Should You Buy Caged Or Free Range Eggs?
With the current cost of living rising daily many of us are looking at ways to cut back and this includes our daily shopping list. Now eggs form part of most peoples diet and caged eggs are considerably cheaper to buy but should you buy caged or free range eggs?
The main difference between caged and free-range eggs lies in the living conditions of the hens that lay them:
- Hens are confined to small cages, often sharing with several other birds.
- They have limited space to move, stretch their wings, or engage in natural behaviors like dust bathing or scratching.
- This can lead to physical and mental health problems for the hens.
- Hens have access to some form of outdoor space, although the size and quality of this space can vary greatly.
- They are free to roam, forage, and engage in natural behaviors to a greater extent than caged hens.
- This generally leads to improved animal welfare compared to caged systems.
However, it’s important to note that “free-range” is not a strictly regulated term, so the actual living conditions can vary. Here are some things to consider:
- Access to the outdoors: While caged hens have no access at all, free-range hens may only have limited access for a few hours a day, or the outdoor space might be enclosed or have limited vegetation.
- Size of outdoor space: There are no minimum requirements for the size of the outdoor space, so it could be very small in some cases.
- Certification: Look for labels from independent certifiers like Certified Humane or Animal Welfare Approved, which have stricter standards for free-range hens.
If you’re concerned about animal welfare, choosing free-range eggs is generally a better option than caged eggs. However, to be sure the hens are truly living in better conditions, look for additional certifications or information about the specific farm where the eggs were produced.
Here are some additional resources you might find helpful:
- The Happy Chicken Coop:https://www.thehappychickencoop.com/cage-free-eggs-vs-free-range-eggs/
- World Animal Protection:https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327383