Certified Humane*: The birds are uncaged inside barns or
warehouses, but may be kept indoors at all times. They must be
able to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching, and
dust bathing. There are requirements for stocking density and
number of perches and nesting boxes. Forced molting through
starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed.
Compliance is verified through third-party auditing. Certified
Humane is a program of Humane Farm Animal Care.
Cage-Free: As the term implies, hens laying eggs labeled
as "cage-free" are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but
generally do not have access to the outdoors. They have the
ability to engage in many of their natural behaviors such as
walking, nesting, and spreading their wings. Beak cutting and
forced molting through starvation are permitted. There is no
Free-Roaming: Also known as "free-range," the USDA has
defined this claim for some poultry products, but there are no
standards in "free-roaming" egg production. This essentially
means the hens are cage-free. There is no third-party auditing.
United Egg Producers Certified*: The overwhelming
majority of the U.S. egg industry complies with this voluntary
program, which permits routine cruel and inhumane factory farm
practices. By 2008, hens laying these eggs will be afforded 67
square inches of cage space per bird, less area than a sheet of
paper. The hens are confined in restrictive, barren cages and
cannot perform many of their natural behaviors, including
perching, nesting, foraging or even spreading their wings.
Compliance is verified through third-party auditing. Forced
molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is
allowed. This is a program of the United Egg Producers.
Vegetarian-Fed: These birds are provided a more natural
feed than that received by most laying hens, but this label does
not have significant relevance to the animals’ living