We all seem to see an astronomical price for ‘free range’ eggs these days. These prices become more frequent at the grocery store for the little terms which sound good, like grass-fed, and organic. However, we know that you’re probably like the majority of people looking for the healthiest options possible. You likely do your homework when buying eggs for you and your family, and if you do, well… we tip our hats to you.
Unfortunately, some producers believe selling their eggs as ‘free range’ means opening a little door to a penned up area with nothing but a patch of dirt to roam and scratch around. They’ll throw a bit of feed on the ground—not caring what kind of feed it is—and the chickens ‘freely range’ in that ‘pastured’ area to eat as much as they want till the feed’s gone.
Yet the words, ‘pastured’, and ‘free range’ have more meaning to those of us who take your health, and the health of our chickens, seriously. What our birds eat, and where they eat it, make a difference in the health of our chickens and their eggs. Which in turn, gives you and your family healthier options.
So what should chickens eat?
Since you probably already know what chickens should eat, perhaps you don’t know what they shouldn’t eat. Although it’s tempting to give them your leftover pizza, burgers, and BBQ potato chips’, it’s not good for your chickens.
Let’s say chickens like to eat things containing salt, and spices like buttered and salted popcorn with a sprinkling of cayenne, but it’s not very healthy for them.
Perhaps eating your breaded fish & chips, or your thoroughly buttered and salted corn on the cob tastes great to you, but it could prove painful to our feathered friends.
All of these people-type things give those little chicken kidneys, hearts, and liver undue strain and probable health issues.
Chickens aren’t people. They aren’t the pet dog. Their needs, digestive systems, and other processes are quite a bit different. That’s why going to the every-day-all-you-can-eat-bug smorgasbord means healthy and happier chickens.
So Pastured Chickens Are Best?
Pastured chickens are the best. They like being raised in the grassy pastures eating their favorite things like bugs, worms, and grasshoppers.
Now, there are some producers who use a modified system. They don’t want their chickens being found by predators, like coyotes, weasels, skunk, raccoon, or anything else that has chicken on the menu. Therefore, they’ll use pens that are mobile, so they’re ably moved to other fresh pastures where they can preen their fine feathers in a more luxurious location.
These portable pens are still considered an acceptable practice, and your chickens can still be correctly termed as ‘pastured chickens.’
Now, if you’re wondering about our Rafter W. Ranch chickens and eggs, all you need to do is ask. We’ll tell you straight up how we raise our chickens for the healthiest eggs you couldn’t find anywhere else. Contact us today.