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Open Forage Poultry Management

flock-2_300Egg cartons in supermarkets may be labled free-range, cage free, barn-laid, etc but how can you be sure they are what they say. Free-range may mean the hens are let out into a tiny yard for a couple of hours a day.

Cage-free and barn-laid may mean the hens are locked up all day and night, with hardly any room to move. None of these scenarios are sustainable or allow the hens to forage freely. The term free-range has been hijacked by marketing. Cage-free just means not raised in a cage.

These Barnevelder eggs did not come from a supermarket, but from a sustainable organic farm where the hens can forage freely outside in a yard or paddock all day the day. You can buy open forage eggs from local farmers markets and roadside stalls, or keep some hens in your backyard garden, small holding or farm.IMGP3625email

Open Forage or Pasture Raised describes true free-range poultry management.

Dr. Mercola, a Fellow at the American College of Nutrition, says: “True free-range eggs, now increasingly referred to as ‘pasture-raised’, are from hens that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. Regulations on the use of the term “free-range” do not specify the amount of time the hens must spend outdoors, or the amount of outdoor space each hen must have access to. Nor do they indicate that the hen must have access to a pasture diet

Certified organic poultry is the only poultry product that is 100 per cent guaranteed to be antibiotic-free. Your best source for fresh eggs is a local farmer that allows his hens to forage freely outdoors. The idea that eggs, as a source of saturated fats, are unhealthy and promote heart disease is a complete myth. While it’s true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, eating eggs will not raise your cholesterol levels”

Check out the following link to an excellent video on the sources of eggs – The Story of an Egg – by Dr. Mercola

Written by Dallas and Beth