1. Chicka boomboom

    Chicka boomboom New Egg

    Apr 14, 2012
    S W Ohio
    Will someone please define " free range" . I have a large walk-in chicken coop that has a screened section, 8' x 8' , and a closed section 6' x 8'. Then the run is 8' x 22'. It's kind of like the 'house' then the screen porch, then, the fenced yard. I used to let my chickens out into the yard because they would always come running in when they heard me call them to 'dinner'. Then my neighbor found chicken poo on her driveway. OH NO! :(
    What I would like to know is what defines free range. Does it mean NOT in a coop/cage all day? Does it mean they are running around without boundaries? does it mean one thing for "us" and something else for egg producers?
  2. koop

    koop Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2010
    Are you trying to sell the meat or eggs?
    I call my eggs free range, but the hens are enclosed in a 8'x14' coop (in Canada, coldest winter since the 1930's).
    Commercially for eggs anything without a cage is free range.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Here is the USDA requirement for the label to legally say “Free Range”. If you have a hen house with 10,000 chickens in it and have a pop door that leads to a 4’ x 4’ totally enclosed pen on concrete, you can meet this definition.

    Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.


    This is why I consider free range, natural, cage free, and stuff like that to just be marketing labels that don’t mean much.

    The one I really dislike is “No Hormones”. Adding hormones has been illegal for a while. When someone says “No Hormones” they imply their competitors do add them. That’s a lie. Some will admit that in fine print but that doesn’t make the blaring headline right. Who reads the fine print? Dishonest is dishonest.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. shmeggs

    shmeggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2013
    you have a nice size area. how many chickens do you have
  5. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2014
    Good question. Ours have an 8X3 coop and then a 40X12 yard that is all for them. I've been calling them free range... But wasn't sure if that was truly free range as it is still "fenced in".
  6. Chicka boomboom

    Chicka boomboom New Egg

    Apr 14, 2012
    S W Ohio
    I have 7 hens and a roo. They lay eggs every day. We average 4 or 5 eggs per day. A clamp on light with an incandescent bulb has kept it warm enough for them to continue laying over this freezing harsh winter here in OH. We only had 3 eggs freeze and crack open this winter.

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