forum: Food & Drink

#1 Fri 12 Jul 13 4:34am


From Scotland
Member since Fri 21 Apr 06

chicken free range or better wellfare

I've always buy free range chicken breast, I used to get it from my local butcher until they closed down, and the other butcher doesn't do free range which I found strange, in fact they say "you wouldn't know the difference" I like to think the reasons are more than just the taste, and more about the way the chicken is reared.

Anyway to my point, so I now buy tesco finest free range chicken breasts but at £14 per k/g this is getting pricy, even their willow farm is £14 per kg, they claim this now is also free range?

So my point in what do you buy free range or the better wellfare or the cheap cheap stuff?

Last edited by monkeyboy3 (Fri 12 Jul 13 4:34am)

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#2 Fri 12 Jul 13 11:52am


Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: chicken free range or better wellfare

The news here in the U.S. is full of stories about how chickens here are fed a type of food that contains arsenic and it does end up in the meat that people consume.  And, apparently chicken poo tainted with this arsenic from the feed is fed to cattle and ends up in beef.

Some producers don't get the organic certification, although they may use very high standards, because it's very expensive to farm that way.  For instance, a local producer of beef was using the highest possible standards and explained that it wasn't profitable, partly because being certified organic means not being able to use antibiotics to treat sick animals.  I'm not talking about dosing with antibiotics to increase growth.  Her dilemma was having to take a big loss and be able to treat her animals humanely and not sell those who were treated for illness or lose her certification.  You can't sell a sick animal for food.  In that farmer's opinion, it was one of the most costly aspects of 'organic' farming.

Recent studies here in the U.S. seem to indicate that 'cage-free' drastically increases illness and death in chickens because they're pecking in their own waste, whereas the cages were cleaner as the poo falls through where the animals can't walk.  The study is inconclusive still and there are some benefits to 'cage-free'.  Cage-free means that the birds live indoors, but are not kept in cages, they can walk and fly within that space.

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#3 Fri 12 Jul 13 10:02pm


Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: chicken free range or better wellfare

Monkeyboy...if /when I can afford it I buy free range..however as a minimum I buy the "better welfare" chickens, as at least they have a bit of space, a bit of a life....

Can you taste the difference??

IMHO you can...the free-ramde chickens have more flavour...but are tougher... yikes

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