How to choose the most ETHICAL chicken on the market today

Photo Credit: Canadian Small Flockers

These days when it comes time to buying chicken, consumers are faced with a variety of options. It can at times, be a bit overwhelming with all the chicken choices that are available. With chicken that is pasture, organic or factory, there seems to be a great debate about the merits of each of the three main categories available. With factory chicken, concentrated or confined animal feeding operation chicken (CAFO), or commercially produced chicken. Pastured poultry, is usually raised by small flock poultry farmers. And organic chicken used to be solely available from small flockers, but now more and more it available from CAFO commercial chicken factory farms. The following are some of the differences between the three main categories of poultry.

1. Pastured Poultry. Pastured poultry are the chickens that live most of their lives on live, lush, green grasses that are grown under the sun, rain and winds, on a real, dirt farm. Pastured poultry is all about the chickens being raised with a wonderful life every day, except for the day they go to slaughter. All of the chickens raised, even on their slaughter day, are treated with respect, dignity, and the best possible care until the chicken is killed, then they are killed humanely so they can fulfill their life purpose. Those who practice and eat poultry that is Pastured raised believe that the chickens that are happy and well cared for will have the best health possible, and will subsequently produce the best tasting, and most nutritious meats and eggs. Chickens that are raised with the sun, wind, and rain, with grass that grows vigorously, with earthworms, bugs, and others that live in the luscious pasture grasses that will help supply the chickens with 40 percent of their nutrition. The balance of the feed for these chickens is normal commercial chicken feed. Every morning the cages that protect the chickens from any predators are moved forward onto clean, fresh grass. This helps to provide a fresh food source and a clean environment, thereby minimizing any risk of disease or malnutrition.

2. Organic poultry farming. More and more each month, big agriculture and big food seize tighter and tighter control over the organic standard of poultry with regards to rules, enforcement, auditing, usage and interpretations. Slowly but surely, the organic designation is being twisted into another way to control the people's food and provide higher profits and lower the risk to those who manipulate and hide behind the organic designation. This propaganda and the mirage of good and wholesome foods have become a symbol for elitism, with high food prices.

3. CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) Chicken. The CAFO chicken factory of raising chickens is all about making the maximum possible profit in the shortest amount of time, regardless of the consequences for the animal. No Environmental Assessment. The CAFO method of chicken factories is easy to spot. Theses factories typically have large chicken factory barns buildings, which are bigger than football fields, all under one roof. You will rarely see just one CAFO barn on a farm. There are usually 6 to 8 chicken barns on each CAFO farm, all the same size, about a football field for each. There is a certain number of chickens that are allowed on a CAFO chicken factory under government regulations. If you exceed that number, you must do an Environmental Assessment before you can do any building, renovating or expanding on that CAFO chicken factory. Knowing which eggs are best and which meat is best can only be determined by research and knowing where your eggs come from, and the methods that farm uses. You will find the difference between eggs on the Canadian Small Flockers site. On the site, you will learn about eggs from caged hens, which eggs are best, organic poultry farming and more. **

Learn MORE at Canadian Small Flockers


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