Today the debate goes on about what should be considered free range for chickens. Commercial supermarkets want a chicken per square meter while the RSPCA, Choice and CSIRO advocate for much less density. Read about the proposals for Australia here.
Now happy chickens are what we all want. the happiest we can afford. But changing the classification to make consumers happy is a just wrong. When we think of free range chickens in the garden or on a farm we do not think of a density of 600 chickens on a suburban lot, we think about a dozen or two basking in the sun making dirt baths and scratching for food.
Free range is obviously better for the chickens than barn or cage but it needs a different name to give an honest representation of the produce.
Free range as a description is taken and redefining it to suit the wants of supermarket chains is deceptive.