All our farmers live in Pennsylvania on their own Certified Humane family farms. In fact, every member of the family takes part in caring for Nature’s Yoke’s free-range hens, and we spend a lot of time visiting our farmers, their families and the hens because we consider them to be part of our family too — and family matters very much to us. Because we offer three types of free-range eggs, each farm has a different focus: Organic Free-Range, Legacy Free-Range or Omega-3 Free-Range. Even though our partner farmers raise eggs for us, they own their own hens and make decisions about how to run their farms while we provide all the support and guidance they need. You can learn more about Nature’s Yoke farms and the partnerships we build and nurture with our farmers here.
Nature’s Yoke is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business and our eggs are provided by approximately 26 Certified Humane free-range family farms, and we’re always adding more farm partners. Our farmers own their own hens, which is a rare approach in our industry and helps our farmers build more sustainable, thriving businesses. Every day, we celebrate the fact that, as we grow, we can bring more farms into the Nature’s Yoke family and further support small agriculture in the U.S. (versus big ag). Each of our free-range farms produce a different type of Nature’s Yoke egg, and here’s how many we have of each: Organic Free-Range: 7 Legacy Free-Range Brown: 16 Legacy Free-Range White: 1 Omega-3 Free-Range: 1
No, our eggs are not pasteurized. Because everyone has a different use for them, we leave it to you to decide whether or not your eggs should be pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of killing pathogens through heat. This can be done safely from your own home. Because most people are going to be using eggs in cooking or baking, pasteurization is not necessary. The only time you would need to pasteurize eggs would be if you were using them raw. If you plan on making eggnog or your own mayonnaise, then you might want to pasteurize your eggs first to make sure it is safe.
Free-Range is simply a type of hen-farming method that gives hens happier, healthier lives. They have free access to food, water and can move about as they please inside their barn. Plus, they have access to an outside space, whether they choose to use it or not. But here’s what you really need to know about Free-Range. It’s not the same as Certified Humane Free-Range. And the difference between the two is the very reason we only partner with Certified Humane Free-Range farms. Certified Humane guarantees the minimum space requirements for the hens have been met, both inside and outside, and that – pending the weather – the hens can go outside for at least 6 hours every day AND it ensures their outdoor space is covered with vegetation so they can nibble away on plants and insects. So, the time Certified Humane Free-Range hens spend outside, along with the latitude they have to do all the things hens naturally like to do is what makes their eggs more nutrient dense.
We do not offer this kind of egg right now, because we haven’t received requests for it. However, if we do see more interest, we’ll definitely look into it. Are you interested in corn-free eggs? If yes, we’d love to hear from you. We always want to learn more about our customers and what they want in their eggs.
To sum it up, free-range eggs just taste better! This is based largely on the lifestyle of the hen. Free-Range eggs come from free-range hens who have access to the outdoors and can move about their barns freely. Their diet is supplemented with nutritious grass and insects as well, which makes for a tastier egg. Cage-Free hens do not have any access to the outdoors EVER. Their nutrition comes solely from their feed.
Our free-range hens are Certified Humane Free-Range which means they have access to the outdoors for at least 6 hours a day (weather permitting) as well as a minimum 2 square feet of grassy, meadow-like outside space per hen. That’s a lot of time and space for our hens to fill their diet with nutritious grass and insects. Having room to move around and peck at the ground makes our Certified Humane Free-Range hens happier and their eggs tastier.
Yes, certified organic eggs must come from free-range hens who have access to the outdoors. Our organic eggs, however, come from Certified Humane Free-Range hens, which means that all our hens have access to more space outside than a typical free-range hen. Our Certified Humane Free-Range hens have a minimum of 2 square feet of outside space per hen. So, they have plenty of room to do normal chicken activities, like scratching in the dirt, chasing bugs and stretching their wings.
Omega 3’s are essential fatty acids that play an important role in keeping our bodies healthy by providing certain nutrients that keep our biological systems functioning correctly. In fact, Omega-3 is one of the most studied nutrients around and help with all kinds of things, including heart health. What you need to know is that most eggs have some Omega-3 in them, but hens that are fed a diet high in Omega-3 – which flaxseed, for example, provides – naturally produce eggs higher in Omega-3. So, eating Omega-3 Free-Range eggs which are fortified with extra Omega-3 through the flaxseed our hens eat is a super easy and delicious way to get more essential Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
Most of our hens are a breed called Hy-Line Browns. They lay all three of our egg types — Organic, Legacy and Omega-3 free-range eggs. A different type of Hy-Line hen, W-36 lays our white Legacy Free-Range. Interestingly, each hen has its own unique personality, and we consider them all to be part of the Nature’s Yoke family. Our farmers treat them as such, and make sure they live happy lives so you can be provided with nutritious eggs.
What a hen eats matters a lot because their diet influences the type of egg you get. Find your favorite Nature’s Yoke Free-Range Egg below to learn more about what each of our hens eats:
Nature’s Yoke Organic Free-Range — Our organic free-range hens are fed a 100% organic diet with no genetically modified foods. Their well-balanced, all-organic feed includes a variety of proteins, grains, vitamins and minerals, plus ingredients for supporting digestive health and more. Additionally, they live in an environment that provides plenty of access to pasture-like outdoor areas where they can also nibble on pesticide-free plants, as well as insects. This natural, organic and non-GMO environment is designed to produce a free-range egg with a better nutritional profile, and we even test our eggs to check in on their nutrient density.
Nature’s Yoke Legacy Free-Range — Our legacy free-range hens are fed a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of proteins, grains, vitamins and minerals, plus ingredients for supporting digestive health and more. Additionally, they live in an environment that provides plenty of access to pasture-like outdoor areas where they can also nibble on plants, as well as insects. This natural environment is designed to produce a free-range egg with a better nutritional profile, and we even test our eggs to check in on their nutrient density.
Nature’s Yoke Omega-3 Free-Range — Our Omega-3 free-range eggs are laid by hens raised on a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of proteins, grains, vitamins and minerals, plus ingredients for supporting digestive health. Their diets are also fortified with flaxseed — a healthy, natural source of Omega-3 that hens love — and that’s why their eggs have additional Omega-3 in them. Nature’s Yoke Omega-3 Free-Range Eggs have 225mg of Omega-3 (175mg of ALA and 50mg DHA). The eggs are also enriched with Vitamin E which helps protect and preserve Omega-3 fatty acids in the body and is important for the overall health of hens and humans alike.
The biggest difference is access to outside space. Cage-Free hens do not have any access to the outdoors EVER. But for Free-Range hens it’s a different story. In fact, Free-Range hens must have access to the outdoors, even if they choose not to use it. Nature’s Yoke hens are Certified Humane Free-Range, so they must be able to go outside for at least 6 hours a day (weather permitting) as well as have a minimum of 2 square feet of grassy, meadow-like outside space – and just to be clear, that’s 2 square feet per hen. If you care that the hens laying your eggs are allowed to enjoy the outdoors, choosing Certified Humane Free-Range is likely the right and natural choice for you. It matters to us, and we have a feeling it matters to you too.
Nature’s Yoke is grounded in the idea of celebrating life, love and latitude every day and, through that, creating a deeper connection to what matters most. In fact, the importance we place on connection is why we spell “Yoke” the way we do. Yet, sustaining a connection to what matters most doesn’t just happen — we nurture it through our commitment to never stop evolving and by creating a caring community driven by values. Our values are what inspire our team to work in a way that we call “love in action”. Here’s what we strive to honor in all we do:
Integrity: We seek to uphold what is right and be honest in all our efforts. We create a transparent environment where both employees and consumers are able to ask questions and find answers. We honor our commitments and own up to our mistakes.
Stewardship: We’ve been given an incredible earth and we strive to leave it a better place. Our staff works tirelessly to maintain sustainable practices on our farms. We endeavor to use our time and talent to create a better world.
Excellence: We don’t want to settle for ordinary. We want to be the best team possible and make the best eggs possible — always setting ever-higher goals for ourselves.
Family: We encourage family values that develop connection. Not only in our own family, but in yours as well. We hope our products encourage you to spend time sharing life together.
Eternal Perspective: We seek to make decisions today that make a positive impact beyond our lifetime. Ever focused on the future, we aim to make a lasting impression on our community and world.
Nature’s Yoke and its founding family, the Weaver’s, donate eggs to local homeless shelters, drug rehab programs, fundraisers for local fire departments, medical funds, children’s programs and community events. We also sponsor local school programs like trashathons and other “make a difference” projects. Additionally, we support and encourage the entire Nature’s Yoke team to get involved in the community and give our employees time off to volunteer. We’ve helped with the refugee crisis in Greece, distributed solar panels and mp3 players in Mexico, supported teachers in Asia and Africa, as well as leadership development programs, savings groups and agricultural development projects in Northern Ghana. We also care deeply about helping our family farms create thriving and sustainable businesses. The strength of their businesses contributes greatly to the strength of the larger communities in which they operate, leading to a better local economy, and enabling all businesses to give back more as well. You can learn more about what matters to us and what we celebrate here. You can also become part of connected community by joining our list, if you haven’t already, and give us more to celebrate!
While most hens are fed a similar diet, free-range hens supplement their diet with nutritious grass and insects. They also have room to roam inside and outside of their barns. Being able to act like normal chickens, enjoying the outdoors and having room to stretch and scratch at the dirt creates a healthy, low-stress environment which helps to produce healthy eggs.
Stored in the refrigerator, eggs last about 6 weeks past the time they were placed in the carton or 3 to 4 weeks past the “sell by” date stamped on the end of your carton. While some experts say eggs last much longer (and while we do agree with those experts, as long as the eggs are stored properly), we encourage you to follow the “sell by” date guidelines.
Yes! We searched far and wide (seriously all over the world) for a carton company that produced a truly planet-friendly carton — the cartons themselves are made from 100% post-consumer paper and are compostable, but the labels are not biodegradable. However, we are working on making them so as we speak.
We do! We always place the eggs with the wider end (called the air bubble end) facing upwards because it keeps them fresher longer. Plus, if you love deviled eggs as much as we do, storing them wider end up centers the yolk, making for a prettier, balanced deviled egg that’s easier to eat too! Here’s a good blog post with more helpful information on this topic.
Eggs are a fresh food and, therefore, have a shorter shelf life than, let’s say, canned foods. So, the reason the year is not on the carton is because the shelf life will always be much less than a year.
The color of the yolk can be affected by several factors (the season, the age of the flock, even the health of the hens). Nature’s Yoke is committed to bringing you the highest quality Certified Humane free-range eggs available, so we’re very grateful you shared this information with us. Can you please let us know the type of eggs you bought (Organic Free-Range, Legacy Free-Range or Omega-3 Free-Range), where and when and the information printed on the end of the carton (you can also send us a photo) so that our Farm Coordinator can check in with your egg’s farmer and take a look at the egg yolks from that flock. We’ll get in touch with you to let you know the eggs are healthy and, if there are any concerns, we’ll let you know that as well. In our experience there is rarely a problem, however, you and the health of your eggs matter deeply to us.