"Free-range" vs. "Cage-free"

May 17, 2021

Have you ever wondered what the term "cage-free" means?  It would be
easy to equate "cage-free" with "free-range".  Both of these terms
conjure a picture of birds walking free in a grassy area.  Since we
discussed "free-range" last week...let's talk about "cage-free". 
Chicken cages are typically small, about the size of a sheet of paper. 
To say that chickens are cage-free simply means that they are not
confined to cages, it does not mean that they are outdoors.  Cage-free
chickens are usually confined in a barn or chicken house, often in
crowded conditions, with poor air quality and other inhumane conditions.

Technically, according to regulations, these chickens are cage-free...

while these are in a "cage" (pen, shelter, greenhouse):


This pic was taken in cold weather...the end that's half enclosed is usually completely open...we try to keep them comfortable!

So, which chickens do you think are healthier, happier, and yield better
quality meat?!  Marketing terms are often misleading.  Know your

Sandra Ressler

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