NAEF Corrects Forbes on Future of Egg Production





While you anticipate that cage-free egg farming is the future, the facts show it is a reverting to the past. More than five decades ago, egg farming transitioned to cages to improve the lives of the chickens (reduced mortality in half), improved the quality of eggs (by removing the likelihood of the eggs coming in contact with manure) and improved the working conditions of the farmer (less dust from the chickens scratching in the shavings). Even the most recent investigation into the best production systems as investigated by scientists in the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply dispute your conclusions. McDonald's was one of a list of contributors to this investigation. Those scientists reported to McDonald's and others that cage-free systems lead to more death loss among chicken due to their establishing a pecking order. Penn State researchers recently published the results of a 6-month study testing 6,000 eggs and concluded backyard flocks of cage-free were more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella. Farmers today know how to produce a safe and wholesome egg while caring for the chickens. Those food companies will also learn that cage-free is not the consumers' choice. Check out the stores selling both today and find which ones the consumers are buying. The extended future of egg production will be right back to chickens in cages after the food companies learn the lessons that farmers learned five decades ago.

Ken Klippen, National Association of Egg Farmers


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?



Backyard Poultry Flocks More Likely to Have Salmonella than Conventional Flocks

Backyard Poultry Flocks More Likely to Have Salmonella than Conventional Flocks

Perhaps you've been lectured by animal activists that smaller, backyard flocks are safer 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:



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.

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