These days there are many different options regarding food and how it is treated before we procure it. Cage-free and free-range products, including eggs, are available to consumers. With both options, the chickens are in a healthier environment. There could be dusty materials for the hens in a cage-free setting, depending upon their surroundings' producer and arrangement.
There are nest boxes within open space, which helps them to lay eggs. Free-range chickens are also allowed to move about freely because the amount of space is generally larger. The chickens can also go outdoors, and this lets them dust bathe, and eat insects if they so desire.
They can eat grasses, and the conditions are more humane overall, as they are not confined. Chickens that are raised for meat are rarely ever kept in cages. It is the chickens who lay eggs that are held in cages.
Cage-free and free-range are two different forms or categories of keeping poultry birds, especially the chickens. The Cage-free system provides limited space for the chickens to roam about. It confines the chickens in an indoor space, either in a coop or barn. And their freedom or the facilities made available to them depends on the producer (framer). For example, a producer can also provide means for the chicken to dust bath. But in the case of a free-range system, the chickens have access to outdoor space, and they can roam about at will. They typically have a larger area of confinement than the Cage-free ones. They can also dust bath as a natural function. They also have more varieties of things to feed on, which can include grasses, insects, and more; unlike the cage-free system that only feeds on the feed provided to them by their owners. These make the free-range chickens to be stronger and producing better taste and nutrients' richness in their meats and eggs.
When you say cage-free, this means that you are getting the eggs from hens that are not caged. However, if you would check the amount of space that cage-free hens have with free-range hens, you will realize that free-range hens will have a lot more extra space. The thing is, you will never know exactly what type of space the free-range hens are exposed to.
Some say that free-range eggs are better because they are cruelty-free, but there are also some who say that if you value your health, cage-free eggs may be better for you. You should not underestimate the different factors when choosing the right eggs to consume.
Cage-free is a term that defines an extent to which a set of poultry birds can roam around. In this system, the birds are kept in an indoor space, and there is an extent to which they can move around. Moreover, there are some amenities that can be provided for them to make a living more convenient. However, this depends largely on the extent to which the producer wants to explore. On the other side of the coin, in the free-range system, the chickens have more space to explore than in the cage-free system.
The chickens can even go outdoor, where they have access to dust-bathe and do some other things. In the free-range system, the chickens have access to more kinds of feeds such as grasshopper and some other insects, and this, in return, gives them more nutrients for growth. Nevertheless, chickens that are being reared for meat purposes are usually reared using the free-range system, while the chickens that are reared for egg purposes are usually on a cage-free system.