SOVA Farm

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersNorwich, NY
Websitewww.sovafarm.com/
Market AreaStores in CT, online in CT, NJ, & NY
Total Score2430

They write: “The farm is nestled among the rolling hills of Norwich, New York. It has naturally defined fields and certified organic pastures, a stream going through the middle of the farm and a handful of ponds. It was originally established in the early 19th century and was a part of the Underground Railroad that operated in this area between 1830-1860 . For much of its time it has been used as a dairy farm, similar to the surrounding farms. It was a hobby farm for the past few decades before becoming once again a working one under SOVA.

Rose and her husband Ed wanted a life style change that would allow them to spend more time together while becoming more productive and closely attuned to the community around them. So they purchased a farm in upstate New York and named it SOVA Farms which stands for “Stewards of Vast Abundance.” They feel blessed to be able to work the land to the betterment of the soil, the grass, the animals and their customers.

SOVA Farms is already famous for its certified organic soy-free eggs from free ranging, pastured hens. They also produce delicious organic broiler and heritage chickens. In fall of 2017, Saint Croix hair sheep arrived to the farm and gave birth to organic lamb the following spring.

The decision to have the farm and animals certified organic was an easy one, and even though it means adhering to exacting standards, the customers can not only be assured of high quality food but also know that Rose and Ed are practicing humane and sustainable farming.”

CriteriaPointsComment
TOTAL (possible score is 2600) 2430
5-Egg Rating | Top Rated
Family farms and farmer cooperatives that market their own eggs receive the most points. Corporations that do not produce any eggs receive the fewest points.
Ownership Structure
100Family farm
Flocks of 500 birds or fewer receive the most points based on Animal Welfare Approved standards.
Average Flock Size
90Smaller flock sizes
Single henhouses receive the most points.
Single or Double Henhouses
100Single/mobile housing
Animal Welfare Approved and Biodynamic certifications receive the most bonus points. Producers are not penalized for not having additional certifications beyond organic.
Other Certifications (bonus points)
0None
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certifier
100Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA)
Farms that are 100% certified organic receive the most points, farms/brands that are split conventional and organic receive fewer points.
Commitment to Organics
100Dedicated to organics
More than 1.8 square feet per bird receives the most points, less than 1.2 square feet receives the fewest.
Indoor Space per Bird
100Full outdoor access for birds, weather permitting
Farms with perches, scratching areas and deep litter or year round pasture receive the most points.
Indoor Enrichments
100Perches, scratching areas; seasonal outdoor access
Farms that freshen litter weekly receive the most points.
Litter Management
100Litter freshened regulalry where applicable and composted
Farms that ensure birds have ample access to outdoors during daylight hours receive the most points.
Natural Light
100Abundant natural light
Farms that ensure 108 square feet per bird or more outdoors receive the most points.
Outdoor Space per Bird
100Ample space provided to hens
Farms that ensure birds are in mobile housing or 1 large door per 75 birds receive the most points.
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors
100Birds kept on rotated pasture in mobile housing
Farms that ensure birds have access to feed, water and shade outdoors receive the most points.
Outdoor Enrichments
100Feed, water, and shade outdoors; legitimate outdoor access and foraging opportunities
Farms that can ensure outdoor access year round or those that only confine birds during inclement weather receive the most points.
Outdoor Space Exemptions
90Outdoor access year-round except during inclement weather
Farms that use mobile housing rotated on pasture every 1-2 days or weekly receive the most points.
Outdoor Management System
95Rotated pasture with mobile housing, with large barn during winter that opens to the outdoors during the winter
Farms that recycle chicken manure on the farm, using it for fertilizer, without causing nutrient pollution, receive the most points.
Manure Handling System
100Manure composted for use
Farms that never force molting receive the most points.
Forced Molting
100No forced molting whatsoever
Farms that never trim or tip beaks receive the most points.
Beak Trimming
100No beak trimming
Farms where hens live an average of 3+ years or 1.6-3 years receive the most points.
Laying Hen Lifespan
80Average 18 month lifespan
Farms where spent hens die a natural death, are sold for meat, or are processed and sold for human consumption, receive the most points.
Use of Spent Hens
100Sold to other farms or sold as organic, spent stew hens
Farms where the death loss rate of hens is less than 3% annually receive the most points.
Death Loss Rate
90Between 3-5%
Farms that breed and incubate their own chicks, or raise their own pullets, receive the most points.
Pullets
50Purchases pullets from outside source
Farms that allow pullets access to the outdoors within the first 6 weeks of life, or within 6-10 weeks, receive the most points.
Pullet Access to Outdoors
90Pullets are purchased and have immediate access to outdoors
Farms where all feed is produced on the farm receive the most points.
Feed Produced on Farm
75Some feed (fodder, forages, vegetables) is produced on farm along with pasture/vegetation
Farms where 100% of the feed is grown in the US or Canada receive the most points.
US Grown Feed
100Feed from domestic grower
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy in Feed
Soy free
Farms that do not feed synthetic amino acids receive the most points.
Synthetic Amino Acids
70No more than 2 lbs per ton of DL methionine is used in feed ration
Farms that participated in Cornucopia’s research providing full transparency receive the most points.
Disclosure Rate
100Very transparent