and/or they purchase eggs from multiple farmers (or work with farmers on a contract basis supplying the chickens, feed and management oversight). Based on our analysis a number of them do not appear to meet the minimum USDA standards for legal outdoor access (although compliance might vary and you should look at the narrative regarding the brand). All these brands lose credit for not being fully transparent with Cornucopia researchers, and indirectly their organic community customers (Note: please see score on disclosure rate below – the score on this question also relates to their willingness to have their farms open to our inspection and/or supply required photographs of all four sides of each chicken coop producing their eggs). We've invited them to write a bit about their farm and operation…

The Country Hen should be commended for sharing information about their production practices openly with The Cornucopia Institute and participating in the scorecard project. However, none of the chickens that produce The Country Hen eggs currently have access to meaningful outdoor access. Their outdoor access consists of wooden porches that are covered on top and enclosed with chicken wire. The hens do not have access to living vegetation. The porches are not large enough for all the chickens to go outside at the same time, and are inaccessible to a large percentage of the birds. Only 10% of the birds could be outside atthe same time. Instead of committing to working toward meeting requirements for outdoor access, The Country Hen has been lobbying the National Organic Standards Board not to require enough outdoor space for every hen to be outside at the same time.

Eggs from The Country Hen are available in stores nationwide.

Criteria Points Comments
Ownership Structure 40 investor owned, produces some eggs and buys from others (Hidden Villa brand)
Average Flock Size 0 not disclosed
Single or Double Henhouses 60 single and double henhouses
Other Certifications (bonus points) none
Organic Certifier 85 Natural Food Certifiers
Commitment to Organics 100 all organic operation
Indoor Space per Bird 80 1.5 sq ft/hen 
Indoor Enrichments 60 no perches, scratching areas, litter on floor
Litter Management 0 not disclosed
Natural Light 90 abundant natural light via plentiful windows
Outdoor Space per Bird 10 porches with .145 sq ft/hen
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors 20 4 popholes per house
Outdoor Enrichments 60 shade
Outdoor Space Exemptions 70 confined seasonally
Outdoor Management System 10 fixed houses with porches
Manure Handling System 80 sold off farm
Forced Molting 100 no forced molting
Beak Trimming 70 within first 10 days
Laying Hen Lifespan 60 1.5 years
Use of Spent Hens 0 not disclosed
Death Loss Rate 0 not disclosed
Pullets 80 raised own pullets from chicks
Pullet Access to Outdoors 0 not disclosed
Feed Produced on Farm 10 no feed produced on farm nor are hens supplemented with pasture
US Grown Feed 0 not disclosed
Soy in Feed Yes soy in feed ration
Synthetic Amino Acids 70 No more than 2 lbs per ton
Disclosure Rate 30 did not complete new survey, responses from old survey, no photos or producer list
TOTAL (possible score is 2700) 1185