Connie of Urban Overalls Is Asking- Free Range Chickens: New Or Old?

January 15, 2016

We hear the words “Free Range” a lot in our day to day living today. Connie of Urban Overalls, is offering insight into the term Free Range! Connie grew up in Iowa and now resides in Colorado. We think you will appreciate Connie’s thoughts on Free Range Chickens and we’d love to hear your experience with Free Range Chickens. Leave us a comment or two !

In the few years, chickens have experienced resurgence. Now while they never went away, more people (I am talking families and individuals, not corporate farms), are raising them. Part of the credit can go towards a movement of kowing where your food comes from. People are raising their own egg and meat production rather than relying on a grocery store. Another avenue of growth is coming from urban agriculture. Communities are passing ordinances allowing for backyard chickens, which had previously been banned.

But regardless of the avenue of growht, one phrase is sprouting from the mouths of these new chicken keepers. And what are they saying? My fellow poultry fans, they are exclaiming “Free-Range!”

For newbies to poultry, they may be under the impression that free-range is a new method for raising poultry. After all, it shows up in headlines, e-books, sustainable living articles, and even egg cartons at the grocery ctore. But just how new is raising free-range chickens?


Before we delve into that area, it may help to understand the definition of free-range. Now according to the National Chicken Council, the USDA does not have a precise definition. However, it typically refers to chickens who have access to the outdoors for a portion of the day. It does not mean that the chickens are outdoors everyday.

For oyou backyard poultry keepers, this means that if you have an outdoor chicken run (not referring to the coop) and your chickens have access to it, congratulations, you have free-range chickens.

My chickens have an entirely enclosed chicken run (including the top of the run) for protection against predators. The run is attached to the chicken coop with small, open doors allowing access ot the run. Now while they do spend some time in the run, they do not go into the run on rainy or snowy days, opting for the shelter of the coop. So even if they do not go out, I can still say tha tthey are free-range birds.

But, if I recall contiue here…………

Connect with Connie of Urban Overalls on Facebook for day to day happenings on her farm! Be sure to follow Connie’s blog, Urban Overalls, for inspiration on raising your chicks! We look forward to Connie’s contributions and hope you do as well.

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