WARSAW, Ind., Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Agricultural Department recently reported that approximately 8.6 percent of the country's egg-laying hens, or 23.6 million birds, were Cage Free as of September 2015 – up from 15 million birds four years ago and 9.1 million eight years earlier. While large restaurant/food chains and consumer packaging companies are adopting Cage Free operations, Egg Innovations, parent company of the Blue Sky Family Farms brand, shares why Cage Free is not enough – and their Free Range and Pasture Raised egg productions create more humane, ethical and higher quality eggs.
As part of the initiative, Egg Innovations announces the completion of the egg producer's first 10-acre Free Range operation at the Mahlon Graber farm just outside of Fort Wayne, Ind.
"This is another major milestone for us to lead the industry in the humane production of Free Range ethical eggs," said John Brunnquell, founder and president of Egg Innovations and the Blue Sky Family Farms brand. "And because our chickens get outdoors on pasture, customers keep telling us that our eggs look and taste better. This inspired us to create the 'Freedom Tastes Better' campaign to help educate America on making the more humane choice. Unlike Cage Free, we think outside of the barn for our hens."
Driven by consumer demand, an increasing number of companies, such as McDonalds, Starbucks, and Costco, are embracing the transition to Cage Free eggs over the next five to 15 years. While this is a more humane approach than Caged, the hens spend their entire lives inside a barn. True Free Range and Pasture Raised egg production, such as the ones used for Blue Sky Family Farms, provides hens the freedom to roam not only inside barns, but also outside, allowing them to do what chickens naturally do: forage, scratch, dust-bathe, flap wings, perch, nest and interact socially.
Conventional Caged egg programs, which make up more than 90 percent of eggs sold in America, produce basic white eggs, and chickens are confined to an indoor cage with just 8 x 10 inches of space per bird for life.
The new Free Range facility outside Fort Wayne provides more than 21 square feet per hen outdoors (compared to the one square foot per hen with typical Cage Free indoor facilities), extended temperature ranges for additional seasonal outside access, along with state-of-the-art barn building, equipment and systems. Additionally, Egg Innovations' Animal Welfare Officer, Kristie Lane, oversees the flocks' operations from placement through certified humane processing at retirement.
While Egg Innovations is committed to humane egg production, Free Range and Pasture Raised eggs also look and taste great as a result of their thicker shells, high orange yolks and thick egg whites.
With its tag line, "Ethical Eggs for the Humane Race," the Blue Sky Family Farms brand holds to the highest Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) "Certified Humane" standards for Free Range and Pasture Raised eggs.
In addition to great tasting eggs, families can feel good that their purchase supports Family Farmers in America, as Egg Innovations is an industry-leading partner providing some of the longest farmer contracts and best financial returns.
More about Blue Sky Family Farms
The Blue Sky Family Farms brand, proudly presented by Egg Innovations, produces "Ethical Eggs for the Humane Race." Egg Innovations is the nation's largest 100 percent Free Range and Pasture Raised egg company that believes in moving animal welfare forward and bringing family farming back. For more information, please visit www.BlueSkyFamilyFarms.com and www.EggInnovations.com.
SOURCE Egg Innovations