What is considered free-range?

Danigirl3

Songster
10 Years
May 13, 2009
199
1
121
Central Maine
Does it mean your chickens are out running willy-nilly on the property (which I would love to do if not for the neighbors dogs and what not ) or can I consider mine that are cooped at night and in a run during the day free-range?
 

HEChicken

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
216
376
BuCo, KS
My Coop
My Coop
I've always thought of it as being un-caged also. I would call being out in a run "cage free" but not "free range". However I would consider them free range if they are locked in a coop at night but let out during the day, since they freely return to the coop at night anyway.
 

staceyl

Songster
10 Years
Jul 2, 2009
173
4
111
Just curiuos is there is a "minimum time" on free range. I don't like letting mine wander when I'm not there, but they generally get anywhere from 2-8 hours out every day.
 

mdbokc

Songster
10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
1,032
31
151
Oklahoma County, OK
I think of free range as outside the run and coop...the run is often dirt pretty quick whereas once they get out of that, it's uncut, fresh grass and bugs, etc to their hearts content. That's how all my neighbors think too.
 
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mdbokc

Songster
10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
1,032
31
151
Oklahoma County, OK
Mine get out for an hour first thing in the AM, then variable between 3:30 - dark weeknights. Out almost all day until dark on weekends. Restricted to the coop/run just doesn't seem "free".

Don't think there is a minimum but they sure seem happy to finish the day that way! I would always shoot for that last hour before dark if nothing else.

Wikipedia: "Free range is a method of farming husbandry where the animals are allowed to roam freely instead of being contained in any manner...."
 
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