The million dollar question. Organic or free range? Put simply, organic eggs are free range eggs, but better, with no chemicals or nasties. Here are five key things which can shed some light on the differences between free range and organic eggs
In order for eggs to be classed as organic, the hens must be fed a first class diet. They are given feed free of chemicals and genetically modified ingredients. This feed is always monitored to make sure it meets the highest standards and passes certain tests. At Purely Organic, we make the feed ourselves and this means we know exactly what our hens are eating. When Purely Organic hens aren’t eating home made feed they’re pecking at fresh fruit, foraging in natural grasses and eating insects and bugs. This gives them a varied diet and keeps them healthy.
Free range hens always have food and drink available. But their food does not have to meet any standards or be regulated, so you can’t always be sure that their feed is produced with natural ingredients.
There must be NO hormones or antibiotics used in raising organic laying hens, in fact they are totally banned in the UK. The same can’t be said for free range hens. Of course this varies, but as there are no regulations controlling free range feed, there is no guarantee that antibiotics and hormones are not being consumed by the hens. Whereas organic hens would not be organic if they had antibiotics and hormones or medicines pumped into their systems.
Organic hens must have access to the outdoors at all times in order for them to forage. This way we know the hens are spending time outside when they want to. Because organic hens live in smaller flocks, they’re more likely to use the land around their barn for foraging; so you can always be assured you are supporting the best conditions and farming practices when you buy organic.
There is no limit to the size of flocks for free range hens meaning an unlimited number could be raised in one single area. However, according to EU Organic Regulations a maximum organic hen flock is 3,000 birds. By having smaller flock sizes, Purely Organic farmers can make sure they’re looking after each and every bird to the best possible standards.
With all this in mind you can rest assured that organic hens have the best life. As simple as it sounds, when it comes to keeping organic hens, it is about coming back to natural farming methods. Access to the outside, a healthy diet, small flock sizes and first class animal welfare standards. Purely Organic goes above and beyond to make sure hens have the best lives possible.