In the agriculture industry, free ranged chickens raised for their meat may be labeled as
"free-range" if they have U.S.D.A.certification that the birds have access to the outdoors.
NOTHING ELSE! There is no criteria on environmental quality, the size of the outdoor
area, the number of birds confined in a single shed, or the indoor or outdoor space
allotted per animal are considered in applying the label. As with "free-range" laying hens,
many live in a facility with only one small opening at the end of a large shed, permitting
only a few birds to go outside at any given time.

The term "free-range" "doesn't really tell you anything about what the animal is being fed
or it"s quality of life, nor does it even assure that the animal actually goes outdoors. Aside
from the birds' actual living conditions, there is no prohibition in "free-range" poultry
farming against using breeds of chickens and turkeys who have been selectively bred for
fast growth and it has nothing to do with what they are fed.

Vegetarian chickens are very seldom healthy birds. Chickens are ominivores, (the
consumption of both animal and plant life) and if they are raised on a strict vegetarian diet,
they will not develop properly, inside and out.

In the 1950s, it took 84 days to raise a five-pound chicken. Due to selective breeding and
growth promoting drugs, it now takes only 45 days. Such fast growth causes chickens to
suffer from a number of chronic health problems, including leg disorders and heart
disease. According to one study, 90 percent of broilers had detectable leg problems, while
26 percent suffered chronic pain as a result of bone disease, and we all eat this!

Broilers now grow so rapidly that the heart  and lungs are not developed well enough to
support the remainder of the body, resulting in congestive heart failure and tremendous
death losses.

Whether labeled "free-range" or not, if the birds used by agribusiness are the standard
"broiler" chicken of today, buying these products involves an enormous amount of animal
suffering. Factory-farmed birds raised for their meat considered "free-range" chickens and
turkeys may undergo the same grueling and sometimes fatal transport to slaughterhouses
when reaching market weight. No food, no water, packed into tight cases which are prone
to passing on diseases.

"Free-range" birds end up at the same slaughterhouses as factory-farmed birds, where
they are hung upside down, have their throats slit and bleed to death, often while still fully
conscious.

We all have to eat and if your decision is to eat meat like mine is, all animals must be
bred, fed and then slaughtered, but we should also be aware of all their health factors
because If they become unhealthy, then most likely so will we.

Here is the link to the U.S.D.A. fact sheet that explains more about poultry labeling:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp
"La Cage Aux Faux"
(The Bird Cage)
Free Range Birds