Free Birds

| February/March 2006

  • free-range eggs, pastured poultry, cage-free hens


  • free-range eggs, pastured poultry, cage-free hens
About 95 percent of the 300 million laying hens in the United States are confined to cages. Many of the birds don't even live with enough space to spread their wings, and are deprived of fresh air and exercise. More U.S. businesses are joining the Humane Society of the United States' campaign to discontinue the purchase of eggs from caged chickens, including: Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, Bon Appetit Management Co., Earth Fare, Jimbo's?Naturally and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace. Several universities, including George Washington University, the University of Arizona and the University of Connecticut, also have stopped purchasing eggs laid by chickens confined in cages.

You can support this campaign for more humane treatment of poultry by choosing 'free-range' or 'cage-free' eggs at your grocery store. Even better are eggs from hens raised on pasture. These true free-range eggs often have the added bonus of being higher in nutrients and lower in cholesterol than eggs from caged birds.

For information about the health benefits of eggs from pastured poultry, visit The Chicken and Egg Page.

You'll also find lots of great advice about raising your own chicks at the Web site of poultry expert, Robert Plamondon.

BILLYE Nipper_1
4/28/2006 12:00:00 AM

My husband and I have 5 acres and plan to raise some chickens mainly for the eggs. I can't bear the thought of eating chicken or eggs produced by corporate farms because of the inhumane treatment of the chickens. I am sorry to say, or maybe proud to say, that I cannot nor will I kill a chicken and even though my husband was raised on a farm and has killed 100s of chickens to eat and to sell, I am reluctant to have him kill them. I guess this is a crazy question, but is there a "humane" way to kill a chicken? How do I rid myself of this anxiety?BillyeBlanchard, OK

DAVID Brewster
3/12/2006 12:00:00 AM

My reason for wanting free range chickens as my source of eggs has nothing to do with the treatment or handling of the birds, it has to do with what they are fed! I don't like eating chemicals!Most of you are aware that commercial chickens are fed an altered feed to "beef them up" as it were. Well, I am one of the professional drivers who used to bring the actual solution to the feed producers to manufacture to new feeds. Abbott Laboratories is one of the suppliers of a funky smelling light brown liquid called "LSS" (liquid steriodal solution). This nasty stuff is the by-product from producing female HGH (human growth hormone). It is also added to other livestock. Have you noticed that many young women develope very early and to extraordinary proportions? This is why.David BrewsterAvalon Beach, FL

2/28/2006 12:00:00 AM

I need some advice on Pekin ducks. I have one female, three males. After incubating 5 eggs, only one hatched?? I followed the incubator directions, all looked good, but nothing happened with 4 of the eggs. Heidi Mason - Dunnellon, FL.

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