What is a free range chicken Philippines

Free-range chicken farming in the Philippines is becoming more and more popular, especially during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is due to the fact that people were looking for other ways to make extra income amid the bad economic situation. From March 2020, membership of our FB Group has increased dramatically as people look to find more farming resources and materials, and even chicks and breeders.

What is a free range chicken Philippines? What is meant by free range chicken?

Although grammatically sounds weird, these exact same questions are being asked almost every week by new members of our group, and although we already answered this several times, finding old posts in the group is not really an easy task to do so here we are writing this article to explain this better.

Free-range chicken in the Philippines. Image credit The Poultry Site

“Free-range” is a term that refers to a method of animal husbandry where animals are able to roam freely outdoors rather than being confined by an enclosure for 24 hours a day. The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) says “free-range” or “free-roaming” chicken must be “allowed access to the outside,”* but that can be interpreted in many different ways. Larger producers, unfortunately, have been known to follow only the letter of the law, not its spirit, and put open windows or small doors that lead to paved patches of the ground at the ends of large, crowded hen houses that are from anyone’s idyllic notion of farm life or the best possible life for a chicken. These chickens can then legally be labeled “free-range” even though their habitat is far from what anyone would consider all that free.

Filipinos have been doing free-range chicken farming for hundreds of years already without knowing that it is actually called “free-range chicken farming”. Those chickens we found anywhere in every house’s backyard are considered “free-range” because they are not confined and are free to roam.

In other words, free-range chicken in the Philippines is no other than backyard chickens regardless of the breed.

The term free-range chicken is recently emphasized only to separate broilers that are confined compared to the free-range chickens that are pastured.

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