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Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

tgr
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 02-08-2007

Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

Every supermarket, local shops,markets, farmers sells free range eggs.  Does anyone know how many hens it would take to supply all of these shops etc on a daily basis.  If they are really free range eggs the hens must have a certain amount of space and surely the hens  can only supply so many eggs per day.
Personally I have never worked it out but at  a rough  estimate I would imagine the number of hens required would fill the entire British isles perhaps China is full of hens working over time for less than a dollar a day to produce all the free range eggs we need (lol).
I notice in today Times that some lady was fined heavily for supposedly selling free range eggs when she ran out she got some eggs cheaply from a whole saler rubbed of the markings etc and sold them as free range.  Some people I  also read dress in hawn aprons  to look like farmers and take  ordinary eggs and self them at a much enhanced price in farmers markets.  Personally to me free range eggs are just another con to add to the price of our food.  I  cannot tell the difference between what I call ordinary eggs and free range but please I beg you do not  put loads of messages on the site telling me how wonderful free range taste from ordinary eggs cos to me they don't and to a lot  people they don,t.
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

I buy free range eggs because the hens are kept in relatively humane conditions
I started buying them when the main alternative was battery hens where the conditions were appalling and have continued doing so
The newer alternatives such as barn eggs have a maximum stocking density of 9 hens per sq m or about 1ft x 1ft per hen which I still think is pretty cramped
This gives a bit more information http://www.egginfo.co.uk/egg-production
tgr
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

Thanks Jim i found that information very interesting more to eggs than meets the eye!
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

Quote from: Oldjim
I buy free range eggs because the hens are kept in relatively humane conditions

Exactly why I buy free range - if we're going to keep animals in captivity, at least let them have some kind of life.
randpwar
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Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

We always have eggs from free range hens and I know they're fresh.....I just wander down to the bottom of the garden and pick them out of the coop! Though we are down to 2 eggs each day as our Silky bantam has gone broody and stopped laying. We have to pick her out of the coop 3 or 4 times a day 
deathtrap
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Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

I buy my eggs from a local farm, the hens are usually free to roam almost anywhere, unless there's signs of Mr Fox , as the farmer has lost a lot of hens to Foxes, which don't kill one or 2 hens to eat because they are hungry. no they go and kill 10 or more for the hell of it,like they play some sick game  But hens will normally lay one egg per day , unless they are malting or the weather is too hot , then they go on strike,lol  unless of course they are in a battery shed, where it's light 24hrs a day
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Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

I'm not convinced free range hens produce better tasting eggs - has there actually been any studies and experiments on this?
My MIL's eggs from her chickens do actually have a better taste than those bought in the local shop but maybe it's due to their feed or even a perceived expectation of being better Undecided
When I have bought free range back in UK (that's all the local 7/11 seems to have) I can honestly say I have never noticed any difference in taste.

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Devonian
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Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

Sainsburys get their free range eggs and chickens from a farm not to far from me.
The owners of the farm are family friends, mainly due my family having a farming background.
The hens are kept on 4 massive fields, which have trees providing shade and cover, they are let out of the sheds at 7 am, and put back to bed at 6pm 7 days per week.
They are treated like 1 of the family. 
As to the number of hens, there are around 100,000 on the farm.
I would pop up a link to the farm, but they have had issues with animal rights morons in the past.  Apparantly shooting foxes that are worrying the hens is an animal rights issue.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

Have they thought about using Alpacas as they are supposed to frighten away the foxes - even Prince Charles uses them http://www.theranger.co.uk/News/Alpacas-guard-the-flock-_21536.html
http://www.farminguk.com/news/Alpacas-guard-the-flock-and-keep-the-foxes-away!_19638.html
Devonian
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Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

I was just looking for a video I have on photobucket, my old man has a dozen Alpaca wondering around the farm.
The problem with them, are they can be quite unpredictable, and as the chicken farm has a 'right to roam' footpath over the fields, bumbling tourists might get bitten Wink
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Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

My family used to run a small chicken farm, we had a mix of battery, barn and free range chickens. In that case free range meant just that hens free to wander in a woodland area though they were in coups at night to protect them from foxes. One of my jobs was to look for hens nesting in bramble patches and we trained our dog to go to those nests and retrieve the eggs.  There is a world of difference in taste between proper free range and battery eggs. As the "farmer's kids" we'd get the mishapen eggs and the double yolkers for breakfast.
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Devonian
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Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Free Range Eggs where are all the hens kept or do they not exist

Quote from: AlaricAdair
.  There is a world of difference in taste between proper free range and battery eggs.

I agree completely. Smiley