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Old 01-12-2014, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Free range chickens seem to be getting more common these days, and aside from ethical reasons, I think they're worth the extra price because I swear they taste better. They're fuller flavoured, moister, just with a 'cleaner' taste. I'm sure that both the diet and stress of caged chickens does make at least some difference. I'm not sure if these chickens are fed any differently, but to me at least there's a difference. Anyone else notices a difference?

Last edited by The Postman; 01-12-2014 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Currently living in Reddit
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Yes, especially in the breast meat. I typically avoid breast meat in "industrial" chicken. I also find Amish chicken to be much tastier even though it may not conform to the definition of "free range".
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:00 AM
 
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I have been to Amish farms as we used to sell a lot of bull calves and hay to them.

There is NOTHING that I saw on those farms that would make me pay even a one cent premium for their eggs or chicken. There are several that I would NOT purchase from as their cleanliness standards are lacking.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA, now.
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That I don't have "whiskers" growing outta my chin the next morning, yes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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From the store no, not really. But if you've ever gotten one directly from a small Farmer, absolutely. The breast is much smaller. The fat is much deeper in yellow and not white. It's much more rich and fantastic for rendering. The meat from a free range chicken is much tougher because the bird actually uses its muscles unless you get a younger chicken. A real free range chicken that is older really isn't suitable for roasting since it will be like eating rubber. The best way to prepare is a long stewing method.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Last year, my Wife and I travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, to see her daughter who lives there.

We went out for breakfast at a local café. I ordered eggs over easy with bacon and toast. The egg yolks were ORANGE in colour, and I asked why ? Turns out they buy their eggs from a local farmer who has free range hens. I was astonished at just how different they looked on the plate. Taste, wasn't that much different, but the visual appearance sure was odd.

Can't comment about the taste of the meat, as we don't eat much chicken at all.

Jim B

Toronto.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:48 PM
 
Location: SC
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I owned my own flock of true free range chickens, and honestly, I would not pay for commercial "free range." The commercial label is simply - required minimum standards allowing large numbers of birds to have a certain time and space allowance in an outdoor pen each day. On a large scale operation, this can pose a problem when it comes to keeping fowl disease-free.

I always roll my eyes when I see adds on tv about how their birds are fed a vegetarian diet, etc. This is so unhealthy.

Anyone who has raised fowl can tell you that they thrive on a natural diet of many insects, and will even kill and eat frogs, snakes and mice.

My hens laid eggs with dark gold yolks and super dense shells, the yolks were the color of the deepest orange peel. All of the insect protein, seeds and natural herbs they grazed on filled the eggs with nutrient dense yolks. Meat is smaller and more flavorful.

A true free range bird is hard to find because they are VERY destructive on landscaping and flowers; they dig everything up and can destroy gardens. They are also very susceptible to being killed by predators. Most family owned birds, even on farms are kept in large pens where the ground is scratched to mostly dirt, and they are supplemented with lots of gmo bagged feeds and kitchen scraps. Unfortunately organic feed is very expensive and still contains too much processed grain and no live insects and proteins.

Last edited by L0ve; 01-12-2014 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:53 PM
MJ7
 
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I notice a big difference, however, I am not certain it is due to the chickens being free-range or if it is due to a better end processing of the meat? anyways, my free-range chicken is much cleaner, not slimy or gooey after I open the package and it smells very fresh. Tyson chicken is super slimy with excess leakage and sometimes the chicken will have a strong off odor.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Free range chickens seem to be getting more common these days, and aside from ethical reasons, I think they're worth the extra price because I swear they taste better. They're fuller flavoured, moister, just with a 'cleaner' taste. I'm sure that both the diet and stress of caged chickens does make at least some difference. I'm not sure if these chickens are fed any differently, but to me at least there's a difference. Anyone else notices a difference?
I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I watched something that debunked the "free range" chicken thing. Apparently, "free range" doesn't mean what we think it means. Those chickens are still stuffed in to small areas with thousands of other chickens. They are not out there pecking away at the earth, looking for bugs and whatnot like we have been led to believe. They are still in cramped quarters, just "free range" means that they can at least move their wings a little bit. How they are killed is still flippin' horrid, and how they are raised is not what I would consider "free range".

I'm sorry that I cannot remember it...it was a reputable show/program/site...I just can't remember.

The point is, I think any difference is all in our heads. We are told that they are "free range" so we want to believe that we are eating a chicken that has been treated better. In the end, they really aren't treated better.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:08 PM
 
2,971 posts, read 3,295,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I watched something that debunked the "free range" chicken thing. Apparently, "free range" doesn't mean what we think it means. Those chickens are still stuffed in to small areas with thousands of other chickens. They are not out there pecking away at the earth, looking for bugs and whatnot like we have been led to believe. They are still in cramped quarters, just "free range" means that they can at least move their wings a little bit. How they are killed is still flippin' horrid, and how they are raised is not what I would consider "free range".

I'm sorry that I cannot remember it...it was a reputable show/program/site...I just can't remember.

The point is, I think any difference is all in our heads. We are told that they are "free range" so we want to believe that we are eating a chicken that has been treated better. In the end, they really aren't treated better.

I haven't run across any specific shows about this, but you might check out United Poultry Concerns. One look at their literature debunks all that free-range stuff. Of course, you can google their site.

Cage-free? hey, they're just so tightly packed together in the barn that they can barely turn around.

The cages are called battery cages.

Chickens are debeaked. Male chickens on egg producing farms are sometimes ground up alive.

The life of a broiler chicken can is not much of a life.

I used to buy Pete and Gerry's eggs, because they supposedly came from "certified humane" farms.

A surprise visit to a couple of those farms debunked that claim.

So now I'm a vegan. If I'm on someone's farm and their chickens are running around, I may partake of an egg. otherwise, forget it.
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