Free range: what's your definition?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Carli, May 19, 2010.

  1. Carli

    Carli In the Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    When you say "free range" do you mean free as in no fencing or do you mean they aren't kept in the coop 24/7 but they are fenced in when they're outside the coop?

    My chickens go into the coop on their own around 7pm. We open their door for them around 8am and they spend most of the day outside in their fenced in garden area. Would you say that I have "free range" chickens?

  2. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I don't know? My chickens get let out in the morning and roam around our ranch all day then go back to the coop around 7:00 or 8:00.
  3. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    My definition= Fox/Coon Food. [​IMG]
  4. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    My "girls" are in their run from early morning until around 12-1:00 P.M. Then they are free ranging in the yard for the rest of the day. If they are not free to wander around the property and have their choice of what to peck at, ie bugs, worms, grass, etc, then I would say they are NOT free range, but just cage-free. [​IMG]

  5. Carli

    Carli In the Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    My chickens have quite the variety to choose from...grass, bugs, varying types of plants, yet they are fenced in an area about 20x30. Not falling into the free-range category?
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    It is hard to define what free range is but I think the general consensus is that the chickens are not confined to a run area but are able to range out into a large area. Some folks are more literal and say "no fences at all" and some say, no enclosed run but perimeter fencing on the property is okay.

    I free range on an acre with 23 adults and 20 juniors and most of the perimeter fencing is not chicken proof. I would say, if I had 200 adult birds on my acre that they would not be considered free range. They would be a huge flock of chickens confined to a huge run.

    I guess its a matter of perspective, really.
  7. jennh

    jennh Songster

    Jun 21, 2007
    Quote:I would say if they are fenced in that that would not qualify for free range. My definition of free range would = no fence. How long do you think the plants and grass will last once they start their digging, dust baths, etc?

    Definitions of free range:
    Of, pertaining to, or produced by animals that are allowed to roam freely, rather than being confined indoors

    Free range (or free roaming) implies that a meat or poultry product comes from an animal that was raised out of confinement or was free to roam.

    In ranching, free-range livestock are permitted to roam without being fenced in, as opposed to fenced-in pastures. In many of the agriculture-based economies, free-range livestock are quite common

    Last edited: May 19, 2010

  8. TheNat

    TheNat In the Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Quote:I would say your chickens are not "free range" as the garden area is fenced. I would also say that fencing your chickens with a reasonably sized run to protect them from predators doesn't make you a bad chicken parent. I don't think birds have to be "free range" to be considered humanely treated, and I've noticed a lot of eggs and frozen chickens for sale that say "cage free" rather than "free range."
  9. DianeB

    DianeB Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    In poor countries, free range does not equal better diet and healthier lifestock. I lived in West Africa for a few months. The urban and semi-urban dwellers let their goats, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats run all over the place because they couldn't afford to feed them. The animals were in terrible condition and ate mainly garbage. If you allow them to run on well maintained range or pasture, however, than yes it is a big improvement over confined conditions.
  10. Jkioneil

    Jkioneil Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    my chicks roam our propery nd once i see they have gone in for the ight i lock them up. i let them out at day break ant off they go. now my property is fenced and about 1/3 of an acre maybe a little more is that free range?

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