If you care about animal welfare, finding out the most humane egg brands is essential. I have done research and reached out to some pasture-raised egg brands to compile this Humane Eggs Directory that you can refer to when looking for kinder, healthier eggs. Some of these awesome companies even collaborated with us and provided a statement about their humane practices.
*Feature Photo Courtesy of Handsome Brook Farms. Thanks, you guys are awesome!
1. Happy Hens Pasture Raised
Pasture-Raised | Certified-Humane | Non-GMO | USDA Organic
Why we love them:
Happy Hens eggs come from hens raised in small flocks with lots of room to roam and live a natural life. All eggs at the farm 100 percent pasture-raised and the hens are fed organic food, free of corn and soy. Plus, they are top-rated by Cornucopia Institute as being the #1 organic egg farm in the nation. The farmers have a commitment to bring consumers eggs in the most humane and sustainable way possible from their Southern California pastures. I actually live in San Diego and eat their eggs frequently.
Statement from Happy Hens:
“We are a TRULY OUTDOOR, Pasture Raised, Family Owned and Operated Egg Ranch in the picturesque mountain of San Diego. We produce not only Certified Organic, NON-GMO Verified + Certified Humane eggs but also have been rated #1 in the NATION in regard to our practices in regard to raising our hens and lifestyle we provide for them! Unlike most pasture raised farms, our hens actually live in small numbers with mobile barns that we continually rotate through our Pastures creating a biodynamic environment where we get to harsh nature and work with it to REGENERATE the land we steward!”
2. Handsome Brook Farms
Pasture Raised | American Humane Certified | USDA Organic | Kosher
Why we love them:
Handsome Brook Farms takes the welfare of their hens seriously. All the girls are allowed to roam free on pastures and are fed organic food with no pesticides or GMOs. They are doing a lot of great work to change the system and help shift society away from industrial, numbers-based egg production, to small farms working together with animal welfare and sustainability at the forefront.
Q&A with Handsome Brook Farms:
- Living conditions for your hens: All of our hens are Pasture Raised (108+ sq feet of outdoor space per hen) on small family farms and fed a 100% organic diet.
- Your relationship with the hens: Our choices of how to treat our hens—what to plant on farm, what not to spray, what to feed and how to care for our hens—is at the foundation of Handsome Brook Farms. Our farmers are true stewards of the land and believe that organic pasture raising is the most sustainable and humane way to produce eggs. As part of a regional group, each farm is supported by farm supervisors and experts, to create a community of mutual support, education and logistics.
- Your location: Handsome Brook Farms was founded in upstate NY and our headquarters is now in New York City. Our network of just over 80 family farms spans three regions of the country: Northeast, Central, and MOARK.
- Your philosophy: At Handsome Brook Farms, we strive to act Handsomely in all that we do. This means treating our farmers and animals with dignity and the land with respect, while helping consumers access clean, responsibly-raised protein. Being Handsome means working hard to ensure personal, public, and planetary health are prioritized at every turn. With this at our core, we feel well-positioned to…bring the most sustainable eggs from our coops to your carton.
3. Vital Farms
Pasture-Rasied | Certfied Humane | Organic Option | Non-GMO Option
While labeled pasture raised, it’s been brought to my attention by readers and by research that their practices are not ethical and they are undergoing a false advertising lawsuit as, in reality, they perform inhumane treatment of their hens, who actually spend most of their time indoors. Instead of removing them from my list, I felt it would be better to address this issue so consumers are informed.
The lawsuit is PETA-affiliated, so the main sources I see online are through PETA: https://www.peta.org/media/news-releases/false-advertising-lawsuit-against-vital-farms-wins-right-to-proceed/
More on the case and Vital Farms response here: https://www.klgates.com/Litigation-Minute-Greenwashing-Case-Highlights-Threat-of-ESG-Litigation-to-Agribusinesses-7-5-2022
Thank you all!!
4. Carol’s Pasture Raised Eggs
Pasture-Raised | Certified Humane | USDA Organic
Why we love them:
Carol’s Pasture Raised Eggs come from hens in Virginia who are allowed to roam the pastures all day long and return to their warm, safe barns at night. The company offers pasture-raised eggs, organic pasture-raised eggs and free-range heirloom eggs. I have tried their Pasture-Raised eggs after finding them at Trader Joe’s, and the yolks were some of the deepest orange I’ve personally seen — they were delicious!
Statement from Carol’s Eggs:
We’re so grateful that you reached out to us here at Carol’s Eggs. We’re proud to be Certified Humane. This means our lovely chickens spend their days outside on plentiful grassy pastures or in their spacious barns where they have unlimited access to food and water and we work hard to maintain certain standards for animal welfare in accordance to Certified Humane’s standards. You can find out more about these standards via their website: https://certifiedhumane.org/
We have a few different offerings of our eggs:
- Our heirloom hens enjoy nutritionally balanced feed that contains whole cereal grains like corn, soybeans, marigold petals, alfalfa grasses, and naturally omega-3-rich flaxseed. They have access to clean, fresh, filtered water whenever they need it. And finally, they can forage for insects, flowers, and other delights in the pasture.
- Our organic pasture-raised hens are similar, but also Certified Organic. The hens also forage on organic pasture daily, so they also get a nutritious boost from the plants, bugs, worms, and grubs they find there.
- We also offer non-organic pasture-raised eggs. The feed has the same rich mix of nutrition as all our hens get but the corn, soy, and other grains are not Certified Organic or GMO free. This helps lower the cost to consumers while still providing them an excellent egg.
Regarding our farm locations and being pasture raised, our pasture-raised flocks are primarily located in Virginia, so nearly year-round they can enjoy their very spacious pastures all day long.
5. Utopihen Farms
Pasture-Raised | Certified Humane | Organic Option | Soy-Free Option
WHY WE LOVE THEM
We love Utopihen, not only for their cute name, but their firm sustainability and hen welfare practices. Each of their pasture-raised hens enjoy a vibrant life outdoors with sunshine and 110 square feet per hen of open pasture (exceeding the industry requirement of 108 square feet). The hens enjoy a natural diet of plants and insects, and never receive hormones or antibiotics. The company has both pasture-raised chicken and duck eggs available, and is located in New Holland, Pennsylvania with family farms partners scattered about Central PA..
Q&A with Utopihen Farms
- Living Conditions of Hens. Our Certified Humane Pasture Raised hens have access to the pasture for at least 6 hours every day (weather permitting). They are kept indoors at night for protection against predators and for a safe place to lay their eggs. Animal Care Standards for Pasture Raised requires 108 square feet of pasture per hen. We exceed the industry standards by giving our hens 110 square feet per hen — that’s a lot of open space! They can forage, run, perch, bathe and socialize as much or as little as they choose. Essentially, they can just be chickens. Our hens fill their diet with lots of grass, bugs, worms and anything else they can find in the dirt. This diet is supplemented by a healthy feed specific to whether the hen is organic, soy-free, or original.
- Your relationship with the hens. All our hens are raised on family-owned farms. This means, that the farmer owns the hens, and can spend lots of time lovingly caring for them and his farm. This model is better for the farmer and the hens, providing both with more independence.
- Your philosophy. At Utopihen Farms the future is bright. Not because we see it through rose-colored glasses, but because we work on making it so — and we know you do too. It’s why we’re committed to sustainable farming, the humane treatment of animals and bringing you pasture raised eggs. We hope you will join us on the journey to create a better world. After all, there is no Planet B … and there’s no time like now.
6. Alexandre Kids
Pasture-Raised | Certified Humane | USDA Organic
Why we love them
These eggs that hail from California are pasture-raised, certified humane, and USDA organic. The hens that spend their days clucking and preening and stretching their feathers and legs on the lush green grass. They are free to forage all they want outside and go inside to their nest in the coop to lay eggs. They live a natural life as hens should.
7. Blue Sky Family Farms
Pasture Raised | American Humane Certified
Why we love them
Blue Sky Farms is named as such because their hens get to roam freely beneath the beautiful blue skies. All the chickens are able to do all the things that make them happy, like perching, dust bathing, scratching the ground, and roaming the pasture for a healthy dose of fresh and and vitamin D.
8. Born Free Eggs
Pasture-Raised | Certified Humane | American Humane Certified | Organic Option
Why we love them
As the name suggests, we love these eggs because the hens are “Born Free.” They are born free to roam grassy pastures and live a healthy, happy life. The pasture-raised egg brand is a leader when it comes to adopting humane farming practices and animal care. Plus we love their eco-friendly and 100 percent recyclable packaging.
Pasture-Raised | Certified Humane | Organic Option | Non-GMO Option | Soy-Free Option
Why we love them
NestFresh gets their nutritious eggs from hens on small family farms across the country. They have a range of Pasture Raised Egg products in addition to their free range offerings. Pasture raised options include non-GMO, organic, and soy-free organic options, appealing to people with many different lifestyle and food preferences. They also have adorable blue and brown heirloom eggs that are pasture-raised as well.
10. Chino Valley Ranchers
Pasture-Raised Option | American Humane Certified | Kosher
Why we love them
This is the brand that I find at my local Sprouts in San Diego and I love them! Not only for the taste of course, but this company is committed to providing hens with a beautiful life full of sunshine, fresh air and water on family farms. The hens are free to forage for seeds, bugs and grass.
House-Brand Pasture-raised eggs
Many supermarkets carry their own house-brand of pasture-raised eggs. Grocery chains get their eggs from various pasture-raised, Certified Humane or American Humane Certified farms across the country. Being house-brand, they typically have a lower price than name brand and are so easy to find. It is amazing to see some supermarkets offering pasture-raised eggs as the norm.
- Natural Grocer’s House Brand Pasture-Raised
- Kirkland House Brand Pasture Raised (Costco)
- 365 House Brand Pasture-Raised (Whole Foods)
The purpose of this Humane Egg Directory is to allow consumers to make more ethical choices when shopping for groceries. By choosing pasture-raised egg brands, you support a more humane economy where hens can live happy, natural lives rather than torturous lives in cages. Keep a lookout for these brands next time your shopping for eggs.
Please note this page about pasture-raised egg brands is continuously under construction. Last updated Sunday March 5, 2023. To learn more about pasture-raised eggs, click here.
*Disclaimer: it’s been brought up to me by readers that eating eggs is inherently inhumane and there is no such thing as humane eggs. I 100% agree with this and condone veganism first and foremost. Unless you or a friend or neighbor literally have your own hens and have direct oversight of the hens care and treatment it is very difficult to verify that every stage of the hen and her offspring’s life are free of cruelty when it gets to the company level. This guide is meant to steer people who DO eat eggs to choose companies that are, without a doubt, more humane than others. If you have questions about a company’s practices beyond what is outlined here, please reach out to the company directly to find a brand aligned with your values.
24 thoughts on “Pasture-Raised Egg Brands: Humane Eggs Directory (2023)”
Hello, I didn’t see any mention of these brands avoiding chick culling. Do these brands participate in the killing of male chicks or receive their chickens from breeders who do? If so, I would not consider that humane. Just because the egg comes from a chicken who was treated well does not mean the process of getting that egg is ethical. I’ve considered reintroducing eggs, but I’m concerned about this. Thanks.
Vital farms is not ethical. After their hens can no longer lay eggs, they send them off to be slaughtered. Not sure how that is ethical. They are no longer of use to them so its time to have them killed. Sounds like the mainstream egg industry to me and I am sure that the other companies do the same, its not all about how the chickens are treated on the farm, its about the whole process of how they are treated.
I say this from the stance that I too am a Veggan, I buy eggs from backyard chickens, ethical farms that keep the chickens when they are no longer “useful” and let them live their natural lives till they die.
Hi Terry! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this crucial information. Can you please share more about how to go about finding these backyard chicken ethical farms ? This is a constantly evolving list and I’d love to tap into these smaller family farms and provide more resources for how to go about accessing (truly) compassionate eggs. I have come across a couple, and would love to expand on this/make the distinctions necessary!
I’m seriously considering introducing eggs back but it’s such a moral dilemma for me. How did you get past the idea that once the hens aren’t able to lay eggs that they are sent to slaughter? No company is keeping the non-laying hens around.
Hi Katie !! It’s not something I’ve gotten past and not something I take lightly and I honor and bring deepest gratitude to every egg I eat. The smaller and more local and closer you can get with your farmer the better to really know the story behind your eggs and treatment of the sweet precious hens. The truth is any level of animal manipulation is unacceptable and so I do struggle with profound sadness still; but I’ve made the conscious decision to sacrifice a small bit of my moral standards to reach a better state of health and live a fuller life, by eating only the bare minimum of the most humane eggs available to me. Besides the 1-2 pasture raised humane local eggs every few days I’m still 100% vegan, and feel so much better. But I 100% recognize that many people can be vegan without the need for eggs; but we need to acknowledge that every body is different and be mindful and only consume what we need in all areas of life. Take a deep inquiry and don’t over-consume; and see where else you can make a bigger shift to reduce your footprint in this world and increase your radius of compassion. Wishing you love, inspiration and health 💜
Yes, I will buy eggs from farms where they will be kept after their laying days are over. Near me, I can buy eggs at the NY Cornell Cooperative extension farm. When the farm I had a duck I could buy duck eggs there. I am not sure if commercial farms can make enough of a profit to stay in business by keeping non-laying hens. Cornell does not need to make a profit off the eggs; it is a nonprofit organization whose primary focus is on its gardens & vegetables. Because it rescues chickens, it will keep them in pasture raised conditions & sell their eggs, when available. I am almost entirely vegan but I do miss eggs both for their own flavor and for their use in baking and cooking. But, I cannot eat eggs comfortably since I know that even pasture raised eggs involve the culling of male chicks, selling to slaughter of hens past their laying time, & other invasive procedures done to the chickens (depending upon the farm). Most pasture raised eggs are more “humane” than other commercial eggs but their production still causes a lot of harm to chickens.
This is a beautiful example of conscious consumption thank you for your care for hens 💛
why is England’s Best not on your list
We purchased Vital Farms pasture-raised, organic eggs until we learned that they were being sued by PETA for animal cruelty–culling/killing the male chicks and debeaking their chickens. If they are free to roam outside, there is no need to subject them to this cruel practice. PETA, of course, has its own issues–high kill shelters. Many of our neighbors raise chickens but we don’t buy from them because of the feed. Chickens are not vegetarians so veggie feed is not a draw for us. They eat worms, insects and grubs so are not vegetarians.
I’ve updated Vital Farms on this list 💜
So I noticed you have Vital Farms on your list. I understand there is a class action lawsuit against them for the treatment of the hens that are used for eggs. Can you please speak on this? I am stopping my purchase of Vital Farm eggs until I can know for sure. Thanks!
Thank you Carol ! I will remove them from the list .. I myself don’t buy them because got some bad vibes and they’re so mainstream it seems.. this explains it !!
Consider pastures is another one you should look into.
Oh interesting ! Are they are US brand ? I’ll have to look out for them 🙂
Thank you for this article! This was very helpful.
You’re so welcome 🙂