Rachel’s Eggs (Bee Heaven Farms)

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersHomestead, FL
Websitehttps://beeheavenfarm.com/
Market AreaFL
Total Score1570

They write: “Our happy hens eat soy-free, certified organic feed, harvest gleanings from the farm, and they’re pastured in our tropical fruit grove in their chicken tractors. Wait……. their WHAT??? What’s a chicken tractor? It’s a bottomless, moveable pen, which provides shelter from the rain, roosting poles, nest boxes and protection from predators. We move them every few days to new grass, giving the hens regular access to fresh pasture, bugs, weeds and seeds. They, in turn, reduce the insect and weed population and fertilize the soil as they go along. We love it and so do the girls! Our farm has been certified organic since 1997. Our first laying flock began producing in November 2004. Every year we add some new chicks and cull our roosters and older hens. Our assortment of heritage breeds ensures that every pack of our eggs includes a rainbow of brown, white, green, blue and speckled eggs, in nearly every size imaginable (we eat the really teeny ones, and the occasional ones that are so big they’d get crushed in the egg carton).”

CriteriaPointsComments
TOTAL (possible score is 1700) 1570
5-egg
Brands that have close daily control over their egg production receive the most points.
Ownership Structure
100Single farm that produces all eggs sold
Brands that only produce organic products make the biggest investments — in time and money — in systems that benefit us all. Eggs sourced from a single operation receive the most points. Eggs of unclear origins and/or with poor oversight receives the fewest points.
Commitment to Organic Label
100Eggs come from single-farm source and farm only produces organic eggs
Additional certifications, depending on the credibility of the label, can demonstrate a commitment beyond the organic standards.
Other Labels and Standards
0None
Smaller flock sizes (the number of laying hens per housing structure) offer better animal welfare conditions.
Flock Size(s)
100High welfare flock sizes
The best housing offers space for natural behaviors and legitimate access to the outdoors through adequate exits.
Hen Housing and Exit Areas
100Uses mobile housing; bottomless chicken tractors
Adequate indoor spacing reduces stress and disease. With less crowding, birds can stretch their wings and more easily perform other natural behaviors.
Indoor Spacing
100Excellent indoor spacing (mobile coops)
High scoring brands provide enough space to allow each hen to fully utilize their outdoor area, and to perform instinctive behaviors without harming the environment.
Outdoor Spacing
100Excellent outdoor spacing (bottomless mobile coops)
High quality outdoor access includes vegetation, soil, and ample opportunities to forage year-round.
Quality of Outdoor Access
100High quality outdoor time in chicken tractors; rotated in diversified farm
Birds that are introduced to the outdoors early are more accustomed to spending time outdoors without fear or stress.
Outdoor Access Timing
100Chicks introduced to the outdoors early around 5-6 weeks
Year-round access to perches, scratching areas, deep litter, novel foodstuffs, and dust bathing contribute to quality of life.
Enrichments
100Rotated in orchard and on diversified farm; high quality outdoor enrichment
Chickens use their beaks to interact with the world. Authentic organic farmers account for this behavior, eschewing beak trimming.
Alterations
100Does not allow beak trimming or forced molting
Raising chicks on farm or buying them from certified organic hatcheries shows dedication to organic production from start to finish.
Chicks and Pullets
85Sources day-old chicks and sometimes hatches their own (with the local high school)
Brands that have low rates of deaths and utilize their spent hens for human consumption or similar score the highest.
Deaths, Culls, and Spent Hens
100Multiple uses for spent hens — some live natural lifespan, others used for human consumption; reasonable death rate
Brands that closely monitor and manage health of soil, native species, and water quality receive the most points.
Environmental Impacts
100Maintains 100% vegetation and runs diversified farm; long rotation; protects land during rainy season, mindful of water quality
Feed Sourcing90Feed is sourced from local organic mill
Brands that score well here go above and beyond to ensure the highest animal welfare, taking into consideration their hens’ safety and cleanliness, natural behavior, and stress levels.
Animal Welfare
95Good animal welfare benchmark
Cornucopia believes you have a right to transparency. Top brands share information with Cornucopia via a survey and cooperate with our own independent investigations.
Transparency
100Full and open transparency
Soy free and/or gluten free? (non-scoring)Layers are fed both soy and gluten products
Brands do not receive points, but are invited to submit the name of their Accredited Organic Certifier (suppliers may have different certifiers).
Organic Certifier (non-scoring)
Quality Certification Services
Extra credit is offered for various practices that go above-and-beyond in some form.
Extra Credit
0None