Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Early results of free range survey

Consumer survey on ‘What is free range?’

So far 185 people have responded to our survey on what people believe they are buying when they purchase free range eggs.
The two major points on which everyone agreed were that the hens must not be beak trimmed or de-beaked and they must be able to roam over grass or a vegetated area for most of the day.
In percentages, the responses so far are:

Just what do you think is a free range egg farm?
Hens spend all day in a paddock 51%
Small farms 13%
Eggs collected by hand 9%

Do you think free range hens forage over pasture during most daylight hours?
Yes 100%

Do you think there is a limit on the number of hens in one shed or on one area of land? If so how many hens and how large should the area of land be?
Under 50 9%
Under 500 43%
Under 1000 29%
Under 1500 3%
Don’t know 17%

Do you think free range hens are de-beaked (or beak trimmed)?
No 100%

Do you look for accreditation details on the label to ensure that the eggs you buy are really free range?
Yes 76%

Is it OK to use lighting to extend daylight hours in free range sheds?
No 54%

Do you buy free range eggs because: they taste better; more humane treatment of animals; or some other reason?
Animal welfare 52%
Taste 48%

Where do you buy your free range eggs; from a supermarket, health food shop, local store, direct from a farm or do you have home delivery?
Markets 67%
Health Food Shops 49%
Supermarket 12%

There is still time for more feedback if you want to help to get a real definition of what ‘free range’ means to you. Help us to get a definition that means something. Just send you comments to freeranger@dcsi.net.au

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