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Feb 23, 2010 12:17 PM

REAL free-range chickens/eggs?

Is there a place in/around vancouver to buy REAL free-range chickens and/or eggs. I know that when it says "free range" on packages all that means is that chickens have "access to a pasture." Which in practice means that the chickens are farmed indoors in the dark as per conventional methods, but once during their lifetime the farmer opens a little doggie door for about five seconds therefore satisfying this very loose definition of, "access to pasture."

Is there a way to get real (not grossly genetically engineered, beak stuck in a feed tray 23 hours a day) chicken in/around vancouver? Eggs as well?

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  1. For chicken, look for the Polderside brand (Bosa, Famous Foods, Columbus Meat...etc). For eggs, check out the Vancouver Farmers Markets and also farm stands out in the Valley. You might want to check out a place like Famous Foods as well. A fair number of family-run places in Cowichan/Saanich and Salt Spring Island sell free range eggs...I don't know of a source for those here.

    (I usually buy the Maple Hill brand which I believe is free range in the way you describe).

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Polderside does not have free range, all their chcickens are inside which is quite clearly stated on their web site.

      1. re: Fryston

        I stand corrected. (I posted a more updated list of suppliers downthread )

    2. Outside of farmer's markets, Rabbit River eggs are reasonably widely available (i've definitely seen them at Capers, Choices, Famous Foods). They are SPCA certified, which i think would fit your bill.

      4 Replies
      1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

        Yes! Exactly what I was looking for thanks!

        1. re: NoMoreSnuggles

          We buy Rabbit River eggs too. They're relatively expensive, but worth it IMO, and available at our local Save On.

          1. re: pear tart

            Bradner Farms eggs supplies Rabbit River and are usually less expensive. They're SPCA certified as well. They aren't "pasture raised", but it seems it's pretty tough to get everything - pastured, organic, and readily available in the city. :p I get mine from Choices for ~$5.60/doz (about a buck less than the Rabbit River eggs) Given the amount of eggs I consume, it's important to me that they're of exceptional quality.


            1. re: Khai

              the spca of bc has been working for several years to enhance the life and death of farm animals - ie what we put in our bodies

              they have a good website (link above in prev post)

              if you have not looked at the stories and the "retail locations" ... it makes interesting reading and future dinner party conversation, for sure. Nothing like being next-hand to what we eat.

        2. Try Cowichan Bay Farm
          The best chicken I've had on the Island...

          1. For eggs, one more place to check is Craigslist

            1. I don't know where you live, but I buy my eggs from a lady on Number Two Road in Richmond. I see the chickens wandering around her yard - that's free-range enough for me! I'd love to find farm-raised chicken - I used to get mine from Dee in Richmond, but they've moved and their chicken operation is no more.

              3 Replies
              1. re: KGill


                I know this is an old message but I saw this now. How were the eggs from your farmer on #2? I went to a farm on #6 and their yolks are pale yellow! I was quite disappointed. Hope you get this message cause I'd like to know! Thank you!

                1. re: Foxyc83

                  Orange yolks do not necessarily indicate that the eggs are free range. The deeper coloured yolks can be achieved by including various additives to the feed; often marigold flowers are used for this purpose. See this Chow blog link for a closer look at this topic:


                  1. re: Scoffier

                    Very true Scoffier, I hate that the colour of an eggs yolk now implies quality. Crack an organic Rabbit River egg (best I think that is readily available on the market) next to an "omega 3" egg and you will see. The omega 3 egg could easily be a battery cage egg but has a much more orange yolk.