Sep20

Bald Eagles Killing Pasture-Raised Chickens.

Let’s talk animal welfare on chickens roaming freely in a pasture.  This 60,000 organic chicken farm in Georgia, reported the Fall 2016 Audubon Magazine, has about 75 Bald Eagles each consuming about 4 chickens per day costing this organic farmer about $1,000 per day.  When people picture chickens  roaming freely in a pasture, do they also consider the potential death loss to predators?

http://www.audubon.org/magazine/fall-2016/an-organic-chicken-farm-georgia-has-become-endless?utm_medium=email&utm_source=digg

Sep19

Backyard Poultry Flocks More Likely to be Unsafe than Conventional Flocks

Backyard Poultry Flocks More Likely to be Unsafe than Conventional Flocks

Perhaps you've been lectured by animal activists that smaller, backyard flocks are safety than the factory farms.  Here's the research to dispel that myth. Penn State researchers have found that eggs from small flocks of chickens are more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis as eggs sold in grocery stores, which typically come from larger flocks.

 

The results were published in the September 16th issue of PSU News:

http://news.psu.edu/story/425880/2016/09/14/research/eggs-small-flocks-just-likely-contain-salmonella-enteritidis

 

That conclusion was drawn from a six-month study done last year in Pennsylvania. Researchers from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences collected and tested more than 6,000 eggs from more than 200 selling points across the state for the study.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that shell-egg producers from farms with 3,000 or more chickens be in compliance with the agency’s Final Egg Rule, which is aimed at restricting the growth of pathogens.

 

Federal regulations for these larger flocks require placement of Salmonella-“clean” chicks, intensive rodent control, cleaning and disinfecting between flocks, environmental monitoring of pullet and layer houses, continuous testing of eggs from any Salmonella-positive houses, and diverting eggs from Salmonella-positive houses for pasteurization.

However, small flocks with fewer than 3,000 laying hens are currently exempt from the rule. Eggs from these producers often are marketed via direct retail to restaurants, health food stores and farmers markets, or sold at on-farm roadside stands.

 

The research highlights the potential risk posed by the consumption of eggs produced by backyard and small layer flocks. And, analysis of the Salmonella enteritidis present in the eggs from small flocks shows they are the same types commonly reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from human foodborne outbreaks.

Aug19

NAEF Reaches Out to Massachusetts Dailies

NAEF Reaches Out to Massachusetts Dailies

A “Yes” Vote on Question 3 this November Will Not Improve Animal Welfare

 

(On August 16th, NAEF sent the following story to 35 daily newspapers in Massachusetts).

 

Massachusetts voters will have more to decide than the next U.S. President when they enter the voting booth on November 8.  Question No. 3 is a minimum size requirement for farm animal containment that suggests a “yes vote” is better welfare while a “no vote” is more animal cruelty.  This is false.  The initiative began by requiring “certain farm animals (including egg-producing chickens) are able to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs.” Sounds reasonable, but chickens producing eggs today already have this ability.  The pictures shown of chickens struggling in cages is no more typical of modern egg production than pictures of homeless in Boston is typical of living conditions in that city. The National Association of Egg Farmers wants the people in Massachusetts to know that it has been more than five decades since the modern system of producing eggs ensures that chickens have better health, produce more grade-A eggs, and prevent contamination of the eggs with dirt and manure on the ground.  The width and height of the cage allows each chicken to stand up, sit down, turn around, and spread its wings. They will touch other chickens when they spread their wings, but this also happens when they are loose on the ground as they flock together. Chickens establish a pecking order among their flock, so reducing the number of birds in an enclosure such as the modern cages reduces the stress from pecking and thus improving the welfare.  If this voter initiative passes in Massachusetts, it will be repeating the same mistakes in California when their initiative became law in 2015. Without improving the health and welfare of the chicken, egg prices rose more than 33% after the law’s implementation. Don’t be misled by the misinformed who really don’t want you to eat eggs anyway. Ask the farmer who really wants his hens to keep producing a safe and wholesome egg at reasonable prices.

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