In recent years, there has been growing concern about the welfare of animals raised for food, including chickens. As a result, more and more consumers are seeking out free-range chicken as a healthier and more humane alternative to conventionally raised poultry.
So what exactly is free-range chicken, and how does it differ from non-free-range chicken? In Australia, the term "free-range" is regulated by the government and refers to chickens that have access to an outdoor area for at least a certain number of hours per day. Specifically, free-range chickens must have access to an outdoor area that has a density of no more than 10,000 birds per hectare. This means that the chickens have more space to move around and engage in natural behaviors like pecking and scratching.
In contrast, non-free-range chickens are typically raised in cramped, indoor conditions with limited access to natural light, fresh air, and the ability to move around freely. They are often raised in large sheds or barns with thousands of other birds, which can lead to overcrowding, stress, and the spread of disease. These chickens are often given antibiotics and hormones to help them grow faster and prevent disease, which can have negative impacts on both the chickens and the environment.
Choosing free-range chicken is not only better for the welfare of the birds, but it's also better for our health and the environment. Free-range chickens are allowed to live a more natural life and are less likely to be stressed or sick, which means they don't require as many antibiotics or other drugs. Additionally, free-range farming practices are often more sustainable and ethical, which helps to support local communities and protect the planet.
So if you're looking for a healthier, more humane alternative to conventionally raised chicken, consider choosing free-range chicken. Not only will you be supporting ethical farming practices, but you'll also be doing your part to promote a more sustainable and responsible food system.