Free Run vs. Free Range Eggs: What’s the Difference?

When you’re in the store shopping for eggs, chances are you’ll see various types of eggs on the shelves. You may even see two terms: free run and free range. They sound the same, but are they the same? Read on to learn more:

Free Run EggsWoman chooses chicken eggs in a grocery store. Close up.

Free run eggs come form hens that roam an entire barn floor. These barns may have multi-tiered aviaries, or they may not. Either way, free run hens typically are not allowed outside. The term “free run,” then, is misleading and causes many customers to believe they’re buying free range eggs (see below) when they’re really not.

Free Range Eggs

Free range eggs come from hens that roam the barn floor as well as roam outside. They can go outside to pasture so long as the weather permits it. These hens have the greatest amount of freedom, especially more so than free run eggs.

Is there a difference in the eggs?

There will always be slight differences between eggs laid by different groups of hens. However, the nutrient content will stay the same. If you buy eggs laid by free range hens, though, you are supporting more ethical practices than if you buy free run eggs.

For more tips on how to care for your chickens and their eggs, read through our blog or contact Chickens for Backyards today.