The Country Hen

Rating
CompanyThe Country Hen
Outdoor AccessConfinement/Unknown
Market AreaNew England, Mid-Atlantic
LocationHubbardston, MA
Market Area DetailNew England Region, Mid-Atlantic
Websitewww.countryhen.com
Total Score1185

The Country Hen should be commended for sharing information about their production practices openly with The Cornucopia Institute and participating in the scorecard project. However, none of the chickens that produce The Country Hen eggs currently have access to meaningful outdoor access. Their outdoor access consists of wooden porches that are covered on top and enclosed with chicken wire. The hens do not have access to living vegetation. The porches are not large enough for all the chickens to go outside at the same time, and are inaccessible to a large percentage of the birds. Only 10% of the birds could be outside atthe same time. Instead of committing to working toward meeting requirements for outdoor access, The Country Hen has been lobbying the National Organic Standards Board not to require enough outdoor space for every hen to be outside at the same time. Eggs from The Country Hen are available in stores nationwide.

CriteriaPointsComments
TOTAL (possible score is 2700) 1185
2-Egg Rating | Fair
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
40investor owned, produces some eggs and buys from others (Hidden Villa brand)
Flocks of 500 birds or fewer receive the most points based on Animal Welfare Approved standards.
Average Flock Size
0not disclosed
Single henhouses receive the most points.
Single or Double Henhouses
60single and double henhouses
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)
none
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certifier
85Natural Food Certifiers
Farms that are 100% certified organic receive the most points, farms/brands that are split conventional and organic receive fewer points.
Commitment to Organics
100all organic operation
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
801.5 sq ft/henÊ
Farms with perches, scratching areas and deep litter or year round pasture receive the most points.
Indoor Enrichments
60no perches, scratching areas, litter on floor
Farms that freshen litter weekly receive the most points.
Litter Management
0not disclosed
Farms that ensure birds have ample access to outdoors during daylight hours receive the most points.
Natural Light
90abundant natural light via plentiful windows
Farms that ensure 108ft2 per bird or more outdoors receive the most points.
Outdoor Space per Bird
10porches with .145 sq ft/hen
Farms that ensure birds are in mobile housing or 1 large door per 75 birds receive the most points.
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors
204 popholes per house
Farms that ensure birds have access to feed, water and shade outdoors receive the most points.
Outdoor Enrichments
60shade
Farms that can ensure outdoor access year round or those that only confine birds during inclement weather receive the most points.
Outdoor Space Exemptions
70confined seasonally
Farms that use mobile housing rotated on pasture every 1-2 days or weekly receive the most points.
Outdoor Management System
10fixed houses with porches
Farms that recycle chicken manure on the farm, using it for fertilizer, without causing nutrient pollution, receive the most points.
Manure Handling System
80sold off farm
Farms that never force molting receive the most points.
Forced Molting
100no forced molting
Farms that never trim or tip beaks receive the most points.
Beak Trimming
70within first 10 days
Farms where hens live an average of 3+ years or 1.6-3 years receive the most points.
Laying Hen Lifespan
601.5 years
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
0not disclosed
Farms where the death loss rate of hens is less than 3% annually receive the most points.
Death Loss Rate
0not disclosed
Farms that breed and incubate their own chicks, or raise their own pullets, receive the most points.
Pullets
80raised own pullets from chicks
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
0not disclosed
Farms where all feed is produced on the farm receive the most points.
Feed Produced on Farm
10no feed produced on farm nor are hens supplemented with pasture
Farms where 100% of the feed is grown in the US or Canada receive the most points.
US Grown Feed
0not disclosed
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy in Feed
Yessoy in feed ration
Farms that do not feed synthetic amino acids receive the most points.
Synthetic Amino Acids
70No more than 2 lbs per ton
Farms that participated in Cornucopia’s research providing full transparency receive the most points.
Disclosure Rate
30did not complete new survey, responses from old survey, no photos or producer list