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Cage-Free vs. Free-Range

February 4, 2010

There is often confusion when it comes to buying one of our favorite farm-fresh items: eggs.  What’s the difference between “Cage-Free” and “Free-Range”?  There is no set definition, but here’s our standard at Urban Acres.  Most of the eggs out there are industrially farmed where tens of thousands of chickens never see the light of day and are crammed six-tight into a tiny little cage.  Sad for the chicken and super unhealthy for us the consumer.  All of our eggs at Urban Acres are organic, meaning they are fed organic feed, and the chickens are never locked in cages.  Here are the types we carry:

FREE-RANGE – We also call these pastured eggs.  This simply means the chickens get to roam free in a field all day long until they get locked up at night to be protected from predators such as coyotes.  In this situation, they have a football-sized field to roam.  This is the majority of our eggs.

CAGE-FREE – These eggs are still organic and also never caged up, but they have a smaller area to roam.  One of our farmers has an area of about 75 ft x 100 ft where the girls can look for bugs.  We typically look for cage-free eggs during the winter months when egg production is way down due to the cold temperatures.

PULLET EGGS – Sometimes you’ll see smaller eggs in the mix.  Pullets are eggs from brand-new chickens.  When hens start laying eggs, they are a little smaller.  The plus side to pullet eggs is the darker yolk that comes with an awesome rich flavor.

We’ll be gathering eggs from many farms this week, so please come by the Farm Store in Oak Cliff this Saturday, February 6th from 9am-3pm and enjoy what will become the best part of your morning!

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