Benefits of Free Range or Kosher Chicken

What Makes a Chicken a Good or Bad Choice for Your Family?

Not all Chickens are created equal! If flavor and texture are tops on your Chicken prep-list, then you must find out how to pick the perfect bird for your dinner table. There is more to consider than you can imagine. Would you rather eat a chicken that can do a few sit-ups or consume poultry that has been hanging around the coop eating junk food and watching the chicks chat?It is all a matter of what bird you find most appealing to you and your family, and that means knowing the difference between the chickens you have to choose from.

There are many different types of chicken in most every supermarket. Each have been produced in a different manner. Some are mass-market produced (like Tyson) making a good product for an economic price. Two other methods or terms that are associated with chickens are kosher and free-range. These birds tend to cost more due to production methods and a higher standard of requirements. Let's get some information so you can be certain you're buying the right bird for your family.

The quality of the bird is found in the rich flavor...

Chickens that are produced for kosher consumption prove popular in urban areas with large Jewish populations. (We Jews have a deep relationship with chickens!) Laws within the religious regulations demand that the chickens be clean of all impurities and blood. This is accomplished by washing birds in a salt water bath, in essence, a quick-brine. A strict standard of protocol is required when a bird is to be stamped KOSHER. This Kosher stamp is clearly visible on every kosher chicken in your market. Another difference is that this bird is likely to cost a bit more. But, the high quality of this chicken is noticeable and can be found in the rich flavor and firmer (not tough) texture of the cooked chicken meat.

Free-range Kosher chicken is going to cost more!

Free Range Chicken's Offer Naturally Good Taste!

More Chicken Chattin'

The "free-range" chicken is a fall-back to small farm practices. No true definition of the term is available, however most chicken farmers who use this term allow the chickens access beyond the cage door. Many free-range chickens are labeled "organic" or "natural." Again, the definitions can be elusive; however, most farmers who feed only organic meals and do not use antibiotics to treat disease, use one or both of these terms. The free-range chicken may also cost more than your mass-market birds. This may be due to the heavy investments made in developing the livestock gene pool.

Many hundreds of years have been dedicated to the development of the best chickens for consumers. Farmers have studied and practiced many natural paths to genetically superior birds. Because of this dedication and selective breeding we see some of the best build chickens land on our tables today. Each chicken is naturally juicy because of good farming practices; not to mention the years of time and money invested in natural genetic improvement.

Processing practices can add to the high cost of poultry.

A Muscular chicken is going to taste much better and have a beautiful texture.
A Muscular chicken is going to taste much better and have a beautiful texture.
Be sure to look for these Kosher Certification Food Labeling symbols
Be sure to look for these Kosher Certification Food Labeling symbols

Other than poultry gene pool development and kosher poultry processing, a couple of other reasons pop-up when considering the quality and cost of our chickens. Take the free-range chicken, this high quality chicken enjoys the outdoors or a large indoor area for exercise. Which is directly linked to flavor development. The more a chicken moves around the leaner and more flavorful it becomes. The muscles of the chicken become darker with exercise. This is why we get an added flavor boost from a free-range chicken. Big named companies that mass produce chicken for consumption may be more concerned with having a large breasted chicken or other European customer preferred qualities—such as light skin color.

Processing practices can add to the higher cost of our poultry as well. This is because smaller companies have a more rigid method or several extra steps to their chicken processing chores. Many smaller companies "grow out" their chickens to eight or nine weeks (up to thirteen weeks in some countries) instead of slaughtering the chickens at six or seven weeks, as the big named mass marketing companies do. Remember, the older poultry will offer better flavor and muscle tone, but the cost to "grow-out the chickens" will increase as well.

To wrap it up, choosing a chicken for flavor and texture would seem to be well worth the extra money. Remember: Let your taste buds be the judge. Look for the signs of high quality chickens by finding either "kosher," "free-range," or "organic," stamped on the packaging.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

  • Be certain to check the 'sell by date' the grocer stamps on every package.
  • Always choose the date that allows you the best guarantee for the freshest chicken for your family!


CHICKEN

Poultry Farming Mass Production Advancements From America's Heartland (4 min. 7 sec. video)

WHAT YOU THINK REALLY DOES MATTER!

Which chicken do you prefer for your family dinner table?

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Why did the chicken cross the road?
Why did the chicken cross the road?

Feathers and Fuel Connection

The poultry business has 11 billion pounds of waste annually. Six million pounds of this waste is feathers. The quills that we can't stuff into bedding are made into an animal feed called 'chicken feather meal'. A team of researchers at The University of Nevada have found an earth friendly method to turn this 'chicken feather meal' into bio-diesel.

To read more on how feathers become bio-fuel, Click here!

"We may not know why the chicken crossed the road, but we may find it traveled via bio-diesel when it did!"

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Comments for "Which Chicken Do You Eat?" 8 comments

K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Quincy~ You make me laugh right out loud! Thanks for stopping by my friend. :)

~Always choose love~


QuincyDaWonderDog 6 years ago

"CHICKEN; which is the right bird for you to eat?"

um, all of dem?

dis ams a delishuss hub. thank you very much. 'k bai ~Quincy


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Candy~ Nothing like fresh eggs! I love the rich flavor of an egg that has never seen the inside of a transport vehicle or a grocery store! How fun 'the girls' must be to watch scratching about in the yard... dinner and a show! What delightful little creatures! Thanks for the read and for stopping by!

Wild~ I was not aware that the meal was also a fertilizer. Must be really high in nitrates which serve many purposes. Thanks for the information and the read.

Greelily~ Glad you found new information within the article. Thanks for the read and I look forward to your next hub as well!


Greenlily profile image

Greenlily 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow! Very interesting and informative. I did not know about that chicken feather meal until I read your hub! Nice!


WildIris 6 years ago

Feather meal is also a fertilizer used in the garden. I enjoyed reading this Hub-a lot of good information.

Nellianna it sounds like home. My daughters dislike dressing chickens from slaughter. It isn't the blood or the plucking they dislike but the smell.


Candy Campbell 6 years ago

I have 4 free range chickens. They are more like pets that happen to provide eggs(or will when they mature). I too, fall into that animal lover category. Hanging out in the yard with the "girls" and watching their hilarious activities. They are fun to own and I will enjoy the eggs when the time comes. Thanks for the info. I look forward to your next hub!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

I must cofess I have never been required to do the real work of poultry preparation. Thank goodness, I am not built for the slaughtering chores. More likely, you would find me hanging out in the coop holding and petting the feathered beasts.

Having the experiences you speak of sound like great ground work for building a rock-solid constitution. Something that seems to to be missing in the modern raising of our young ones.

Can't blame you for wanting to 'get out' of your old boyfriend's house after meeting his mother...staying may well have resulted in a barn-raising at which you would hold up the northern wall! Some mothers work very hard to keep their boy all for themselves...sounds like you made a smart move by making a clean get-away!

Thanks for the read my friend. I always enjoy your input and sharing.

~Best of today to you Nellieanne~


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Very interesting and factual, K9. I'm becoming more and more inclined to stick to free-range produced meats of any kind. I can appreciate the Kosher method too, though I don't know that I've ever seen a chicken stamped "Kosher" in my entire life - which is quite a long while!

In my day, cooking classes often involved lessons on catching, killing, bleeding, plucking and cooking the bird! (I made it a point to get in on the dessert preparation for those meals!)

Once I dated a guy and met his family. I am sure his mother rejected me because I didn't volunteer to and wouldn't cooperate with carrying out her wishes for me to bring in the hen for her to fix for dinner, meaning all the above steps save the cooking on the stove. It may have been a wood burning stove - not sure. I was most happy to get out of there.

Now don't get me wrong. At the ranch when I was a kid, my mother could do it and cooked everything on a wooden stove. haha But by the time I was dating I was no longer accustomed to that and it was only that way at the ranch because there were no utilities out that far in no-man's land!! I was 11 before Rural Electricity came and then they began also to deliver bottled gas, but the lines for the electricity for one ranch house were strung hundreds of miles across the rugged terrain, and the delivery trucks came hundreds of miles across the rugged roads.

Anyway - I'm very pleased for this information about buying the birds in the store. Thank you!

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