What are free-range children?

Free-range children are similar to regular, cage-raised children, but they are allowed to roam free throughout the day and return to their cages at their leisure. This is thought by some to be a more ethical practice.

Where can I get free-range children?

They can often be found at organic grocery stores and local food co-ops, but it is widely recommended that those interested in free-range children raise them on their own property. You can also develop a relationship with a local farmer who may sell free-range children to you directly.

What do free-range children eat?

Diet is largely unregulated and depends on environment. Common food sources include insects and wild grass. Some free-range children are fed supplementary grains, but this technically disqualifies them from the “free-range” label.

How do the costs of free-range children
compare to the traditional style?

Raising free-range children can be a great way to actually save cash, provided that you have access to land, which can be an inhibiting factor for some. Free-range children require very little maintenance, and, as mentioned, can subsist on a largely “found” diet. Cage-raised children have cost benefits too, though, as they are a much more efficient use of space. Cage-raising advocates point out that dozens of cage-raised children can be raised in the space it takes to raise just one free-range child.

Are free-range children
as healthy as cage-raised children?

Unfortunately there is not a lot of long term data available comparing free-range children’s health outcomes to those of cage-raised children. Free-range children do tend to be leaner and more active than cage-raised children, because cage-raised children spend their entire childhoods in cages. Cage-raised children’s parents frequently inject them with growth hormones, causing them to develop at abnormally fast rates. The same option exists for free-range children, but many parents who prefer “natural” methods of growth have resisted such measures.

Are free-range children safe out there?
Do I need to fence them in?

Free-range children in some areas are at risk for coyote attacks, which is an important factor in deciding whether this is the best parenting method for your family. While the risk of such attacks is low, some free-range children’s parents have opted to surround their children’s outdoor space with barbed wire and/or electrified fences.

Where can I find out more about free-range children?

There are literally hundreds of websites dedicated to educating the public about the pros and cons of free-range children. You can also check your local library or your local organic grocery store, as both are likely to carry magazines with great information on the practice. But the single best thing you can do is get out to your local farmer’s market and interact with the folks out there raising and making their living off of free-range children! They love talking about what they do and will be happy to share their passion with you.