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Pasture Makes Perfect: Why Free-Range Poultry is Better

Shopping for chicken in the grocery store can often feel like a decoding challenge. With so many claims and categories — antibiotic-free, organic, pasture-raised, and so forth – how can you decipher what’s the best choice for your family? 

July 1, 2019

Rather than wasting your time analyzing labels, allow us to help you find what you’re looking for. When it comes to choosing the best quality poultry, always go for free-range.

Why? We’re so glad you asked. First, let’s start with the basics: what does ‘free-range’ really mean?

Defining Free-range Poultry

In simplest terms, free-range chickens have the freedom to roam outdoors, rather than being cooped up in cages. While the flocks are still obviously fenced in to protect against predators, free-range chickens generally have access to fields and wide-open spaces, in addition to a chicken house that provides more shelter.

Along with living conditions, the free-range designation demonstrates a level of care and quality for chicken-raising that sustains a better product. For instance, in addition to raising chickens free-range, Market House suppliers also maintain poultry products that are antibiotic-free, non-GMO and 100% air-chilled, which means chlorine was never used in the bathing process.

Plus, choosing to raise livestock in a pastoral, open-air environment shows a genuine commitment to humane practices, including slowly-induced anesthesia before slaughter.

Now that we have a clearer idea of what the free-range designation means, let’s discuss the benefits.

3 Key Benefits of Free-range Poultry

1. Healthier

Free-range poultry generally has a higher protein content than commercially raised chickens. Beyond this, commercial chickens have also been linked to imbalanced hormones and increased cholesterol. Since what your chicken eats affects the health and quality of the meat you eat, choosing poultry that was raised on a drug-free diet is crucial.

 2. Tastier

It’s true! Free-range chickens are happier, healthier chickens, so they produce tastier meat. Some believe this is due to lower cortisol levels, which can toughen up meat, or to increased exercise that better develops their muscles, creating a juicier texture. Of course, poultry that is raised on a higher-quality clean diet is also bound to taste better.

3. More Humane

How animals are treated matters. Free-range chickens aren’t subjected to dangerous or uncomfortable living conditions, and are instead raised humanely and processed with dignity. Here are a few humane practices to look for in a provider: 

  • Chicken houses that are cleaned and disinfected between litters 
  • Short transportation time between farm to plant
  • Slow anesthesia before slaughter

Of course, one of the easiest ways to tell if a farm is utilizing humane practices is to explore how transparent they are with their processes. If they aren’t willing to share how their chickens are raised and treated, it lessens the integrity of their products.

Now, for the good news: if you’re in search of high-quality, humanely-raised poultry – you’ve come to the right place. At Market House, we are committed to selling free-range, antibiotic-free and non-GMO chicken sourced from producers with some of the highest standards in the industry.

We believe in the difference these practices create in quality, taste and ethics.

Don’t take our word for it — taste the difference for yourself!

You've always got a seat at our table.

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