Mother Earth news has tested and found pasture fed eggs to contain:
All of the organic chicken feed we use is soy-free
Our eggs can be purchased directly from us individually, or on a monthly basis through our CSEgg program, Backyard CSA, or purchased at your favorite supermarket.
For your enjoyment, here's some random egg questions you might ask a producer.
How many hens do you have?
this question is important because it tells you something about how serious they are but also the conditions the chickens are likely to be in. If they say 30 birds, likely the chickens are just free ranged and dont deplete all their resources, but at a few hundred you want to start asking if they move the coop or what's their rotation strategy to rest pastures. You can get some really good eggs from smaller operations, but as operations grow you want to start asking how they solved important problems of scale such as keeping them outdoors on fresh growing pasture that they are willing to eat.
What do you feed them?
is it organic? is important unless you want GMO soy and frog emasculating atrazine sprayed feed corn. Since you get what you pay for, if they are chipping for a high quality feed then there is less likelihood that it's made of surplus pink slime the school system dumped.
How long have you been keeping chickens?
this question informs whether you have to ask the next question. if they are in their first few years they might not have yet encountered the problems of scale.
How do you deal with parasites like lice and mites?
organic=diatomaceous earth (what we do) IPM=probably dusting with permethrin WMD=sevin dust or spray
Do they have access to green grass?
ultimately this is how you decide whether or not the eggs are worth the price. I see a lot of eggs selling for $8 or more at farmstands and farmer's markets and wonder if those chickens ever get out of a coop? Its tough for humans to keep up with the super early am and all day long foraging needs of chickens. There is no better feed supplement than 24x7 access to well rested natural habitat in our opinion. We've spent years figuring out how to accomplish it and we are constantly trying to adapt, improve, and innovate.