Okay caged egg layers versus free range chickens.
Now this is a major issue for a lot of people right now that want to believe their chickens
are being well kept. You do have to know your producer or at least believe the box that
you are reading. This cage in front of me would be typical in size of a caged egg laying
cage. It is much higher than they normally would be. They really would only be able to
barely stand up and in this box right here in front of me, would probably be 5 laying
hens. This is only recent that they’ve had this much room because previously to the very
past, they didn’t even have enough room to all lie down at the same time. But now generally
most producers are going to caged in which all the birds they choose to, sit down at
the same time. But still imagine 5 chickens in this space for their entire egg laying
life. Now in terms of free range, there are really not a lot of specific details that
require free range. The big thing is that you can have terms like floor raised which
means the chickens are allowed to run on the floor. They are not in cages. There are also
outside access varies. Free range just means they have to be allowed to have access to
the outside. It doesn’t mean they go outside everyday. It just means they are allowed access.
When they are allowed access to the outside, in general, they are still penned but they
do have the ability to go outside and come back inside. The best way to know about how
your chickens are raised is to find a local egg producer and that is not always possible
for all of us so ask your grocery store where their eggs come from and how their chickens
are kept. That is the best way you can help to determine how we raise eggs in this country
because our treatment of egg laying hens is not up to par the way that we treat most of
the animals that we keep in this country.