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