What’s in a word? "Free range" turned out to mean that the chickens were free to range if they could muster the courage, but in reality they spent most of their life in a shed and few ventured through the little doorway into the tiny lawn beyond.
"Cage free" turned out to mean that they were simply in a larger cage–a crowded barn or shed–but not actually free to ramble.
So what’s a girl got to do to get an egg that was laid by a hen who actually spends her day in the outdoors, eating grass and digging for worms? If you’re not going to raise them yourself, the new word to look for on your egg cartons is "pastured," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Pastured" is just a word–an ordinary, unregulated, subject- to- misinterpretation- and- corporate- approrpriation word. It might mean something different tomorrow, but for now it means that the girls actually spend their days in the outdoors, doing what hens do best.
Nice article, although here at the GardenRant chicken ranch, we burst out laughing when we got to this part:
The second surprise is that the eggs are very warm. Duh, but I’d never
thought about it. Quickly, we gather about 600 eggs in five large blue wire
baskets. Only a couple of hens, indignant over my intrusion, take a peck at my
But my bare toes, exposed in sandals, are attractive targets for the hens
pecking at the ground around my feet.
Here’s a fashion tip: Don’t wear sandals to a farm. Duh.