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Is there a Difference in egg production between a fenced in chicken and a free range chicken? - Page 2

post #11 of 17

There is no difference in egg potential between a housed chicken and a free range one. if there were it would be slightly in favor of the confined hen simply because with enough proper oversight on her owner's part she will be in better health and may have fewer internal parasites.

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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickengeorgeto View Post

There is no difference in egg potential between a housed chicken and a free range one. if there were it would be slightly in favor of the confined hen simply because with enough proper oversight on her owner's part she will be in better health and may have fewer internal parasites.

 

 

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  9. What Are the Health Benefits of Free-Range Hens' Eggs?

What Are the Health Benefits of Free-Range Hens' Eggs?

by Dawn Walls-Thumma, Demand Media

 

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The old adage "you are what you eat" certainly holds true when considering the nutritional value of eggs. Since the 1970s, studies have indicated that eggs from hens with access to pasture are better for you than eggs from birds kept in cages (see References 2, page 4). Free-range hens that eat a healthy, natural diet pass on that benefit to you in the form of more nutritious eggs.

The Basics

Free-range chickens must have access to the outdoors, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, whereas growers raise conventional poultry confined indoors in cages (see References 1). Pasture-raised hens eat a diet of grass and bugs in addition to their grain diet. Conventionally raised birds, on the other hand, are fed a strictly grain diet. Consumers should note, however, that regulations do not require that free-range hens have access to pasture, and studies comparing the hens' diet to the nutritional value of their eggs compare pasture-fed free-range hens to conventional birds. For the health benefits of free-range eggs, make sure you purchase them from pasture-fed flocks.

Less Fat and Cholesterol

The American Heart Association recommends reducing intake of both saturated fat and cholesterol in order to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke (see References 4). Testing by "Mother Earth News" found that eggs from pasture-fed free-range hens, on average, contained one-third of the cholesterol and one-fourth of the saturated fat as conventional eggs (see References 2, page 1). A Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education study yielded similar results, with pastured hens producing eggs with 10 percent less fat and 34 percent less cholesterol (see References 3).

More Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes the healthy development of teeth, bones, soft tissue and tissues in the eyes needed for good vision; it also acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage (see References 5). The "Mother Earth News" and SARE studies found that free-range eggs contained 67 percent and 40 percent more vitamin A, respectively, than conventional eggs (see References 2, pages 1 and 3).

More Vitamin E

Vitamin E also protects cells by acting as an antioxidant, in addition to promoting healthy blood and circulatory system function (see References 6). Free-range eggs contain more vitamin E than their conventional counterparts. The "Mother Earth News" survey found triple the vitamin E in the eggs they tested, and Pennsylvania State University research found double the vitamin E in the eggs of grass-fed hens (see References 2, pages 1 and 7).

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fat known as "essential" fatty acids because the body cannot manufacture them on its own; you must consume them from food. Omega-3s are connected to heart health, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and other potential health benefits such as decreased risk of diabetes, stroke, digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers and dementia (see References 8). All three studies found higher amounts of omega-3s in free-range eggs versus conventional eggs. "Mother Earth News" reported the most modest differences, with the free-range eggs they tested containing only twice the omega-3s as conventional eggs, while the Penn State study found 2 1/2 times more (see References 2, pages 1 and 7). Free-range hens in the SARE study, however, produced eggs with four times the omega-3s as their caged sisters (see References 3).

 
Resources
  1. "Renewal Agriculture and Food Systems"; Vitamins A, E and . . . ; H. D. Karsten et al.; 2010
  2. Medline Plus: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

 

From Natural Geographic.

 

If hens in runs are provided with pasture, they are still healthier than the caged hens this article talks about.

 

Not trying to criticize those who confine their birds. I'm not sure where you get your info that caging them is healthier though.

 

Internal parasites thrive in cramped quarters. Chickens are less likely to pick them up if provided with ample space.

 

The biggest danger is predators. Definitely not health.


Edited by aoxa - 2/8/13 at 12:07pm

Breeding: Silkies (BBS, White & Partridge), Heritage Plymouth Rocks (Silver Pencilled & Barred),Easter Eggers, Naked Necks, Buckeyes, and Mottled Houdans. 

 

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Breeding: Silkies (BBS, White & Partridge), Heritage Plymouth Rocks (Silver Pencilled & Barred),Easter Eggers, Naked Necks, Buckeyes, and Mottled Houdans. 

 

Visit our COOP Page! 

 

Raising CX Free Range ~ Poultry Sexing Tips ~ Raising Chickens Naturally ~ Our Flock Pictures

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post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post

Depending on the range, that could be true. But I though the OP was asking about production only.
Yes I am aware of the pros and cons of free range vs confinement. I just wonder because whenever I let mine out it seems they're so excited about the new areas they don't go back to the house much until evening
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickengirl1304 View Post


Yes I am aware of the pros and cons of free range vs confinement. I just wonder because whenever I let mine out it seems they're so excited about the new areas they don't go back to the house much until evening

so I guess the answer to your first post is they're more likely to lay in the nest box if they're confined. Hens that range may be excited about being out, and they may not go back to the coop, but they're still laying. Sounds like you're just not finding them.

Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

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post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post

so I guess the answer to your first post is they're more likely to lay in the nest box if they're confined. Hens that range may be excited about being out, and they may not go back to the coop, but they're still laying. Sounds like you're just not finding them.
haha ya that's the challenge
post #16 of 17

I let my chickens out an hour or so before dark to let them range around the yard and field.  I have so many preditors around that I kind of need to be around when they are out.  They don't have time to get too far from the coop before they are urged to roost in the coop.  I think pen kept and free range are both good and doing both seems to be the way to go for me. My hens, even when free ranging, come back to the coop to roost and lay in the nest boxes.  I guess they are "trained" or "conditioned" to do that.  The only time I had a hen lay outside the coop was when she flew out of the run and could not get back in to lay.  She layed right beside the coop on the outside of the fence.

post #17 of 17

When mine started to lay I was finding eggs all over the place. So, I confined them to the coop and run until the eggs were all being placed in the nest boxes.Once they got the hang of it, I let them  range again without incident - at least none that I know of.

 

So, If the hens never get basic training maybe they become range layers for life?


Edited by Island Roo - 2/9/13 at 6:09am
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