|This is where basic cheap white eggs come from|
Now, not only are free range/ pastured eggs more humane, but they also have a much lower risk of salmonella contamination. This is simply because they get to roam around free, eat clean food and go to a nesting box to lay their eggs. On the other hand, factory farmed eggs come from chicken packed tightly into cages, they poop eat and lay all in the same place. There are hundreds of birds in one farm. Diseases and infection spread through the poop filled cage farm. The cages are so small that many birds can not turn around, flap their wings, stretch, and have no opportunity to dust/dirt bathe themselves. These hens live their entire lives in a cage never seeing the light of day. To insure they do not peck each other from insanity their beaks are painfully cut off.
The end result is not so pretty--
(This is a video from PETA on conventional egg layer living conditions)
Now, not everyone has the time, space, or money to raise their own chickens, so what can you do? Try to buy from your local chicken keepers. It's easier than you think. Go on craigslist, and search eggs in "for sale"
I bet there are at least 5 sellers in your area, well maybe not in NYC..
It is best to buy straight from a person because they are more trustworthy, and they might even show you the chickens' living conditions. If you can't or don't want to buy from a person, read lables carefully! Cage free does not mean free range or pastured.
The best thing a carton can say is: pastured. Meaning they can roam free, dust bathe, and participate in normal chicken activites.
Cage-free: is not always better than conventional caged, because- most cage free farms pack as many chickens into a barn as possible making it difficult to move, and making diseases a higher risk.
|A picture of a "cage-free" farm|
this means the chickens have better living conditions and a treated kindly.
A good place to find these eggs, believe it or not- costco
costco eggs state: CAGE FREE ORGANIC AND CERTIFIED HUMANE
not bad, 2 dozen in a pack, and not a bad price
Trader joe's, whole foods, and some supermarkets also carry these eggs, but be careful
some labels say cage free, and in small print "free to roam inside a barn." Note. picture above.
|(from left to right) Banana, sandy, ginger, sparrow, pebbles, midnight|
and chiquita, who is not in this shot.
I consider my chickens organic free range or pastured.
This is my chicken pen and coop. In the pen they are about to dust bathe and walk around with some cover from the rain. The coop is where the sleep and lay. My chickens get at least at least 6 hours a day (usually more) to roam the yard free. We live on a fenced acre, and I allow my chickens to roam, forage, perch, fly, and dust bathe. They have no vaccinations and their wings aren't clipped. They are fed certified organic feed, and given clean fresh water constantly throughout the day, every day.
They are treated with respect, and given care, and love. If you live local to eastern suffolk on long island I would love to sell eggs to you, as soon as they start laying.