Free range eggs come from many chicken farms in South Africa – not many of them have any idea about green chicken farming practices – paying only lip service these egg producers work on the line when it comes to the regulations – and they are not very good either. Free range egg farming was initially introduced to look after the welfare of the chickens and the quality of the eggs – all it is now, is a way to get a premium on the egg price. True free range should be closer to organic egg farming but unfortunately many of the chicken farmers who offer free range eggs have no concern for the welfare of the chickens.
The chicken coops for the hens are as small as the regulations stipulate and the free range areas are often barren and devoid of grass and trees – as chicken farming goes – this is not proper free range – the chickens should have space, green cover in the free range area and be allowed to forage for bugs and insects – how many poultry farms can say they actively try and make this happen – very few. Poultry equipment for free range egg farming, like gas heaters and drinkers, are no different from standard poultry equipment – so why the big drag to farm properly? Organics Africa is trying to set up a standard between free range and organic chicken farming -PGSSA is a group trying to raise the standard of food production in South Africa whilst also trying to find farming solutions that suit small emerging farmers in South Africa. Perhaps when they have got their ducks in a row the South Africa public will be able to buy proper free range eggs – and not eggs that are merely called free range. Happy eggs means happy humans – what is so hard?