Free range chicken - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ella, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. ella

    ella Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering if you have been watching the programmes on channel 4 by Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fernley Whittinghall about chickens and their lives and what your opinions are??

    I always buy free range or organic chicken and eggs - I think its worth the extra and I would rather eat less better quality meat for the same price as more cheap meat/chicken - I couldn't eat a bird that had been treated the way these birds are - it makes me sad :(
     
  2. Krystal

    Krystal Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I always get free range eggs, I hardly ever eat chicken so I'm not sure what I'm eating TBH, never took much notice :oops: Only cos I usually get it cooked from Morrisons.. is that free range I wonder?

    Maybe clearer labels for numpties like me would be a good idea.

    I have to say I never used to care but as I'm getting older I'm a lot more aware of what I'm eating and always checking labels and stuff. Trying to be good with that for when Jack starts eating proper food :)
     
  3. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

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    As someone who rears her own poultry as pets, for eggs and also for eating (3 different types of chook, for each purpose) I have to say I am all for free range, and where possible organic meat.

    I do realise that some people have tight budgets, and that maybe its hard to resist buying the cheap cuts or birds, but for me its about putting it in perspective.

    50 years ago, chicken was a luxury. Even 20 years ago, we didn't eat it often. Now its usually to be scoffed a few times a week. Our eating habits have changed and we are more about meeting demand of the consumer than we are about welfare. Shopping today costs less than it did 20 years ago, pound for pound, so why do we complain? We have more choice, more all year round produce (at great expense to the enviroment just so we can have strawberries in winter), but it never seems to be enough. As a nation we throw away huge mountains of food each week, wasted as we don't eat it and it goes off, or simply chuck the chicken carcass away without thinking to boil it up and use the stock for a vegtable risotto later in the week.

    Some meat cuts used 20 or more years ago are unheard of by todays younger generations coming though. We also used to bulk our meals out with more vegetables, dumplings, bread and so on whereas now we are about meat content on the plate. We used cuts that today most people would be horrified to have on their plate. Has anyone fed their kids tripe and onions yet? Or pigs trotters boiled up and a broth made from them? What about rabbit stew? All those things I ate as a kid, and while tripe makes me feel ill now, I eat the other things from time to time.

    If you buy a free range chicken, yes it will cost a bit more, but it should taste better, have had a longer life and been allowed to develop at a slightly slower rate and not have suffered the injuries that birds reared in cramped conditions often do. If you have to have more veggies on your plate and slightly less meat, is this so bad? I think its good to be eating more veg, so for me its not a hardship.

    Hubby and I also tend to eat at least 3, sometimes 4 main meals a week with no meat whatsover in. So many possibles out there and cheaper than buying cuts or joints of meat all the time to serve up. I roast a chicken on a Sunday and get another 2 meals from it later in the week once I've picked it clean and boiled the carcass. Lot of meals from one bird if you take the time.

    I also then consider what else I can go without in my shop to allow me to spend that bit extra on free range chicken or organic meat etc if need be. If its a case of going without a tub of icecream, or a bag of nibbles, those chocolate muffins, I don't mind. Its doing me a favour as it means I eat less crap.

    I know some people are on far tighter budgets than I, but if everyone looked in their fridge and cupboards and assessed just how much they throw away in waste, or simply don't use and it goes out of date in the pack etc, they could maybe find a way of cutting back and putting those pennies to use elsewhere in the food budget.

    I know its not for everyone, but its not only the chickens that have crap lives in mass production. Luckily cows and sheep *have* to live outside, but think about your standard pork and how that is reared, it ain't pretty thats for sure. Conditions have gotten better for larger animals in recent years, but I think most people have become so detached from the food they eat, that they don't think about the consequences of it all. Its all become so sanitised in plastic packs on the shelf, very few people really have a great understanding of how in todays world our meat is now reared, transported, slaughtered and prepared for us.

    Another interesting thing to consider is the soya feed. It is used in chicken feed. Much of it is grown in South America, where they are chopping down the rainforest at an alarming rate to grow soya, which is mainly used to feed the meat we love to eat. The consumer demand is so high for chicken (and other meats), its helping toward the destruction of the Amazon. For that reason alone I won't buy cheap chicken/meat. Its helping kill our planet.

    My birds are feed on organic, traceable feed and free range. I can live with that :)

    And gah I wrote way too much. Subject close to my heart, am a country girl and have farmed also.
     
  4. zebrastripes

    zebrastripes Well-Known Member

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    :shock: Said it all for me lol

    We have our own chickens and ducks too,it's lovely isn't it :D
     
  5. Tegala-7thMarch08

    Tegala-7thMarch08 Well-Known Member

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    i use 2 have a pet chicken called nugget :) she wud lay me eggs every morning... but i refused to eat them cos i new wer they wer cummin from :?
    i eat free range eggs and i dont eat much chicken because i think of my bubba who is now sadly with the birds in the sky :(
    i dont go organic though wen i do eat chicken it gives me the runs :puke: but i eat free range stuff :)
     
  6. mary70

    mary70 Well-Known Member

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    i always buy free range eggs, but have never really thought about the chicken to be honest but i will be doing in future
     
  7. Fluffy Bunny

    Fluffy Bunny Well-Known Member

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    I don't eat meat so no problem there :D Although my reasons for not eating it are purely to do with the fact I hate the idea of factory farming and long distance live animal transport (you'd be amazed how far these animals are shipped around the country). I've always thought if I could keep my own animals and have local slaughter (not en masse where the animals get amazingly stressed) then I would eat meat. However, at the moment this is just not possible so I go without.

    BTW - sherlock - how do you slaughter your poultry, do you do it yourself or have someone do it for you? I'm afraid I would become too attached?

    Interestingly I thought that neither of the programmes raised the issue of what these intensively farmed birds are pumped with - antibiotics etc. When you buy these cheap birds you don't always know about the little 'extras' that come with them :shock: :puke:
     
  8. purple13

    purple13 Well-Known Member

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    am firmly in the locally produced, free range & organic camp. but i always have been.

    the one thing that the jamie/hugh f-w progs didn't emphasize enough (for my liking) was that when you eat the cheap stuff, you're eating something that's been pumped full of antibiotics and has a massively elevated fat content. :?
     
  9. paradysso

    paradysso Well-Known Member

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    yeah i was a bit annoyed they failed to mention all the drugs they pump into the chickens, im sure thats why when we take medicines now they take longer to work as the meat we eat is full of antobiotics :shock:
     
  10. trixipaws

    trixipaws Well-Known Member

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    i dont eat meat myself but the only meat iv given melissa so far is hipp organic stuff so i presume its free range?
     
  11. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

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    The meat birds we buy in as day old hatchlings, a hybrid called Sassos, they are what are considered slow growers, taking about 100 days to mature. Once they are big enough to come off heat, they are allowed to free range totally. These we get about 20 at a time and take to a local chap about half and hour away who slaughters, plucks and finishes them for us. We get them back, bagged and with giblets also. We then freeze them en masse.

    I really don't get attached to the eaters. TBH, they don't really have 'personalities' as the pure breeds, as its bred out of them, one of the down sides of being a hybrid meat bird. By the time they are ready to finish, you tend to be ok with them going.

    Our egg layers, the last lot were former 'free range' egg hens. They looked a bit better than the battery hens on arrival, but not much. We got a batch of about 10 and those that are left are still laying well. They often only live a couple more years as their bodies are worn out from egg production and problems with egg laying often occurs. We cull these only if they become ill or injured. You soon learn to treat illness and injuries in chickens and I've become a dab hand at treatments :roll:

    The pet chooks, I cull sick or injured birds if needed, but always try to find homes for any chicks I hatch. I keep mostly Pekin and Poland bantams as pets, great characters :)

    And re your other point, yes its true, they didn't mention the antibiotics side, nor the water injected into the meat to plump it out. Ever notice when you fry cheap chicken how much moisture comes off it and forms in the pan? Its water :roll: :puke:
     
  12. zebrastripes

    zebrastripes Well-Known Member

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    Never mind the whole bleaching thing i believe they do :shock:
     
  13. nancy

    nancy Well-Known Member

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    I have always refused to buy eggs from caged birds because I can't stand the taste of them. It's taken a while but I've finally managed to convince my OH that I'm right too. I was brought up eating eggs from our own hens so I can totally tell the difference between free-range and battery.
    It may sound nutty but when a chicken or any other animal has had a good life the taste comes through in the meat and eggs.
    The only time I eat cheap meat or battery eggs is when they are cooked for me by someone else and it'd be rude not to, like when we go to dinner at the MIL's! Even then I don't eat very much, she thinks I have the appetite of a sparrow.
    I really don't see the argument about the cost, my little family has been through some rough times but even when we were on income support I would still buy free-range. If I was skint, the first thing to be cut off my shopping list was junk food and convenience food. I won't compromise on the meat, dairy and fresh veg I buy.
     
  14. Fluffy Bunny

    Fluffy Bunny Well-Known Member

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    :shock: Ooo, sounds nasty, whats that? :shock:
     
  15. zebrastripes

    zebrastripes Well-Known Member

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    Yes,apparently the chicken meat s bleached to give it that whiter than white look :roll: yum...
     
  16. Fluffy Bunny

    Fluffy Bunny Well-Known Member

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    Sounds delicious :fib: :puke: :puke:
     
  17. zebrastripes

    zebrastripes Well-Known Member

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    I know,nothing like ingesting the contents of your cleaning cupboard,ick
     

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