Freedom Farmed chickens are grown in large, cage free barns where they can move about freely with natural sunlight, fresh air and perches. They have more space with less chickens in each barn compared to normal conventionally farmed chickens.
Depending on the type of the Freedom Farming barn, Freedom Farmed chickens have around 15 to 30% more space than what's required by the government Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals. The amount of space provided in our barns also adheres to the higher welfare guidelines set by the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.
Welfare research carried out by Freedom Farms shows that the space provided for our chickens, allows free movement throughout the barn. In fact, the chickens' movement is extensive, with many of the chickens roaming significant distances.
Just like us, chickens thrive on fresh air and natural sunlight.
Freedom Farmed chickens are reared in "open sided barns", with wire mesh side openings with adjustable curtains or shutters, which when opened allows fresh air and sunlight to stream into the barn.
These adjustments are managed by the farmer taking into account factors such as the age of the chickens and prevailing weather conditions. In unfavourable weather conditions, the curtains or shutters may be partly or fully closed to protect the chickens from the outside elements. Fans may be used to supplement ventilation and are also utilised for cooling in hot weather.
Sunlight allows our chickens to produce vitamin D naturally and encourages them to be more active and better practice their natural behaviours such as perching, foraging and dust bathing. This increase in activity is linked to improved health in the chickens, particularly in relation to bone and muscular development which exert positive effects on leg health and mobility.
Based on our experience, the natural sunlight coupled with the added environmental enrichments represent a major benefit to animal welfare. There have also been loads of research studies published that reinforce these welfare benefits such as C.L Bailie, M.E.E Ball & N.E O'Connell November 2012, Reiter and Bessei 1998 and Bizeray et al 2002.