We start with pasture eggs from White Oak Pastures. They are a multigenerational family farm that cooperates with nature to produce artisan products that are healthy, safe, nutritious and delicious. Care is given to ensure that all of their production practices are economically practical, ecologically sustainable, and that their animals are always humanely treated. They never falter in their determination to conduct our business in an honorable manner, for the sake of our animals, their land, and the people who eat their products.
“In 2011 we had 116 hens that laid eggs, mostly for ourselves and the employees here at the farm. Back then we’d often say “there’s absolutely no comparison to store-bought eggs.” And there still isn’t any comparison between the freshness of our eggs and those that come from factory farms with enclosed permanent housing. We firmly believe that animals should have unencumbered access to sunshine and fresh pasture and fresh water. We currently have 7,000 heritage-cross breeds of laying hens that supply us with fresh brown eggs every day. Our eggs can be found in the 8 Whole Foods in Atlanta, as we run a truck up each week to deliver our farm fresh eggs.
As with all the other species we raise on the farm, our laying hens are free-ranging on certified organic pasture. The mobile coops where they sleep and lay eggs mean more work for our employees compared to farms with permanent housing. But we think it’s worth the effort. And by not using artificial light and climate control, we see dips in production during the colder and hotter months of the year. But we know it’s worth the cost. We believe that embracing the seasonal rhythms of nature is part of holistic husbandry. We allow for natural molting instead of forcing a simultaneous molt (a common practice where farmers will withhold feed, water, and light in order to commence molting all at once in a flock). Furthermore, our laying hens work in partnership with the other medium and large ruminants on the farm in what’s known as the Serengeti Grazing Model. This model not only builds fertility in the pasture, but also offers the greatest health benefits to the hens while ensuring optimal nutrition within the eggs we sell. Our hens receive a specially blended feed which uses no animal byproducts. Beyond that, the hens receive lots of vegetable scraps from our four-acre certified organic vegetable garden. We follow protocols for Certified Humane and Animal Welfare Approved eggs and have submitted applications for both certifications.”