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Free Range, Organic, or Spoil pets?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cityfarm47714, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. cityfarm47714

    cityfarm47714 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2012
    My hens have one third of my yard at all times available. An insulated hen house with 6 nesting boxes and a roost branch; A covered outside dog kennel with more roost branches so they can be outside if they want when it rains; A grass bed for fresh grass that they can not scratch. All veggie scraps and yard clippings they want and more access to garden areas on occasion. No intention on slaughtering them for meat just for eggs and entertainment. Would my hens be considered free range or organic? or just pampers pets?

    How about yours? Are they family pets, food, or both? No judgement. Just curious to how many People in the Evansville and surrounding areas think.
     
  2. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    They can be considered "free range". The USDA defines free range as just the chickens having access to the outdoors. Some eggs sold at stores say "free range", but it's really just 1,000 hens crowded in a big poultry house with one little door that gives them access to a concrete yard outside. Here most of us like to think it's giving our chickens room to forage, run outside on grass, dirt, dust bathing space etc. so that's what most of us Backyard farmers do, which in turn brings happier chicken and healthier eggs.

    In order for an animal to be considered "organic" the USDA requires their diet be of at the very least 95% organic food. So Unless you buy your chickens organic chicken feed and feed them organic table scraps, they can't be called organic. You can say however, that yours are free range, and naturally fed.

    My chickens live similarly to yours, they have a large coop, and yard attached to it. they have several roosts in the yard and coop, I have a plastic tub filled with sand so they can dust bathe, and they get kitchen scraps as well. I will start letting them range out in the big grassy lawn once they get the hang of laying eggs in their nest boxes. For my previous flocks I used to buy organic chicken feed, it costed about $30 for a 50 pound bag. It was because of the high demand of local people wanting organic free range eggs. Right now my chickens just eat the regular chickens feed, I was unable to afford the organic feed for a time but I plan on switching them over to organic feed again because the chickens and eggs will be healthier to eat, as well as the meat.

    I don't know if yours are pampered pets, some people allow their chickens in their house and buy them diapers to wear, as well as tasty little chicken treats. Those chickens could be called very lucky little pets, and less of a work animal.
     
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