This Article is About
free range chickens
omega 3 fatty acids
beta carotene
free range eggs
natural lifestyle
egg production
soil and water
3 fatty acids
animal welfare
Free Range Chickens, Free Range Eggs And Omega 3
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Free Range Chickens, Free Range Eggs And Omega 3

Many of us have heard about free-range eggs and the benefits of Omega 3. We know it all sounds good and healthy, but when we actually go to buy our eggs we then settle for the standard cage eggs as they are usually cheaper. Well, just to clarify, there is a difference. Here are the main points:


Free-range chickens are free to roam round the farm, with access to grass and pasture. They eat a natural mixed diet of grain, grass, plants and insects. They are often different breeds and colours and live a healthy, natural lifestyle. They have a more natural appearance than cage chickens. Their eggs have deep orange-coloured yolks and a superior flavour to cage eggs.

Cage chickens are kept in artificial conditions, confined to cages with many other chickens, with no access to outside pastures. They are usually pale in colour, as are their eggs, and many have deformities due to extreme confinement.

The Environment

With conventional egg-production facilities, chickens in large quantities that are confined in constricted areas contaminate the air, soil and water with the excessive amount of manure that is produced. The manure taints local waterways, the gases pollute the air and the infectious agents (pathogens) in the waste contribute to health risks.

Compare this with free-range farming, where chickens can be rotated around to different pastures so that their healthy manure can highly increase the level of nutrients in the soil and avoiding toxicity. Simultaneously, the chickens can help to control pests.

Animal Welfare

Caged chickens have no space to move, stretch or behave naturally, which can result in them behaving in repetitive or destructive activities such as feather-pulling and pecking at other chickens. They exhibit more fearful behaviour and can develop deformities.

Health & Nutrition

The health benefits of free-range chickens and their eggs include less fat and cholesterol, more vitamins, including Vitamins A and E, beta-carotene and more Omega-3 fatty acids than from caged birds.


Most foodies round the world (including myself) would agree that free-range pasture-fed chickens and eggs have a superior colour, texture and flavour to conventional caged chickens and eggs. For us gourmets, there is nothing more deflating than cracking open a fresh egg only to reveal a pale, insipid-looking yellow yolk when you have anticipated a deep orange yolk that only healthy free-foraging birds can produce.

How to find the real deal

If you shop mainly at supermarkets, how do you know if eggs labelled free-range are the genuine article? Many food authorities have passed guidelines and rules for egg producers which interpret free-range in very loose terms. Some guidelines don’t require producers to allow their chickens access to “pasture” or even to the outdoors nor to specify how much space the chickens must have, and yet they can still label their eggs free-range. This can be very confusing and misleading for consumers. I have bought “free-range” and even “bio- organic” eggs at exorbitant prices only to discover tasteless, pale-yellow yolks. Even if you shop at local markets, some unscrupulous stall-holders will fob you off with cage eggs, telling you they are free-range. I have found that the only way to verify your eggs is to crack them open and check the colour of the yolk. If they are fakes, you should then return them to your supplier and ask for a refund and an apology and vow never to shop there again! A bit harsh, maybe, but they will soon get the message.

Of course, another way to ensure that you have genuine free-range chickens and eggs is to keep a few chickens yourself in your backyard, feed them on food scraps, a little grain and plenty of grubs and you will never again be disappointed gourmets…

Street Talk

I am blessed with living in an area where this stuff is always available. The eggs are awesome!

  about 9 years ago

Hi Michael, My wish to you is a very good morning and the next parts of the day. I just passed by to say hello and to tell you that I liked your article because it is rich and informative. I would go for free range anytime, they are usually healthier and more "natural". Thank you very much.

  about 9 years ago
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