Range Fed vrs Free Run vrs Free Range

Here is what, in Alberta, the chicken industry thinks about Free Run and Free range. I won't put words in their mouth, this is what tehy say. Think about it - are their pictures showing the average or the best case scenarios?

If you checked those links out, you can probably see why we don't use the terms Free-Run or Free-Range though all our animals except quail are certainly both Free-Run and Free-Range by those definitions! You can, of course, decide whether that makes enough of a difference for you to pay the premium price over cage raised chickens.

And we don't claim to be purists - 2017 update: we don't range feed our Quail. We raise our quail in cages sized for 7 to 10 adult quail per cage and only give some access to outside experiences in seasonally convenint times. Unfortunately, a range-fed Coturnix Quail is either dead by wildlife or dead by escaping and dying because of an inability to survive in the wild - it has been domesticated for too many years and they are small enough there are just too many predators. We tried 3 times and all 3 times, all were killed by predators. There is probably a way we could do it, and we have puzzled it, but we have not come up with any even remotely financially reasonable ways. (We have some completely financially crazy ways - but we aren't doing those.) We'll keep thinking.

But for the animals like chickens that we CAN reasonably raise range-fed (sheep, chickens, muscovys) we do.

Published: 2011.Jun.13     Last edited: 2017.Aug.10


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