The Different Types of Choices & Labels
Canada is a place that carefully classifies its chicken. Here are the main classifications and the labels you’ll find on your chickens:
Raised without Antibiotics – The chicken never received any antibiotics.
Free Run – Chickens must be able to move around, even if it’s in the confines of a barn. All meat chickens are free run in Canada.
Halal – The animals are slaughtered according to the standards set by the Muslim community.
Free Range – Chickens must be able to move around and they must be able to go outdoors.
Grain Fed – Chickens are fed using grain.
Vegetarian Grain Fed – Only vegetarian grain is fed to the chickens. This alters the colour, flavour, and consistency of the meat.
Kosher – Like with Halal meat, the chickens have been slaughtered according to the standards set by the Jewish community.
Organic – Organic chicken has to meet extremely high standards, including being fed with a specific feed that includes no additional artificial products.
Hormone/Steroid Free – This is little more than a marketing ploy because hormones in chickens have been banned in Canada since the 1960s.
These are all the major markings you’ll find on chickens in Canada. The most important ones are free range and free run because these are the ones that will ultimately lead you to a healthy diet.
It’s also the best way to encourage positive treatment of all farm animals that are being raised for meat.