They have concluded that caged birds are better because Free Ranged birds - THEY say - tend to get sick & hurt more often.
Here's my thinking ....
If you put a kid in an area not much bigger than they are, they won't get hurt much either .... but no one wants to live that way!
As far as illness goes .... I wonder what kind of birds they are comparing because there are certain birds who will not do well Free Ranged because they just weren't bred for that.
There are birds which are more heat hearty, cold hearty ... There are those meant strictly for covered/penned areas.
I did not know this before we started raising chickens ourselves.
There is MORE you need to do as a free ranger than a penned raiser ...
You have to make sure they have plenty of water both inside and outside ... As well as food in both places as well.
You have to put warming lamps -- NOT CFL bulbs btw - in the winter and not pull them out too early ...
You have to have a way to keep them safe when outside -- we have temporary fencing for three seasons ... We also put netting over the "corral" so they can get out of the kenneled part during the weekend if we are gone.
You need to CHECK them for issues - you don't just let them go and forget them ... You look at their feathers, their feet, their eyes ... You check their vents (honest that's what their butts are called) ,,, you LOOK for issues so you can catch them before they start.
This is our second year ... We have lost ONE bird. Not due to illness or attack though, human error ... That person has been educated AGAIN, but for a bigger flock.
Now I have NOT seen the actual study ... What I'm wondering:
Who PAID for the study?
<i>it really does make a big difference ... if sme big company like Golden Plump Chicken or KFC or TYson Foods paid, it could effect how the data was interpreted or what was tested. </i>
How long was the study for?
<i>a study that isn't long enough or ends at the first finding doesn't have enough data to compare. Studies that go way too long, has too much data to sift through. </i>
What was the flock sizes?
Was it for chickens or 4000 chickens in the flocks that they looked at?
The size of the flag makes a huge difference!
Look – all I'm saying, is don't take studies at face value! Statistics can lie! It all depends on what formula as they used to come up with the answers that they want