What’s your leaning on the free-range vs. caged debate?
Which side do you support?
Whilst we are aware of most points of contention on the matter,
Here are some considerations that might NOT have crossed your mind before.
The results in this document prove our current understanding of the pros and cons in this debate – as simplistic.
So, if you are still undecided on the matter – I recommend reading this study before making a commitment either way.
In this study, researchers closely examined parameters of egg quality between a caged flock of layer hens vs. free-range counterparts (Hyline Brown).
Here’s what they found:
- “…free-range environment hens were significantly lighter in body weight than their caged counterparts”
- “…caged hens had better overall egg production and quality characteristics compared with free-range hens”
- “…free-range hens experienced a reduction in nutrient partitioning devoted to egg production”
The rationale behind WHY this is could be argued.
However, it seems apparent that free-range environment taxes the hen’s bodies more to fuel additional movement.
And where there is a greater energy expense/demand, the resources from other functions, like egg production, will be drawn upon to suffice.
So, egg weight and production will be less in such cases.
HOWEVER, what can’t be ignored is the free-range hen’s access to a much broader range of nutritional input which will naturally give rise to a more nutrient diverse egg.
That said, the artificial fortification of layer hen feed given to caged birds, will produce artificially enhanced eggs.
Whatever a discerning customer can pick out.
Ultimately, whatever the consumer values will reign supreme at the end of the day.
For more information on this study: