In Whole Foods, while most poultry receive an animal welfare rating of 1-3, the Cornish game hens are labelled as 5, which according to them means that they're pasture-raised. But does this absolutely guarantee that they're not grain fed? I'm trying to find meats higher in O-3.
It is a type of Cornish-Rock, the hybrids that are the mainstay of the commercial broiler chicken industry. They are very fast growing hybrids and can produce a small bird for the table in less than a month from hatching with very white meat. Only hybrids of this type would be large enough to sell at a a months age.
"Cornish Game Hen" sounds better on the packet than "Baby Chicken".
As a historical curiously the "Game" in the name was picked because it comes from the ancestry of the original Cornish breed of chickens, also known as Indian Game, developed in Cornwall, England in the 19th Century. Chickens that included the word "Game" in the breed name were muscular breeds that produced cocks that were good for cock-fighting. Now we use those muscular features to provide good chicken legs and breasts for us to eat.
Chickens are not really grazing animals and can only derive a small part of their calories from grass. Bugs will only make up a small part of a chickens diet on pasture when kept in commercially viable numbers.
A large proportion of the diet of for almost all commercialism chickens will be make up of grains of one sort or another whatever type of system the chickens are kept in.
All chickens are fed grains (or on a very, very small farm they might only get kitchen scraps). Unlike cows they actually need them to be a part of their diet. Same goes for pigs. Beef and lamb are the two meats you want to be 100% grassfed. Chicken, turkey, and pork should be pastured and their supplemental feed should be organic and GMO free.
Allowing chickens to roam freely on pasture raises the levels of omega3s in their meat and eggs. When chickens are housed indoors, they have lower levels of omega 3s. At Whole Foods, the level 5 meats are likely to have the highest omega 3 levels.
Chickens aren't cows, they're designed to eat insects, carrion, grains, grass, etc... They're naturally higher in omega-6 fats than grass-fed cows and fatty fish. Those are the proteins to go after if you want greater omega-3 in your diet. Just eat chicken sparingly.
Soyfed Eggs, avoid or no worries? 6 Answers