chickens with a nice view

Blue Sky Family Farms Demystifies The Egg Section

Cage free! All Natural! Free Range! Pasture Raised! The egg aisle at the supermarket practically screams at you as you stand there, wondering what all the labels actually mean, with the sneaking suspicion you may not be buying what you thought. Thing is, you’re probably right. It takes a little digging to understand them all, and especially to find a company that truly cares about the welfare of their chickens and the planet.

Blue Sky Family Farms is one of those brands. Their goal is to create a symbiotic relationship between chickens and the environment, and that means getting them outside on green pastures under blue skies and letting them do what comes most naturally. It’s a pretty simple theory; chickens that behave naturally are healthy, and healthy chickens lay delicious eggs.

It’s a theory informed by decades of experience raising chickens as well as tons of academic study by John Brunnquell, PhD, President and CEO of Egg Innovations, parent company of the Blue Sky Family Farms brand. A poultry scientist with years of chicken science under his belt, John employs sustainable, ethical, regenerative practices across all of his farming partnerships.

“Regenerative agriculture, at its core, aims to combat climate change and improve the ecosystem of the planet,” says Brunnquell. “Blue Sky Family Farms is proud to be a steward in regenerative egg farming and is on a mission to help our animals, people and planet lead healthier lives.”

Unlike other egg brands, Blue Sky Family Farms actually owns the chickens. From when the chicks hatch to their retirement, Blue Sky Family Farms is involved in every step of the hens’ life cycle. Each farm provides the hens with proprietary premium feed sourced from their own feed mill and even designs their barns based on what the chickens like best. These chickens really have the life, and that’s the point.

So, what’s behind the labels?

All Natural – Basically means nothing. It doesn’t tell you how the animals were raised, what they were fed, or if antibiotics or hormones were used.

Cage Free – This means that although chickens aren’t in cages, they’re crammed together in indoor holding pens and will most likely never see the light of day.

Free Range – Now we’re getting somewhere. These chickens get some sort of access to the outdoors but there are different standards for available outside space. The minimum space is 2 sq ft per bird. Chickens want more than that – a better standard is 22 sq ft or over 10 acres per flock.

Pasture Raised – These chickens truly live large. Pasture raised chickens have access to green pastures all day long and have a minimum of 108 square feet per hen or over 50 acres per flock.

Hopefully, the next time you find yourself staring at all those labels in the egg aisle, you’ll know exactly what to do!

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