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Do Free Vary Hens Actually Go Exterior?

Right here at Nellie’s, we firmly consider that hens are happiest once they have free entry to sunshine, contemporary air, inexperienced grass, yummy grubs, and all the opposite enrichment that the good outside supply. And for that straightforward purpose, we require that every of our accomplice farms implement the identical “out of doors coverage” for his or her flocks with the intention to make sure that each hen has the prospect to reside her greatest, most fulfilling life. So what’s that coverage, anyway? And does free vary actually imply the hens get to spend their days outside? Let’s dig a bit of deeper into what out of doors entry means for the hens on Nellie’s Free Vary farms.

What does free vary imply for egg-laying hens?

Though the time period “free vary” is outlined for egg-laying hens by the USDA, these pointers lack element and are much more rigorous when licensed by a third-party like Licensed Humane. All of our farms comply with or exceed Licensed Humane’s requirements, which implies our flocks have each day entry to grassy pastures, are by no means put in cages, and have a minimal of two sq. toes if pasture per hen. As you could already know, this paints fairly a unique image than that of a cage-free way of life, which is one with none entry to out of doors pastures the place the hens can show pure behaviors like perching, mud bathing, and foraging for bugs and grubs. For sure, we consider it is important that hens have entry to the outside.

How usually do free vary hens go outdoors?

Per Licensed Humane’s necessities, all Nellie’s hens are given each day entry, climate allowing, to an uncovered out of doors pasture for no less than 6 hours per day throughout daytime. Licensed Humane additionally required that hens have easy accessibility to exits of their coop, permitting multiple hen to make her manner outside or again indoors at a time. It must also be famous that our farmers by no means drive their flocks outside; they put the “free” in free vary by giving freedom of option to every hen.

Do free vary hens have a coop?

It is truly a standard false impression that free vary and even pasture-raised hens spend their total lives outside! In truth, Licensed Humane requires all hens to have entry to a heat, appropriately-sized shelter that may shield them from wind, rain, snow, and extreme warmth. And on the subject of risks like predators, the most secure place for a flock is indoors. So whereas it may be tempting to let the women roam from sunup to sunset, our farmers are at all times cautious to maintain a detailed eye on climate and their environment in case their hens have to be ushered again indoors whereas a close-by hawk or excessive heatwave passes.

When ought to free vary hens keep inside?

Although we make sure that our hens have the chance to spend as a lot of the day as doable outside, there are a number of the explanation why our farmers would possibly deliver their hens again inside. For every exception to regular out of doors entry, our farmers log the small print of their resolution and the components that influenced it. Concerns embrace:


If the surface temperature is beneath 45 or above 93 levels Fahrenheit, it is most secure to maintain the hens inside the place the local weather is extra average.

Inclement climate

Rain, snow, and standing water can all pose a risk to our hens’ immune system, so on stormy days, it is best to maneuver them to the coop the place it is dry.

Laying time

Most of our hens are accustomed to laying their eggs throughout the early hours of the morning, so our farmers are inclined to hold them good and comfortable of their coop earlier than sunup. This helps encourage the hens to put eggs of their nests moderately than within the pasture.

Excessive-risk durations

Throughout high-risk durations the place a illness like Avian Influenza is a recognized hazard for that space, in session with our crew of specialists, we could request that our farmers hold their flocks inside.

Creating areas conducive to enrichment, following probably the most rigorous free vary requirements doable, and placing our hens’ happiness and well being first are just some of the methods we have ensured that you just and your loved ones can at all times belief that you just’re getting the most effective eggs on the market. We’re proud to show “free vary” on our cartons, however we’re much more happy with what it means; that our eggs come from hens with the liberty to benefit from the nice outside and all that our pastures have to supply.


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