Have questions about our free-range eggs? Here we answer your most frequently asked questions.
Pasture Raised should not be confused with pasteurized. They are two completely different ball fields; there is no association between the two. In fact, the one is a semi-processed food while the other is a healthy, raw, earthy product. Read further.
Nature’s Yoke Pasture Raised eggs are from hens roaming in pasture grasslands as the weather permits. We do not heat treat the eggs or irradiate them to prevent spoilage. Instead we keep them cool and raw, these eggs must be kept cool or they are subject to spoilage if mishandled. We intend to preserve the natural qualities of the nutrients inside the shell as much as we can. Given proper care and conditions, eggs were designed by the Creator to be safe food. We believe our customers want to buy these eggs in the raw, natural state. We feel the hen’s health should be such that the eggs she produces should be healthful for human consumption.
But adversely, the concept of egg pasteurization is on making eggs safe to eat that come from the large conventional style housing of caged hens. But these pasteurized eggs have become, in a way, a semi-processed food. Basically they heat the eggs, usually with steam to kill bacteria on the surface of the shell. Interestingly, some of these pasteurized eggs are being sold in cartons picturing grassy pasture lands. Is this an attempt to gain customers who do not understand the difference?
Nature’s Yoke commits to presenting their items in a clear and honest way. A few extra dollars gained with misleading pictures will ultimately receive a high cost to any business. Please let us know how we might improve our service to you, your stores and consumers.
“While Westfield/Nature’s Yoke is not a hatchery and have no birds of our own, we are aware that culling cockerels is industry practice. The male chicks are sent through a high speed processor right after they are hatched. Like you, we find the practice unacceptable and applaud researchers who are working to determine the sex of the chick before it is developed. Once the technology is available, we will require our farms to source their chicks from humane hatcheries.”
According to TreeHugger.com Scientists in Germany have figured out a way to identify male eggs prior to hatching, which eliminates need for live culling. See the article below for more information.
No, we do not debeak our hens. We follow Certified Humane’s guidelines for humane reasons to lightly trim the hen’s beak at 10 days of age or younger. This is done to prevent the hens from pecking at each other. You can read more about Certified Humane’s guidelines for beak trimming here.
Our chickens eat a healthy diet which includes: grains, vitamins, grass, worms, insects and other outdoor foraging. The hens that lay our organic eggs are fed certified organic non-GMO grain and also have access to the outdoors like our other chickens.
Is there soy in the feed?
Our hens are fed soybeans except for the hens that lay our Soy Free eggs. In addition, our hens are fed corn and wheat.
What about Omega-3?
Some of our hens are fed flax seed in their diet. These hens are the ones that lay our Omega-3 enriched eggs.
Our small family farms are located throughout Lancaster County and the surrounding areas. The amount of birds on our farms generally range from 1,500-14,000. This is considered small in comparison to large, commercial barns. Unlike commercial barns that only provide a small amount of space for each bird, we give our hens plenty of room, including outdoor access, and we ensure they enjoy natural sunlight as well.
A simple test can help you determine if the egg is fresh. Fill a bowl with cold water and place the egg in it. The water should be at least twice the height of an egg. If the egg sinks to the bottom it’s fresh! If it starts to stand up then it’s ok to eat but you should eat it as soon as possible. If the egg floats to the top of the water you should not eat it.
There is no special trick to the shell color of our eggs! The brown doesn’t mean they are more fresh or more natural in comparison to white eggs. The color of the egg depends on the breed of the chicken. Regardless of the color, the taste and nutrition are the same.
Nature’s Yoke Pasture Raised eggs come from chickens that are kept on abundant grassy pastures, free to roam unhindered and at liberty to peck and scratch at will. The all-natural feed and environment produces a healthy chicken and an egg that is 100% natural and bursting with nutrients. Our pasture raised eggs are hand-gathered, since most of our pastured farms do not use modern machinery or electricity. Just like all of our eggs, our pasture raised eggs are produced on small sustainable farms.
Nature’s Yoke Eggs do not have an actual expiration date. However, each carton does have a sell-by date on the side of it. If you are concerned about the quality of the eggs after the sell-by date, the safest thing to do is to dispose of the eggs. Most eggs are good for about 2 weeks after the sell-by date. Always remember to cook eggs thoroughly to reduce any concerns.
Various factors affect the size of an egg. The first factor is the age and weight of the bird. Younger, lighter-weight birds tend to lay lighter, smaller eggs; on the other hand, older, heavier birds tend to lay heavier, larger eggs. Another factor is the breed of the bird. Differing genetics, makeup, and structure of the bird all affect the size of the egg. The third factor is the nutrition the chicken is receiving. The amount of protein, the quality of the grains, and sufficient water all play a part in affecting egg size. Finally, the size of an egg is affected by the weather. Too many hot days in a row result in smaller eggs. Even though there are many factors affecting egg size, the largest percentage of eggs that are laid are either large or extra-large.
Egg size is determined by the weight of an egg, not the circumference. Typically, there are 5 sizes of eggs: small, medium, large, extra large, and jumbo. Small eggs are 1.5 ounces per egg, medium eggs are 1.75 ounces per egg, large eggs are 2 ounces per egg, extra large eggs are 2.25 ounces per egg, and jumbo eggs are 2.5 ounces per egg.
Size does not affect the taste of the egg, so take your pick!
Our trifold plastic cartons are made from recycled plastic and give extra protection to the eggs as they are moved and handled. It also allows you to see the eggs without opening the carton. Our pulp cartons are made from recycled paper and are biodegradable.
Both types of cartons are recyclable and we ask our customers to close the loop by recycling after use.
To email our team please use our contact form. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
We’re also available through the following methods:
165 North Shirk Road
New Holland, PA 17557
Call or Text: (717) 925-0171
We’d love to hear what you have to say! Interact with us and let us know how you’re using our products.
We’d love for you to try our products! You can find them in many grocery stores on the east coast. For a full list and to find a store near you visit our Store Locator Page. Our eggs can be found in stores in the following states:
- New York
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
If our eggs aren’t in your area feel free to talk to your local store’s dairy manager. We’d love to work with them to get you the best product possible!
To buy our eggs online… Click HERE
We at Nature’s Yoke do not use any of these and believe that our chickens are happier and healthier without them.
No artificial or added hormones are used for poultry production in the United States. This practice has been banned and out of use since the 1950s.
Great question! The main factor that makes an egg organic is the chicken’s diet. The PCO board monitors hen care and procedures pertaining to egg production. They ensure that we follow the qualifying regulations including outdoor access, feeding only non-GMO organic grains, and not using antibiotics.
Our organic eggs are certified by Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO), a USDA-credited organic certifying agency. We meet or exceed the standards for this certification as well as the standards set by Certified Humane.
All of our eggs at Nature’s Yoke are free-range. This means that our hens have access to outdoor pastures with plenty of room to peck and scratch while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. Our healthy hens are given no antibiotics or animal by-products. They are raised according to the Certified Humane standards (see below). We believe it pays off with high-quality products.
Certified Humane inspects each of our family-owned, sustainable farms. They ensure that each barn has plenty of room for the number of birds and adequately supplies feed and water. They also inspect for cleanliness of barns, lighting, air quality, number of perches, nesting boxes and more.
Below are the standards from Certified Humane for Free-Range:
“Free-Range: is a management system in which adult birds are kept in houses with daily access to an uncovered outdoor area weather permitting. The minimum outdoor space requirement is 2 square feet (0.19 square meters) per bird to meet the Animal Care Standards for Free Range. All other standards must be met.”