Cornucopia Institute Home Page
View Scorecard Criteria
Back to Ratings
Brand Name Alderfer Eggs
Rating (3)    
Company by Alderfer Eggs
Location Telford, PA
Market Area East Coast
Web Site

Three-egg brands are generally larger vertically integrated operations and/or purchase eggs from multiple farmers (or work with farmers on a contract basis supplying the chickens, feed and management oversight). Based on our analysis they appear to all meet the minimum USDA standards for legal outdoor access and many deserve credit for 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...

Alderfer Poultry Farm is a 5th generation family farm overlooking the peaceful, rolling hills of Southeastern, Pennsylvania. In 1998 our family decided to make a healthy change, both for our customers and our hens, by removing cages from our hen houses and transitioning our farm to Certified Organic. Today we have our chickens, feed mill, and land Certified Organic. In recent years, Alderfer's has been able to grow beyond our home farm by partnering with additional family farms in Southeast and Central PA. One of our goals is to empower other family farms to be sustainable for future generations. However, despite our growth, we continue to strive to remain personable with our customers. As organic, family farmers we recognize the impact our farming techniques have on both the hens and the land and we remain committed to our responsibility as good stewards of these resources.

Criteria Points Comments
Ownership Structure 70 family farm
Average Flock Size 20 5,000 to 25,000
Single or Double Henhouses 100 single
Other Certifications (bonus points) 30 some barns certified humane
Organic Certifier 85 PCO
Commitment to Organics 80 home farm 100% organic; partners with other farms for conventional
Indoor Space per Bird 50 1.2 sq ft/hen 
Indoor Enrichments 100 perches, dust baths, scratching areas
Litter Management 80 Freshened as needed
Natural Light 80 40-90% natural light
Outdoor Space per Bird 10 .2 to 1.2 sq ft/bird
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors 40 8-12 per house, 1 ft x 2 ft
Outdoor Enrichments 60 shade
Outdoor Space Exemptions 70 outdoor access seasonal
Outdoor Management System 20 fixed housing, non-rotated, some houses have access to pasture
Manure Handling System 90 manure recycled on the farm, sold to neighboring famrs
Forced Molting 100 no forced molting
Beak Trimming 70 trimming prior to 10 days
Laying Hen Lifespan 60 1.5 years
Use of Spent Hens 100 sold live for food
Death Loss Rate 60 5-7%
Pullets 80 raises own pullets
Pullet Access to Outdoors 40 move to layer barns at 17 weeks
Feed Produced on Farm 80 some grain produced on farm
US Grown Feed 70 aim to use grain grown on farm or buy domestically
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) 1815
THREE EGGS (Very Good)