How do you feel when you have been eating highly nutritious food on a consistent basis? When you eat lots of fresh vegetables and high-quality meats for an extended period of time, you feel healthier and more resilient. Your immune system functions better. The same is true for chickens. When chickens consume fresh grass and bugs every day, they are healthier. Their immune systems function better when their diets contain a wide variety of nutrients.
Chicken feed (a mixture of milled grains such as corn, oats, wheat, etc) can be compared to bread in a human’s diet. It provides lots of energy for growth and development but it doesn’t contain all of the components of a healthy diet. A human can survive for a long time on a diet consisting almost entirely of bread, but a human cannot thrive on this diet. The same is true for chickens. Feed will keep them alive, but pasture is necessary for them to thrive.
When you compare the flavor and texture of pasture-raised chicken to the flavor and texture of conventional grocery store chicken (even grocery store Organic, a topic for another day!) you can taste the difference between chicken that was just surviving and chicken that was thriving.