Cornucopia Institute Home Page
View Scorecard Criteria
Back to Ratings
Brand Name Farmers Hen House
Rating (4)    
Company by Farmers Hen House
Location Kalona, IA
Market Area Nationwide
Web Site

Four-egg brands have an excellent rating in terms of our 28 scoring criterion. We've invited them to write a bit about their farm and operation…

FARMERS HEN HOUSE is family owned and has been operated by the Miller family since 2000.
• We manage small, family farms – most within 30 miles of our processing facility.

• Almost all are owned by Amish and Mennonite farmers. Their businesses are family affairs and many harvest their eggs by hand.

Farmers Hen House is proud of the way our hens are raised. Our organic free-range and pasture-raised organic hens are:

• Allowed free range. In addition to having cage-less, open barns, our hens flow between the indoors and the outdoors. When outside, hens roam grassy pens with plenty of room to be chickens! Organic Free-Range hens are guaranteed 2 sq. ft./bird while outdoors, and, for our Pasture-Raised organic hens, they are guaranteed 108 sq. ft./bird when outdoors.

• Never confined: Our hens are never confined or placed in cages. Our barns have perches, privacy nests, dust bathing and scratching areas.

• Certified humane raised and handled farms. Animal welfare is of upmost concern and we certify our farms annually with the Humane Farm Animal Care program. Along with annual inspections, Farmers Hen House maintains a compliance officer to ensure our farmers are on track with the USDA organic certification program and the Certified Humane program.

• Handled by environmentally responsible farmers. Raising organic hens begins with a commitment to organic farming. Organic agriculture results in healthy, chemical-free soil. Many farms in our area are passed down from generation to generation and it is rewarding to support and maintain family farming practices and not support factory farms.

• Pasture-Raised organic hens have more land designated as outdoor access in order to provide additional square footage per bird. Good for the bird, good for the land, and great for you! 108 sq. ft./bird!
• Fed a 100 percent organic non-GMO diet. In fact, many of our farmers grow the grains right on their own farms.

• No genetic engineering! Our chicks are born and raised organic. Our farmers do not plant bioengineered seeds!

Criteria Points Comments
Ownership Structure 70 family owned business that contracts with Amish family farms for egg supply
Average Flock Size 60 flocks average 7,000 in size
Single or Double Henhouses 100 single
Other Certifications (bonus points) 60 Certified Humane
Organic Certifier 85 GOA, IOCP, OEFFA
Commitment to Organics 80 company markets organic and cage-free; farms do either one or the other but not both
Indoor Space per Bird 80 1.5 sq ft/hen 
Indoor Enrichments 80 perches, dust baths, scratching areas but not year round outdoor access
Litter Management 80 litter freshened as needed, removed after each flock
Natural Light 90 curtain sides allow abundant natural light
Outdoor Space per Bird 60 minimum of 2 up to 8 sq ft/hen
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors 70 one door for every 1,000 birds
Outdoor Enrichments 80 water, shade
Outdoor Space Exemptions 70 confined seasonally
Outdoor Management System 60 fixed houses with non-rotated pasture
Manure Handling System 100 manure recycled on farm
Forced Molting 100 no forced molting
Beak Trimming 70 beak trimming within first 10 days
Laying Hen Lifespan 40 hens live 60-70 weeks
Use of Spent Hens 100 sold live for food, eggs
Death Loss Rate 100 under 3% annually
Pullets 70 some raise own chicks, other purchase ready-to-lay pullets from local farmers
Pullet Access to Outdoors 20 20 weeks old
Feed Produced on Farm 80 some grain is produced on farms along with pasture
US Grown Feed 60 actively work to secure domestically grown feed
Soy in Feed Yes soy in feed ration
Synthetic Amino Acids 70 No more than 2 lbs per ton
Disclosure Rate 70 missing addresses of producers
TOTAL (possible score is 2700) 2005
FOUR EGGS (Excellent)