Eating Free Range Chicken

Posted by: Lisa Shea

Eating Free Range Chicken - 12/08/09 11:45 PM

Someone at dinner tonight had free range chicken and we talked a bit about whether it's really that much better for a chicken if it has some days of stepping into an outdoor area if maybe it's just a tiny one and then they're slain shortly after that.

I feel it's at least a step in the right direction and if people pay more attention to things like this that forward progress will start to snowball.

What do you think? A waste of time and money? Or worth it?
Posted by: BLR

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 12/09/09 12:02 AM

The cost of free range chicken is considerably higher than store bought chicken. In this day and age it is quite valiant to think and talk about free range chicken, either for the good of the dinner, or for the good of the chicken.

I am probably going to get flamed for this but: We need the slaughter houses if we are going to be able to feed the human over population. The amount of time, space and food to produce a free range chicken is just not available to most people. Not to speak of the stink.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 12/09/09 01:34 AM

It's a tough call. I want to believe creature we eat are treated well. But, as BLR said, free ranges costs are prohibitive. Just as organic produce costs more. I want to do the right thing, eat free range and organic...but i really cannot afford it.

I can't tell others what to do if I cannot walk the walk. This makes me feel sad and hypocritical.
Posted by: linder

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/04/10 04:49 PM

A Chicken in every backyard! I own chickens and although I do not eat them, I just eat their eggs. I have friends that free range and butcher their own. They are definitely better tasting birds. I think due to the sheer quantity of chicken this country eats it will probably never happen but try to buy local and make a difference that way if you can. You'd be amazed at how many people are raising chickens humanly on a small scale if you do some poking around your community. Also many love to barter goods or services.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/12/10 03:54 PM

I like how you think, Linder! In my street here about 1/3 of the houses have their own chickens. The chickens even wander around the road and into other yards - it's cool. And for some reason the feral cats don't seem to bother them.

Once my lease is up here and I decide to buy this place, I would like to experiment with having chickens. I'd have to have someone else kill them for me, I think. I cry easily at such things.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/25/10 11:38 PM

I have always dreamed about having chickens. I ask Bob about it every few months. He is strongly against chickens. So I guess that part of my dream will have to be on standby.
Posted by: BLR

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/25/10 11:57 PM

OH Lisa, I had always dreamed about having chickens. Well the two tragedies of life. Not having a dream and achieving your dream. I got my chickens. I only had two "Hen" and "Rooster."

Hatched Hen from an egg, got Rooster as a companion for Hen. I am so glad I have had my chickens. We had fresh eggs, and they are wonderful. We had flies, never knew there were that many flies. Rooster hated my husband; in fact trapped him in his workshop one day. He called on the house phone to my cell phone to "come get your Rooster." I went and got Rooster so my husband could come in the house from his workshop.

Never knew Roosters were so aggressive, and MEAN. He loved me, but then maybe he saw me as part of his flock.

Hen would get up on my lap and share what ever I was eating, and loved to have behind her ears rubbed.

Many more stories, it was fun, but I will never have chickens again.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/26/10 01:54 AM

That is so sweet! So Rooster was a chicken too and laid eggs?
Posted by: BLR

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/26/10 11:22 AM

Oh no Rooster was a rooster, Hen was a hen.
Posted by: tweetymom

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/26/10 01:59 PM

I too have always dreamed of having chickens for eggs and to eat, a cow for milk, a place to grow my own food!
Then life kept happening, and I've lived in the country and loved it! BUT, living in the country is hard work, even without farm animals, at least it is for one person. and I'm not prepared to have another person in my space.
i do hope people keep offering raw milk and free range chickens.The taste is so much better! Also same with beef.
Now i just think of my dream as just that: a nice dream.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 06/09/10 12:21 AM

I do have the opportunity here to eat only local eggs from happy local chickens. So i have been doing that. It tastes better, is good for the local economy, and is better for me.

Once I am settled in my house I want to look into local chicken meat and local milk/cheeses.

Eventually I will think about getting my own hens.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/13/11 08:50 PM

We were just discussing this issue in another thread so I thought it was worthwhile to explicitly come back to this thread which involves raising your own chickens.

For years I have wanted to raise my own chickens, to have eggs and to take care of them. However I would never be able to kill them. I would also be traumatized when they died, and I believe chickens have an average life span of four years. We have many coyote and fox where we live so it would probably not be a long life despite my best efforts.

I think I need to accept that I am not well suited for chicken raising. There are many types of people in the world and chicken raising would be too traumatic for me. There are other people who handle it much better, which is great! There is a place for each type of person, and an environment each type of person thrives in.

So I am gently accepting that my place is not in a chicken farm. So my task therefore is to support those people who do thrive in a chicken farm, and buy my eggs and chicken from them.

I am putting on my goals for 2011 to end the year with at least 25% of our household meat being free rage, and all eggs. I realize it will be a financial burden and I will find ways to cut back on other expenses to make this happen.
Posted by: PDM

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/13/11 09:03 PM

We had chickens when I was little ~ and my parents' families had them whe they were young ~ but it's not really the done thing here now. There are some, but not many ~ and we live quite close to the countryside.

I buy free range eggs and try to buy at least some free range chicken ~ and other meats.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/13/11 09:06 PM

Dear PDM -

Where you are, what is the price differential between buying free range eggs and other eggs? I am going to look into that when we go to the store. I will buy the free range ones whatever the price is, but I will also document here what that difference is. I think that is worth tracking for people, so they can plan for making that change in their own lives.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/15/11 06:48 AM

OK Bob was very good and did some great research for me. Here are the prices at our local WalMart -

free range omega added - $3.92 a dozen

cage-free - $3.12 a dozen

regular 18 pack of eggs - $2.43 (which is equivalent to $1.62 a dozen)

regular dozen - $1.60

So it costs about double to get the cage free eggs. And then the question is, just how cage free are they? I will have to look into that!

He did get us the cage free eggs, so I can do some taste comparisons.
Posted by: PDM

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/15/11 11:16 AM

I'll check ~ I'm not expecting to find much in at at our supermarket, but there will be places, I have no doubt, where eggs will be very cheap indeed.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/15/11 11:22 AM

Oh does your local supermarket not have multiple egg options? All of the stores around here have shelves of eggs, that you can choose from.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/15/11 03:06 PM

Lisa, i see on your blog that Sutton is quite rural and a little agrarian. Look on Craigslist for local eggs. I am happy to pay 3.00 for a dozen. Sometimes 2.50. Save your egg cartons for them - they never have enough.

You will find the taste different from store eggs. The yolk is very orange and thick. Richer. You need less eggs in a dish as the taste is much stronger.
Posted by: Cetan

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/18/11 03:39 PM

Try local farmers market or small stores for free range eggs. For a while I was getting some from a coworker whose neighbor had chickens and was paying 2.50 a dozen but they were wonderful, dark yellow yolks and very flavorful. She no longer has a lot (her best layer died) but a friend told me about a health food store that gets free range eggs from a nearby farm and they are 1.50 a dozen for xlarge and 1.75 for jumbo, although they are not certified organic they supposedly are. I just bought a dozen the other day but haven't tried them yet. I dotn use a lot of eggs, maybe a dozen in 2 or 3 weeks so I figure the extra cost of free range wont impact me too much
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/20/11 11:29 PM

Bob says it was only a tiny bit more orange and he didn't notice any thickness difference. He just made me an omelet with two of them. I feel happy that I'm eating eggs from happy chickens, and it is very tasty, but I'm not sure that there is a big difference.

He does think even though they were labeled as "large" that they were more like a "medium" in size.

I'll look into local farms and see what they have! The farm shop near us tends to close in the winter so I'll have to scout around.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/21/11 12:04 AM

I don't know about store bought free range eggs - it's the local, fresh eggs that have the really orange yolk and strong taste. The key is how long the egg has been outside of the chicken. smile
Posted by: illusive Fantasy

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/21/11 01:49 AM

ok gawd here in this small town there *was...until it burnt down..a chicken mill...and i worked there..waaaaaaaay back lol..

first let me tell you...its not all as glorious as you may realize as ..in order to turn a profit and have the hens produce as many eggs as possible ...hens are kept at length within a situation where lights are left on almost 24/7 ..sorta like when we tell folks in here if they dont want birds to lay they have to cut back in daylight hours...

so caged and no cage means this and often you could go in an find ..sorry..dead chickens which would get caught in lights and be hanging there...an if they didnt get to them well they didnt get to them ...for awhile...

and yes jilly fresh...are eggs where the yolk is ***very orange with a very yolky flavor which is why most like the so called farm fresh...

now i brought out in some thread awhile back dont know what it was about...when you do buy eggs ..i noticed myself that when checking for cracked eggs ...the large were the same size as the x-large but not the price...and i believe whats happening there is when stores get so many cracked eggs they simply break down the remaining and slip them into the extra priced cartons ..another way to tell this is..

when working in a chicken farm your taught to pack the egg always narrow end down...and often again if you check the ones in your grocer you can see where this isnt how they have been repacked...reason you pack narrow end down is to help keep the egg fresher longer...

and the sign of a old egg..is a very thick clumpy white when you crack and drop...

there has been special shows on tv about all this... sort of like a underground study into it...free range that is...well again..its not all that glorious for those chickens ladies...a tv show aired about 6mos ago on this very subject.
Posted by: OldPplLoveBirds

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 01/21/11 10:33 AM

i dont eat chicken pr bird as i am a bird owner, call me crazy but to me its like a dog owner eating cow accptble but at the same time is a bit strange from a species point. i do enjoy steak though as i have no dog.
Posted by: jilly

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 03/22/11 05:50 PM

You know, i was just thinking i could eat kinder meats if i stopped moving. I'd like to really get to know ONE good supermarket.
Posted by: Peety's Lady

Re: Eating Free Range Chicken - 05/05/14 03:49 AM

I vote for treating animals well while they are alive. Then if they must be killed, do it as fast and painlessly as possible.