Cooking glossary


Free range

Animals that have had unrestricted access to pastures are known as free range. Waitrose stock a variety of free range products eg:

Free range chicken: the birds are initially reared in purpose built houses, with straw bedding or wood shavings to provide comfort and warmth. This environment prepares the birds for an outdoor life. They are moved when they are 27-29 days old, ensuring that they spend at least half their lives on the free range farms. They are then given unrestricted daytime access to fenced paddocks so that they can live according to their natural behaviour patterns and our provided with well-ventilated shelter. Each farm is managed by experienced stock keepers who inspect the birds at least twice a day.

Free range eggs: during the day free range hens have continuous access to pasture in which they can forage, preen, flap their wings and dust bathe. Hen houses provide shelter from the elements and protection from predators such as foxes and birds of prey. Fresh food and water and nest boxes, which offer a safe environment for the hens to lay their eggs are available in the hen houses.

Free range pork: all pigs must be born and reared outdoors with plenty of open space for them to roam and express their natural behaviour in family groups. Every paddock has deep littered semi-circular 'arks' or tents providing warmth in winter and welcome shade in summer.