If you were to think of the most versatile type of meat available, you would be hard-pressed to think of anything other than chicken.
The chicken can adapt to any terrain, and it’s easy to breed and maintain. As a result, this humble bird has become a staple across times and cultures in human history.
And this doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. In fact, the global poultry market seems to be where the biggest shift is, as it’s expected to be worth $7.67 billion in 2021.
But what are free-range chickens, and what is making them all the rage?
Let us break down all you need to know.
What Are Free-Range Chickens?
Free-range chickens are essentially chickens that are able to have access to the outside world. This is opposed to conventional cage farmed chickens that have their movements restricted.
But the fact that they can go outside doesn’t always mean that it happens or is even possible for them to. Having access to some form of land, particularly according to American government regulations, is subjective. This leads to some unscrupulous farmers only paying lip service to the term.
Some may only leave windows and small doors where the birds are housed, with the likelihood being that very few actually are able to take full advantage of the open space.
Under the best of circumstances, however, free-range chickens will be able to roam on pastures, only returning to the enclosure to roost at night.
What Are the Benefits of Free-Range Chickens?
So why is there a demand for free-range chickens in the first place?
There is without a doubt an animal conservation narrative in most cases. People on a psychological level definitely feel better knowing that the food they eat has lived a full life prior to being processed into meat. But there are also health benefits.
Studies have also shown the eggs of free-range chickens to contain less cholesterol and less saturated fats, amongst other things.
With many today being particularly health-conscious, these results are why there is no reason to expect this demand to drop.
We shouldn’t overlook the fact that they also tend to taste better. Free-range chickens have been noted to be more juicy and succulent than their conventional chicken counterparts.
This may be down to their improved diet, as most tend to eat organic feed such as those found on organicchickenfeed.com.
Free-Range Chickens Remain at the Top of the Coop
The humble chicken is much loved among farmers and consumers alike. Yet as we have seen, free-range chickens seem to be remaining high in the pecking order in contrast to their cheaper brothers and sisters long into the future.
We hope that this insight into the world of animal husbandry has proved insightful. While you are here, be sure to check out the other great food-related posts on our blog!