The Difference That Cage-Free and Free-Range Eggs Make
Whenever you shop for eggs, you may notice the terms “organic,” “cage-free” or “free-range” floating around on various labels. But, what if you don’t see them at all? If you’re like us, you may be questioning the living conditions of the chickens who laid those eggs.
At Chino Valley Ranchers, we believe in using cage-free, free-range and pasture-raised environments along with all-organic diets. Why? It’s one of the best practices to use in making sure our chickens—and the eggs they lay—are happy and healthy.
Why Buy Cage-Free Eggs?
As a consumer, it’s worth paying attention to the packaging when you are buying eggs for you and your family. Let’s take a look at some of the labeling distinctions you may notice:
Cage-Free — Caged chickens typically have very limited room to move. A “cage-free” environment implies that the chickens are raised in large open barns. They are still confined to one area, but they can congregate together and have room to move. This helps eliminate the need for antibiotics because infections are less likely to occur.
Free-Range — “Free-range” or “pasture-raised” chickens, on the other hand, are allowed to roam outside for at least part of the day. This allows the birds to move around even more freely and forage as they naturally would. They would be fed supplemental grains as part of their diet, but they can also eat what they naturally would eat in the wild like insects, grass, flowers, seeds and worms. This kind of lifestyle will produce the most authentically natural eggs possible.
Organic — What are organic eggs? Well, when you see “organic” on the label of your eggs, it is referring to the diet of the chickens. Whether they are caged, cage-free or free-range, they are fed diets of USDA-certified organic grains and other ingredients that are not genetically modified. The diets are free of pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and GMO crops.
The Benefits of Organic Eggs
There are many benefits to eating eggs that come from cage-free, free-range or pasture-raised chickens who eat all-organic diets. Here are a few worth noting:
- Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
These eggs are richer in omega-3 fatty acids, which provide great anti-inflammatory benefits in humans and also reduce the risk of heart attacks.
- Essential Vitamins
Increased levels of vitamins A and E, as well as beta-Carotene, are typically found in eggs produced in these healthier environments.
- Less Cholesterol and Fat
Eggs from chickens raised in organic, cage-free and free-range environments typically have up to 1/3 less fat than caged eggs.
At Chino Valley Ranchers, our chickens have been cage-free since day one. The humane treatment of our chickens produces the freshest and highest quality eggs out there, and that is part of our mission. We work every day to ensure our chickens get high-quality feed and special roosting and nesting areas to produce delicious, organic eggs.
To learn more about how we raise our chickens at Chino Valley Ranchers and the specialized organic diets we feed them, contact us today.