We now live in a world when buying chicken isn’t that simple anymore. There are just so many types to choose from—free-range, free-run, and pasture-raised. Which is which? Most importantly, how are they different from a “normal” chicken?
Here’s a guide on how to differentiate them and help you choose the right one on your next grocery shopping trip, especially if you want to make the sustainable and ethical choice.
When you see free-range chicken at the grocery, these are chickens that are not cooped together in a cage or a small space. Instead, the chickens have a lot of space to roam around, and they have the freedom to access the outdoors.
The cooped-up lifestyle is typical for factory-farmed chickens that produce the eggs that we eat.
Most chickens are raised indoors in crowded barns in poor conditions. Free-run chickens that are taken indoors are given a lot of space to roam around, and the environment is clean and well-ventilated.
Giving animals the freedom to move will let them maintain a natural level of activity. In turn, this will help reduce their stress levels. Free-range and free-run chickens are highly recognizable for a more tinge of yellow fat on their skin.
Pasture-raised chickens are placed outside on pastures. Indeed, these chickens are free to enjoy the fresh air. Most of them are actually raised in mobile cages that let farmers move the chicken across the land when a pasture is saturated.
Here, the chickens have a special diet. Aside from bugs and worms, their food is also mixed with grains.
Here are some other terms that you will come across when you’re shopping for poultry at your local supermarket:
Keep in mind that here in Canada, the standards and regulations for chicken are stricter compared to the US. You should also know that farmers incur the costs of being certified. A lot of small farmers meet or exceed the organic standards in the country but prefer not to pay for labelling certification because it can get costly.
With so many labels and names, it’s crucial to be aware of what type of chicken you’re buying. You don’t want chickens that are infused with so many chemicals; you want the healthiest chicken out there for you and your family. Use this information to help you identify the right chicken to serve on the table. Also, make sure you only buy chickens from a reliable brand to guarantee the highest quality and safety.
Looking for ethically raised poultry delivered to your door? Northern Raised is known for its ethical farming in Brampton, ON. We are an online meat delivery service. Contact us today!