Chicken Incubators - Making the Tastiest Chicken!
Do Free Range Chickens Taste Better?
If you keep chickens then it is probably so that you can enjoy delicious free eggs. But you may also wish to provide yourself with a source of fresh meat. and are undertaking a breeding programme, will your meat taste better than that of commercially reared chickens?
Do Chickens Have a Good Life?
If you do tuck in to a free range bird, especially one that you have reared yourself then you will almost certainly be happy to think that the chicken you are eating had a good life. It seems logical that free range birds have a better time of it but the situation isn’t quite as simple as that. The commercial rearing of poultry has changed greatly in recent years with considerable improvements in the way that the birds are treated having been made. In addition, life isn’t always a bed of roses for free range hens.
Are Chickens Given Hormones?
Many people fear that commercially reared, indoor chickens are fed hormones but this is not the case and hasn’t been for many years. Hormones are impractical to administer when sheds can house up to 60,000 birds.
Neither are chickens genetically modified. The chickens you see in the supermarket are plumper than they used to be as a result of selective breeding and optimised nutrition. Just as with pedigree dogs, chickens have been selected for desired traits to produce meatier birds and hens with faster growth patterns. These results have been produced over the course of many generations.
Do Indoor Reared Chickens Live in Cages?
Poultry is not kept in cages as welfare concerns have led to greatly improved conditions for the birds. Indeed free range chickens are actually more likely to catch diseases, to get injured or to die prematurely than indoor birds. In the UK free range chickens are up to five times more likely to die young than indoor reared birds. This can be partly explained by the fact that free range birds are more likely to come into contact with wild birds and so to contract avian flu and other diseases. In addition, cannibalism is relatively common behaviour amongst chickens and free range birds are no exception.
Flavour to Savour?
It is difficult to quantify flavour but there is no evidence to suggest that free range birds taste better. It is certainly a myth that their access to exercise results in more tender meat. Whilst the chickens that run around in your garden almost certainly do have a better life than those on commercial farms, this may not mean that they are better to eat. However, it probably does mean that you feel better about eating it!
Whether the meat tastes better or not really isn’t the point. Whatever supermarkets birds tastes like, it isn’t time to get rid of those chicken incubators yet. Your garden birds have a good life and give you a great sense of enjoyment and pride. That makes your roast chicken very special indeed.