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Brand Name  Turtle Ledge Farm
Rating (5)    
Company by Turtle Ledge Farm
Location Hampton, CT
Market Area Connecticut
Web Site

Five-egg brands are at the top of the pecking order in terms of our 28 scoring criterion. And the brands, highlighted in green, such as this one, are providing "Enhanced Outdoor Access" to their birds. Their hens live in housing surrounded by a generous amount of outdoor space which they have access to. We've invited them to write a bit about their farm and operation…

Most of our egg sales are to our list of customers with whom we communicate via email. Some are subscribers who pick up a dozen eggs each week at the farm on a specified day. Others order eggs for pickup sporadically, and take their chances on availability. When we have extra eggs, we sell them to the Willimantic Food Co‐op, where they are made available to the public. We do not ship eggs to other locations.

Our goal has always been to give our hens an environment that is as close to ideal as possible. They have a comfortable coop, with constant access to a large run, excellent organic feed and daily “treats” from our own farm. In addition, they receive about one hour of “recess” each evening, when they have access to organically maintained pasture and (especially important) wooded areas. The things they find to eat do wonders for the eggs. We could sell many more eggs than we do, but if we kept more hens it could become difficult to maintain the quality of their lives and the quality of the product, so we intentionally stay small. In fact, our entire farming operation is for the purpose of making people aware of the fact that food can and should be of a much higher quality than what they've become accustomed to, and to encourage changes in consumer expectations and, as a result, changes in agricultural practices. Thus our emphasis is on diversity, quality, and sustainability rather than on sales and profit. We like to work with customers who are committed to getting a substantial percentage of their food from local, responsible organic producers like us.

We handle all communications via email and can be contacted at [email protected]

Criteria Points Comments
Ownership Structure 100 family farm, produce 100% of eggs
Average Flock Size 100 under 500 birds
Single or Double Henhouses 100 single
Other Certifications (bonus points)
Organic Certifier 100 Baystate Organic Certifiers
Commitment to Organics 100 100% organic
Indoor Space per Bird 100 3.4 sq ft/hen
Indoor Enrichments 100 perches, dust baths, scratching, and pasture access
Litter Management 100 litter freshened every 3-4 weeks plus year-round pasture access
Natural Light 100 Birds have ample access to the outdoors for natural light during all daylight hours
Outdoor Space per Bird 70 33 sq ft/hen
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors 100 more than one door per 75 birds
Outdoor Enrichments 60 shade
Outdoor Space Exemptions 90 outdoor access year-round  except during inclement weather
Outdoor Management System 70 fixed housing with rotated pasture
Manure Handling System 100 manure composted and used on farm
Forced Molting 100 no forced molting
Beak Trimming 100 no beak trimming
Laying Hen Lifespan 80 avg 2.25 years
Use of Spent Hens 20 composted on farm
Death Loss Rate 80 around 5%
Pullets 80 raise up from day old chicks
Pullet Access to Outdoors 100 4-5 weeks old
Feed Produced on Farm 75 organic veggies produced on farm in addition to pasture
US Grown Feed 70 actively work to secure US grown feed but can't be 100% certain
Soy in Feed Yes soy in feed ration
Synthetic Amino Acids 70 no more than 2 lbs per ton
Disclosure Rate 100 full disclosure
TOTAL (possible score is 2700) 2265
FIVE EGGS (Exemplary)