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Organic vs free range during winter

by (30)
Updated about 1 hour ago
Created April 26, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Hi What about winter when the chickens don't get to go outside in some countries? Would both organic and free range eggs be the same then? Or are free range chickens given antibiotics?

And similarly for so called organic beef and other stuff. Without pastures to grass on, how is it much different from normal cows? In europe its not allowed to use growth hormones etc even for conventional farming.

6d69b9d6a4913823db9096f6d229f668
30 · April 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Here in europe (at least in the country im in) the labels on eggs are only organic, free range, or battery. Organic is double the price of freerange, but im not even sure if they are pastured, i mean, maybe organic just means they get organic feed. I see organic beef in store, but always during winter i wonder how they are doing being cooped inside all the time.

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30 · April 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Thats good! I wonder if omega 3 drops though when they dont get green grass? But im happy they arre living in good conditions during winter too.

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2 Answers

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13635 · April 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Regarding beef, my grass-fed beef farmer will harvest his own grass to use as hay in the winter. The guy who processes the cows tells me the farmer has gotten pretty good at managing the grass/hay, and it's hard to tell the difference in meat harvested at different times of the year.

6d69b9d6a4913823db9096f6d229f668
30 · April 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Thats good! I wonder if omega 3 drops though when they dont get green grass? But im happy they arre living in good conditions during winter too.

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150 · April 26, 2011 at 7:51 PM

As I understand it, most egg producing chickens, including pastured chickens, are given at least some grain. Whether or not they are organic therefore depends on the feed, not the season. "Free range", as near as I can tell, is nearly meaningless and does not mean the chickens necessarily spend any substantial amount of time outside on pasture, although at the very least it ought to mean they aren't kept in cages all the time.

In the US, you have to check with each beef producer because there are no legal standards, but the farms I buy beef from only give hay in the winter, not grain -- so that is the difference between their beef vs. grain-finished.

6d69b9d6a4913823db9096f6d229f668
30 · April 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Here in europe (at least in the country im in) the labels on eggs are only organic, free range, or battery. Organic is double the price of freerange, but im not even sure if they are pastured, i mean, maybe organic just means they get organic feed. I see organic beef in store, but always during winter i wonder how they are doing being cooped inside all the time.

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