If you live in the US, it depends on what you mean by “free range”. Chances are, your idea of free range is not the same as the government’s idea of free range. Your idea probably looks something like this:
The government’s idea looks more like this:
Yes. That qualifies as “free range”. Legally.
According to Mother Earth News:
- “Cage Free,” “Free Range” or “Free Roaming”: None of these terms are currently regulated by the U.S. government, although there are some third-party verification programs. Nevertheless, “free range” usually means the laying hens are raised in large flocks in big open warehouses rather than in stacked cages. They can walk around, flap their wings and preen their feathers a little. “Cage-free” does not mean outdoor access. “Free-range” implies some outdoor access, although it is probably very limited, and on dirt or concrete rather than pasture.
In order to get the significant nutritional superiority of eggs from chickens who have free access to the outside, grazing on grass and insects, the term you want to look for is “pastured”. For more information on this subject, The Huffington Post just published an excellent article.
Heedley’s Hens are out from dawn to dusk; we have the deep orange yolks and the happy hens to prove it!