So you know you want to buy “healthier” chicken, but one glance at grocery store labels, and it can be a little overwhelming.
Here’s the low down on chicken labels and what makes Wilders different:
When it comes to meat-producing (boiler) chickens, the cage-free claim is useless, since most of these chickens are raised in “grow out houses.” When it comes to laying chickens though (the egg-producing ones), surely cage-free means the chickens are never cooped up like those horror stories I’ve seen on the news, right? Wrong. Cage-free actually means that the animals just have to have the potential for access to the outdoors. In other words, they have to have a door, but it doesn’t have to be open.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, “The USDA’s (and industry standard) definition for “Free Range” is that birds must have “outdoor access” or “access to the outdoors.”
The loophole here is that they are only required to have access - this doesn't necessarily mean the animals actually go outside. In some cases, they only have a "pop hole", which can still mean they are cramped with no full-body access to the outdoors.
This term is less about the animals' environment and more about what they eat. The Non GMO Project is who certifies this claim, and it implies that the food contains no "genetically modified organisms". I.e. additives, fillers, and steroids.
Although there is not currently a regulatory definition for this term, it typically refers to animals that spend the majority of their lives outdoors and on pastures.
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, pasture raised animals "had continuous, free access to the outdoors for a significant portion of their lives". This claim is a little closer to the wide open grazing pastures you might have pictured when you started to think about where your food is raised.
Our chicken probably fits the "pasture raised" category most closely, but we take it a step further. Wilders chickens graze new pastures every day, being moved by a tractor hooked up to the shaded tent (pictured above). This practice keeps them full of fresh new nutrients for the duration of their life. We may be biased, but we think it makes a big difference in the taste.
Try it for yourself! Buy Wilders chicken today