Consumers are becoming more aware of the advantages of eating fresh eggs. But it might still be perplexing when you go to the grocery store and have the option of cage-free, free-range, free-run, or organic.
The bulk of eggs are laid by hens kept in “cages.” These are little wire cubes that each hold five to seven birds. Their beaks are chopped so they don’t peck each other, and they are packed in vast, windowless barns in rows upon rows upon rows.
“Cage-free” simply indicates that the chickens are not kept in battery cages. They have no access to the outside world.
The term “free-range” refers to the ability of hens to wander freely in open-concept barns. They may or may not have access to the outdoors, yet there may still be difficulties with overpopulation.
“Free-range” chickens get to see the light of day and go outdoors to wander about.
On this farm, the hens seem to be happy and healthy. They are free to sip water and bask in the sun.
What about their cage-free counterparts? Not at all.
Check out the video below from a New Zealand farm. These hens rush out of the barn into the sunlight, and as the camera pans back, you can see them roaming out into a beautiful grassy range! It’s like a chicken haven!