Mountain Valley View Farm Seeking Humane Raised and Handled Certification through Humane Farm Animal Care

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Friday, May 13, 2011

We are busy working on filling out tons of paperwork to have our farm Certified Humane Raised and Handled® for our laying hens. The application form from Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) for this certification is 12 pages long and their standards manual is 31 pages long!

According to their website, Humane Farm Animal Care is a national nonprofit organization that was created to improve the lives of farm animals by setting rigorous standards, conducting annual inspections, and certifying their humane treatment.  HFAC provides a manual listing the criterion for the production of egg laying hens.  A farm must meet these standards to be certified.  These standards cover feed, water, environment, management, health, and transportation.

To achieve certification we must fill out the application. HFAC reviews the application, and if they determine we meet the criterion, an inspector is sent to view our operation. If the farm passes inspection, we will receive a one-year certification and will be allowed to use the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® logo on our products.  To maintain our certification we will have go through this same process once per year.

HFAC’s rigorous standards ensure that hens are fed fresh, wholesome, nutritious feed that is freely accessible by the chickens.  There are also standards for the supply of water for the birds.

Environment is another important issue for the humane treatment of animals. These include the building in which the hens are housed, floor litter, lighting, space allowance for each bird, air quality and ventilation, nest boxes, perches, and free-range options.

The health of our hens is important. HFAC standards cover food safety, prevention of recurring injuries, care of sick or injured animals, and the prohibition of procedures or actions that are not considered humane.

Although we are a small operation in comparison to commercial houses, HFAC provides a wealth of information for us to help us make sure we are treating our birds in a humane manner. This produces happy, healthy hens that lay delicious eggs.



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