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Abundance of poultry products and labels may confuse consumers

The myriad choices of chicken and egg products can mystify consumers as they compare labels and prices.

Some production labels—like free-range, pasture-raised, organic and cage-free—fetch a premium price, according to the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Last year Barbara and Dewey Haines of Hidden Springs Family Farm in Fluvanna County raised their first 90 broilers and 94 egg-laying birds in an on-pasture system.

“Barbara went on the neighborhood app advertising extra eggs, and two or three people asked if they’re free-range,” Dewey recalled. “We had to explain to them what ‘free-range’ really means. Chickens ‘getting to go anywhere, anytime’ is not the U.S. Department of Agriculture definition.”

Of all the labels out there, some claims are more closely verified than others, said assistant professor Leonie Jacobs of the Animal Behavior and Welfare Group at the Virginia Tech School of Animal and Poultry Sciences.

“It can be hard for consumers to make these choices, and they’re often in..l.

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Rappahannock Record Staff
Rappahannock Record Staff
From the Rappahannock Record news team

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