Read and react, I know you will hate this article on free range vs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by seedcorn, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
  2. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    To me I think it bullpoo. But they had a guy do tests. My girls love free ranging
  3. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Well, if they had ever seen my girls on a morning that we were late to turn them out, they might change their tune! Those are some visibly *&#%ed off hens when they don't get to get out to do as they please.

    Seriously though, consider the source--the article (and possibly the study itself) is obvoiusly sponsored by big agri-business. Nothing to do with factory farming is going to support the practice of free-ranging, ya know?

    We all know that free-ranging is in the best interest of our flocks, if we are lucky enough to be able to do so (some can't, such as urban chicken owners, but they can still keep their flocks healthy and happy). And just because we don't want our girls living in battery cages with their beaks chopped off doesn't make us nutso activists--just makes us human.

    The article has an obvious bias--as do us crazy chicken folk here on BYC. [​IMG] But I'll take the likes of y'all over Big Ag any day! [​IMG]
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    HEHEHE, we all know who PAID for that ad, now don't we? What a bunch of melarkey! [​IMG]
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Researchers have discovered that free range hens experience just as much or more stress than hens raised in modern, conventional cages.

    So is stress relief the only benefit of allowing chickens to free-range? What about the more varied diet, the effects of exercise on lifespan, insect control on the property...?

    Dr Jeff Downing at the University of Sydney, conducted a recent study measuring corticosterone, a hormone produced in response to stress or fear, in eggs from free range and modern caged hens. In both types of eggs, levels of the hormone were similar.

    Corticosterone isn't the only hormone produced in a stress response. And corticosterone can be produced in lots of other responses, not necessarily stress.

    The researchers explained that free range hens have other problems to deal with than hens in modern cages such as attack from outside predators and extreme weather conditions.

    So what you're saying is, instead of nice, warm safe cages producing less stress in animals, they are actually just as stressful as predation and harsh weather--and thus are no better than free range.

    In addition, hens in modern cages also are protected from many of the manure-borne diseases and parasites that affect free range hens.

    Instead, they're exposed to rapidly-spreading antibiotic-resistant pathogens that are readily transmitted to humans, which is why the agribusiness folks have to dose their animals up with huge amounts of antibiotics. I'm sure the CDC and hospitals everywhere thank you for it.

    Modern cages also help prevent infection and spread of the avian influenza virus which can affect wild birds and outdoor flocks of hens.

    It didn't work in China. And you know what else prevents infection and spread of viruses as well as bacteria? UV light and fresh air that comes from being outdoors in the sunshine. Hmmmm.​
  6. BantyChickMom

    BantyChickMom Songster

    Sep 25, 2007
    Henderson, NC
    Mine are not free range due to close proximity to the neighbors as well as a few dogs in the area, but they have spacious runs based on the #'s contained in each.

    Lets see now,

    a cage where I can't turn around


    a 6 X 8 run with 1 or 2 friends?

    I know what would make me happier!!
  7. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    I'm sure they did their testing on commercial free range chickens. Not pastured chickens. The commercial ag business "free range" chickens are just kept in large barns, still crammed together with little room, and not neccessarily any access to grasses or sunshine. All they get to scratch in is each others poop.
    Not like our back yard chickens that usually at least have an outside run and about 4 square feet of per chicken. Even when I don't let my chickens into the garden, I still give them bucket loads of weeds that I picked, including bugs.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    What a big stinking load of fresh steaming broody poop that article is!

    How can you even remotely equate living in a cage the size of a piece of paper with running around on grass?
  9. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    Broody poop! Now we know how nasty that is! [​IMG]
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    If someone kept me in a cage, I wouldn't show stress because I would be depressed.
    I guess my chickens are going to have to lead stressful lives in their roomy pen and grassy yard!

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