Jamie Oliver

forum: Chicken

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#11 Wed 30 Apr 08 9:45am

ian1969uk

Member
Member since Tue 11 Mar 08

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

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#12 Sat 27 Sep 08 3:51am

brad1rdv

Member
Member since Sat 27 Sep 08

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

no offence u sayin them chickens aint organic  is wrong wne u work wiv them pick them up u knw diffrance between them and normal chickens i pack the chicken every day and i shud b able 2 tel u diffrence willow farm chickens r  more heavyer than the normal chickens coz wen we weigh them we put 9 in box insted of 10 coz ther heavy compared 2 standard  cickhen if u wunn knw how much hard work goes in 2 gettin them birds 2 shop aswel i move pallet sumthime wiv 40 boxes on from one end of factory 2 otha so dnt go tellin me they aint organic trust me they r i knw by weight

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#13 Sat 27 Sep 08 5:18am

ThelmaEmuCreek

Member
Occupation Emergency Services Co-ordinator
From Canberra, Australia
Member since Sat 06 Sep 08

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

Well, big birds seem good don't they? A big one would seem to have been on this Earth a bit longer than a smaller one, so that's good isn't it?  Not like veal where the baby cow doesn't even get a chance to have a real life to grow into an adult cow?  It might taste nice, but is that really the best thing?   

But what we also have to think about is the type of chicken they use.  With selective breeding programs, some chickens, (just like the breeding that goes on with developing particular traits in fruit and vegetables) has meant that for most of our commercial hens, that they grow very fast.  They have been genetically chosen because they are very efficient at converting feed into meat.  And so the chook (chicken) farms make more profit as they get a good sized chicken they can sell in a shorter time and they don't have to spend as much time housing the bird, and they don't have to spend so much on feed bills. This is compared to other breeds of chicken where the ratio is not so efficient.  So that's great for business, but is it great for the chicken?   Well not if the rate of growth is now so much that its skeletal structure can't hold it's frame properly, or if it's kept in conditions where it suffers, that's just cruel.

Ethical farming should surely be about providing the best life for an animal as possible so they are free from pain, hunger and fear, and can lead a life as close to the natural way as we can give them.  Ok we might end up eating them, but that doesn't mean that we can't give them a good decent life free of suffering.  And I think that we need to consider how we can respect and advocate for their right to this.  So this means really, access to food, water, and shelter, and space to carry out normal behaviour like running, stretching, flying and socialising, and some uncrowded room for head space - don't we all need that every now and then?  This is so that unhealthy behaviours like cannibalism does not set in which does occur when chickens experience overcrowding.  And this is where free range comes in. So they are talking about letting a bird have enough space to live like a bird needs to keep holistically healthy, where they can forage and get a bit of sunshine and natural light during the day.  The opposite to free range is battery hens, and I guess barn hens are somewhere in between that, but it can get really crowded and nasty in those barns too.

The other issue is of course organic.  Now there are lots of definitions for this around the world, but I guess that most people would consider the word organic to mean produced without the use of artificial substances, such as unnecessary medications, and feeds that are unnatural or contaminated with artificial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides etc. Basically anything that can leave a residue that can get into the food chain, and even very small amounts can really get concentrated and affect those animals up the food chain (thatís us).   The fact that most young women around the World have DDT in their breast milk shows us that once these nasty artificial substances get in the food chain then theyíre really hard to get out, and itís everywhere then.  And why did we spray those chemicals in the first place? Well I guess it was because we thought that it would be a cheap and easy way to fix our problems, and to make life easier and make more money, but I really hope that we are learning from these mistakes in the past, and finding ways of as a society to lead more ethical lives by using the resources we have around us in smarter ways that look to the long term health of the environment.   

So you can have a really heavy bird, but that doesn't mean that it was produced organically or was free range either. 

It's up to us all to insist on proper food labelling requirements, and for appropriate consumer protection. We should all be able to know how something we are considering purchasing was grown and raised.  It is only when we really have that sort of accurate information that we can start voting with our feet and making ethical choices for our families sake and for the sake of the other species that we share this World with too. 

On a personal note, I've decided to buy organic and free range whenever I can find it, and it is a bit more expensive, but that I will just buy a little less of it, or go without some other item to give those animals a decent life. And I keep chickens in the back yard so we have most of our own eggs, and when they are off their lay, I always make a point of buying free range eggs. 

Well that's my 10c worth anyway.
hmm

Last edited by ThelmaEmuCreek (Sat 27 Sep 08 5:22am)

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#14 Mon 15 Nov 10 2:44pm

LisaDee

Member
Member since Mon 15 Nov 10

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

I know this thread is old but I just want to add that I fund a Willow Farm chicken with hock burns (brown marks on the chickens "ankles") this week. As you may know, a hock burn is a sign of a chicken that has been sitting in its own **** too long - usually found on battery chickens. I'm assuming this is a one off - maybe it was an injured bird - but it would be an idea to post if you find similar marks on Willow Farm birds.

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#15 Mon 15 Nov 10 2:45pm

LisaDee

Member
Member since Mon 15 Nov 10

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

^^^ I used the word f a e c e s btw. For some reason it decided it was a swear word!!!!

Last edited by LisaDee (Mon 15 Nov 10 2:46pm)

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#16 Tue 20 Nov 12 8:48pm

Finchytoo

Member
Member since Tue 20 Nov 12

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

Nothing like resurrecting an old topic lol!

I noticed this week that the Willow Farm chicken in Tesco (which I always understand to be "freedom food, barn reared") has now been badged up as "Free Range" and has consequently had a staggering £1.50 per kilo increase in price over the last couple of months. It i now being sold at the same price their "Finest" Free Range chicken attracted earlier in the year. OK, I admit that the price increase is possibly being influenced by the poor grain harvest worldwide, but has "Willow Farm" suddenly knocked down all its barns and allowed the hens to roam about?

Somehow I don't think so, but does anyone else know anything about this, or is able to research the answer?

Paul

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#17 Tue 20 Nov 12 11:51pm

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Free Range Willow Farm?

I doubt it too.

Free Range means nothing. Give a chicken 1 square metre outside your kitchen door with twenty or more others and its allowed to pass as 'Free Range' ...OK...then feed it with scraps from kitchen rests, meat included, & bones to play with. Fattens the chick up a little, but will never be the happy organic with strong legs that clawed and searched for its own foods.

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