My mother grew up a on chicken farm in New Jersey and I remember going into the chicken coops with my grandfather when I was very small. He retired by the time I went to kindergarten, but I still remember how terrified I was walking in amongst the birds, afraid they would peck me on the legs. I was scared, but I grew up assuming all chickens were free to walk around, free to range.
Of course I learned otherwise. The chickens we usually purchase in our supermarkets are warehoused for only as long as they get large enough to process out. Knowing that has been a big reason some people become vegan.
Recently we rented a house for a short stay while we were in Eugene, Oregon. Like many property owners there, the woman who owned the cottage had free range chickens.
She came each morning to let them out and gather eggs. In the evening she would return, look for more eggs, and get them back inside for the night.
As I look through the list of farms that have registered with WVFarm2u I see there are many throughout the state that have free range eggs for sale.
One of the other hats I wear is a moderator for the local Freecycle board. There have been more and more requests for items to help people start raising chickens in their yard.
Free range……it’s spreading.
April 4, 2012: Even the New York Times wrote about the proliferation of backyard and rooftop chickens today!!!