1. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    I was wondering what the definition of free range was. So that should I have a few extra eggs I could justifiably state they were free range. What I found shocked me. Free range simply means the bird have access to the outside. Then I found this from an 'organic' egg producer (Kalona Organics in Iowa) who proudly states his birds are "free range".

    "Cage-Free Birds are fed a vegetarian diet, free of hormones. These birds are housed in open barns where they have room to move about and engage in natural hen behavior. They have 1.25 to 1.5 sq. ft. per bird of floor space.

    Free-Range Birds are fed a vegetarian diet, free of hormones. The birds are housed in open barns like Cage Free Birds with the addition of 2 sq. ft. per bird of access to the outdoors. (Note: all organic eggs are required to be free range.)"

    <sarcasm on> So his birds have a total of 3.25 to 3.5 square feet all to themselves. How spacious!!</sarcasm off> Free range are you kidding?? I'll guarantee his birds aren't rotated to new pasture and that they scratch around in the same rock hard pen every day. And I was worried about only giving my birds 4 square feet inside and around 40 square feet each outside. And I'm planning to move them every week to new pasture.
  2. big greg barker

    big greg barker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    It seems to me that as time goes by, the organic definition gets more and more lax to allow the bigger agrifactory type operations to put the organic label on their products so they ca get a better price for a small token effort on their part. This is not to disparage the organic producers out there that follow the spirit of organics as well as the letter of the organic law, but a lot of the the buying public sees that word and gets sucked into a false sense of "i'm doing my part". Know what I mean?
  3. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    To me it would mean that they are free to roam where they want. Able to eat off the land around them and not cooped ( sorry no pun intended [​IMG][​IMG]) indoors.

    Organic LOL Laughable. Around here it mean rotten. Go to any stor around here and compare the organic to nonorganic and the organic stuff looks nasty. Grapes all mushy and brown apples. Heck I picked up an "organic" banana and I cut it in two just from picking it up. Nasty [​IMG]

  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    When it comes to food products the term Organic is controlled by the USDA, they have some specific criteria that must be met, and the producer must be certified. So it really does not matter what we think organic food is, it's what meets the USDA criterea.

    USDA Organic program

  5. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    Quote:Yea like nasty. I saw "organic" chickens last night at the store and they too looked nasty. To me organic means composte. [​IMG] yuk

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  6. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    It is absurd what the USDA defines as "Free Range"! I'm sorry, but to mee it means that the birds are free to move about outdoors where ever they choose, eat natural foods of their own choice and not cooped in a pen all the time and fed from a sack!
  7. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    It's all politics. If the government is involed then it is all politics. I give my eggs away as we can't eat all that I get and I just tell people they are good and they are very happy chickens. Plus we mark the shel with a "laid" date. I still can't give enough away. I still have 6 dozen in the fridge. Plus I can't get enough cartons to hold them all. Maybe I have too many chickens.


  8. Tamidon

    Tamidon Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    a friend of mine has an organic farm,and like many other people she's giving up the license. You have to do all this paper work,no one checks that you are actually following the rules, and the rules have been changed to let large agribusiness get away with nasty practices. She used to get patted on the head by "real" farmers as being a cute little hippie, but now they all want the higher prices, without all the extra work she puts in. She's not the only farmer I know starting to call themselves "BTO" better than organic, meaning they're following the spirit of organic farming and going way beyond the "rules" of the USDA
  9. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I thought there was an additional rating such as "free run". On one of the packages of commercial eggs it says. "chickens have access to roam and feed on pasture". I can't remember though if this was a free run, or free range designation.
  10. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    My definintion of free range is the chickens can come and go as they please.
    I open up my coops as soon as I wake up in the morning and they all come running out.
    I leave the doors open all day and they only go back in to lay eggs and come right back out.
    They go back into the coops by themselves when it starts to get dark.
    They run around all day and eat bugs, grass, flowers and if they can get into my garden my vegetables.
    I let them free range all year long, they decide what weather they want to venture out in.
    They are beautiful, they have the glossiest feathers and are happy and healthy.
    This topic is about free range, not organic. But I do feed them only organic feed and I take my chances on the bugs and weeds and use no pesticides in my yard.
    That is not just for them, I had been doing that before I ever had chickens.
    I have never given them medicated feed either.
    I cannot guarantee that every bug they eat is organic and I am not interested in getting certified organic or following their practices in any other way.
    I think that yogurt is good for them and I feed it to them regularly is it organic yogurt? No.
    I just go with my gut and give them what I feel is best for them and what is really going to make a difference.

    I really think though that letting them free range is the best thing that can be done for them.

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