The practice of sticking one or two of them onto the eggs is not illegal but when the consumer realises it is done deliberately he or she will understandably feel they are the victim of a con.
I am referring to the occasional chicken feather you will no doubt have found stuck to one of the eggs contained in the free range boxes you've bought during the last year or so.
Or like me you may not have really noticed the feather being there, or will have just picked it off and and dropped it into the trash bin .
But subconsciously the presence of that feather will have registered to such a point that when you next went to buy a box of free range eggs you will have automatically chosen the brand that you know had the feather on one of the eggs rather than a brand you'd bought in the past which hadn't contained any chicken feather.
The free range egg farms will not admit to sticking a feather onto the occasional shell during the packaging of them into those little cardboard cartons.
They need for the consumer to 'believe' that it isn't a deliberate marketing ploy.
They will also say that even battery farmed eggs can pick up the occasional feather.
Yes, that's true but the point is that when a feather is stuck to a FREE RANGE egg the consumer not only sees it as proof of chickens running freely around a barn but also they come to suspect eggs being sold as free range that do not contain a feather as being 'not truly free range eggs'.
It's all about how things are perceived.
The free range egg farm people know that.
I repeat that it's not illegal what they're doing, and certainly in some instances a feather stuck to the eggshell will be accidental.
My advice to readers is for them to take a very close look at the next feather they find stuck to an egg .
Take a very close look at what's holding that feather to the shell.
Is it a tiny bit of chicken doo-dahs - or a tiny bit of glue? I'll leave that for you to decide.