Originally Posted by hennible
Now I want to find NR graded eggs to try hatching... Lol
Cool info Tara
Uh, no you won't...you don't want the mush meaters or swill eggers...believe me! You need to raise animals that don't really need us...and when we DO lavish them with care, love and resources, they prosper beyond our expectations...they don't need us but thrive when we do help out...yee haw!
THE last thing any of us BYCers would want is commercial factory farm stocks. Good gack--talk about needing coddling and being crippled from the get go's! We, the peoples, have been royally spoilt with REAL BIRDS...thinking chooks, that fend for themselves, know how to avoid predation, know how to put themselves away...know how to be chickens.
to factory frankenbirds. It always kills me when we get these persons (who will remain unnamed) that want to re-invent the factory farmed birds but just a tad backwards from where we are today. They want mush meats and swill eggers but once removed from the factory farmers...thinking and saying these are much better than the heritage stocks. No they are not...that be me though. We want birds that are NOT hybrids...that breed true, make more of the same and we can be self-sufficient without needing to continuously get new genetics in our mix. Freedom from the ball and chains of dependency from outside our worlds.
I am willing to raise a bird, that won't be slaughtered at 47 days (and earlier now), that requires true biosecurity (livin' in a glass bubble because the REALWORLD will kill them in the under two months they live their pathetic lives in for meat or less than a hen's proper age for swill eggers)...have to have antibiotic feed (used often not only to get them to live the under 47 days to meat sized but antibiotics are fed to our food because there is a side affect of growth to antibiotics...besides making the nasty bugs it kills or controls immune to the antibiotics and forcing us into a corner where there are now super illness we have NO antibiotics in reserve any mores!), that have bones you can bend (no skeleton, no supporting structure to move with, to forage by...rubber chicken...pretty close!)...
Hen's new farm perhaps?
That have organs that fail them (heart attacks...don't you as the producer DARE SNEEZE in the dandery barns or you'll kill 30 birds going ACHOO! )...that contact with wild birds will kill...I could rant onwards...and downwards about how factory farmed chooks suck big time!
How about SICK birds...that is what is in the commercial factory farms being raised up for outputs at the grocery.
Hock burns are marks found on the upper joints of chickens and other birds raised on broiler farms. These marks are where the ammonia from the waste of other birds has burned through the skin of the leg, leaving a mark. Many meat processors now remove these marks as they discourage customers. Hock burn normally does not surpass 15% of a flock, according to poultry industry standards, but independent studies have found incidents of hock burn more common. Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that hock burn could be identified in 82% of chickens sold in supermarkets.
Did you guys know they are messing with developing FARM ANIMALS that do not AVOID PAIN...yup...creating a line of farm beasts that still FEEL PAIN but have the genetic makeup not to avoid it. How dumb is that & how wrong? I mean, you put your hand on a hot stove burner, you feel pain and you avoid doing that again...DUH! Nope, animals to tolerate pain...to still FEEL PAIN but not stampede outta the barn from painful circumstances...good gack! We humans are insane...inhumane indeed. We want to make animals that will stand steady and take the abuse we dish them...yeh...dumb them down, easier to manage and abuse in MY opinion...good gack indeed!
THE NEW YORK TIMES - Feb 2010:
Veal calves and gestating sows are so confined as to suffer painful bone and joint problems. The unnatural high-grain diets provided in feedlots cause severe gastric distress in many animals. And faulty or improperly used stun guns cause the painful deaths of thousands of cows and pigs a year.
We are most likely stuck with factory farms, given that they produce most of the beef and pork Americans consume. But it is still possible to reduce the animals’ discomfort — through neuroscience. Recent advances suggest it may soon be possible to genetically engineer livestock so that they suffer much less.
Prof. Zhou-Feng Chen and his colleagues here at Washington University have engineered mice so that they lack the gene for a peptide associated with the anterior cingulate gyrus. Like the animals given brain lesions, these mice are normally sensitive to heat and mechanical pain, but they do not avoid situations where they experience such pain.
Given the similarity among all mammals’ neural systems, it is likely that scientists could genetically engineer pigs and cows in the same way. Because the sensory dimension of the animals’ pain would be preserved, they would still be able to recognize and avoid, when possible, situations where they might be bruised or otherwise injured.
The people who consumed meat from such genetically engineered livestock would also be safe. Knockout animals have specific proteins removed, rather than new ones inserted, so there’s no reason to think that their meat would pose more health risks for humans than ordinary meat does.
If we cannot avoid factory farms altogether, the least we can do is eliminate the unpleasantness of pain in the animals that must live and die on them. It would be far better than doing nothing at all.
Icrumba...we can justify making farm animals that do not avoid pain...well because we can justify we have to have factory farms...by who's rules do we HAVE to raise our food like this? What moral and ethical measurement are we using...the dollar value perhaps...that we cannot possibly sustain our human race with happy meat...happy food that tastes...happy because it was raised that way...the proper and decent way?
I love the "no reason to think that their meat would pose more health risks for humans than ordinary meat does"...thank heavens places like Europe are sensible and won't take our GMO grains or GMO meats...thank heavens! Some place that won't just sidle up and say, "Hey, I don't mind that in Nature, she would never cross a jellyfish with a strawberry plant so we can harvest strawberries in colder climates...!"
Hey now, how could splicing in bits of DNA from a jellyfish and a strawberry plant EVER go wrong....well...they just patch in chunks, never sure what is along for the ride...jest that this patch of DNA produced strawberries that were more cold tolerant...what could go wrong with that science...well?? Watch out for the tentacles, eh...
Kids having problems with the lunch sandies you are making..."Oh it burns??"
Send them in for genetic modification...to feel pain but not AVOID it??
Ever raise Cornish/Rocks? I mean the factory farmed mush meater genetics are WAY past that now...by far the engineering is huge...but ever raise the classic hybrid meat birds? Sickening...the people I talk to say all they do is plunk themselves down in front of the feed and EAT...an POO, and EAT, POO, DRINK, EAT, and POO some more. Lovely...that's gotta taste like happy meat...this thing that needs flavouring added because the poor thing never moved...never lived long enough to develop like fine wine does...
1950 compared to 2008...and things have gotten worse since 2008...
What we don't know, surely won't hurt us...right...right...right???
Blinders on past 2008...
What has been done since these Cornish/Rock crosses, further engineering...is make a bird that is never satisfied...never feels full. Stop a sec and think...back in 2008 you get to live for under 47 days, and the improvements could be that you don't avoid pain, you have no instincts past you are forever and EVER hungry and thirsty...you are a glutton for punishment...you eat and would eat till your crop bust...so you have to have regulated "time outs" so you can digest what you got stuffed in your gobs.
The Cornish Rock hybrids have to have a time out from feed...I can only imagine what happens now, eh.
You want those...heavens NO! I don't figure so.
So long time back...Rick says he wants turkeys and I am aghast at him...."What the $#&& you want those for?" I practically scream at him. But he knows better...he always steers me right...He brings me up to speed, not the sick white monster turkeys that will look skywards in a rain storm and drown, short lived, never stop growing, cannot breed, forage, stunned & stupid ...he took me to a bird show and showed me the Heritage Turkeys...we saw our first Bourbon Reds and they were wonderful in so many ways!
This above is ten toms and one hen...colour me world or what...bang up excellent...
WARNING; if you think chicken or duck math is dangerous...jest get yourself a pair of heritage turks and L00K out! Sweet, endearing, intelligent, personable, delicious, plenty of huge eggs for hatching or consumption, just WATCH OUT...big bird, big addiction...you bin warned, eh!
So you like EVER notice that commercial animals lack colour and pattern...white colour...are easy to manage or in another words STUPID as all tomorrow...I mean there are sheep breeds that if picked up in a flood, will not fight and just turn over and drown...I got me Jacobs...primitive feisty, better recall than dogs...primitive intelligent beasts with ATTITUDES!
Nope, no factory screw ups thanks...nobody could EVEN pay me to take on commercial factory farmed poultry genetics...it would sicken me to the very core of my humanity...
Originally Posted by vehve
The types of chicken keeping in the EU (or mainly Finland in this case) are your basic battery chickens, which are no longer allowed, I think they've been banned since 2012, and I think the exempt farms have phased out them already too.
Then there's "activity cages". You need to provide a bit more space per chicken, and they must be allowed to have a spot to nest on. The floor can't be all mesh, and some other restrictions are also in place. Still not a huge improvement.
Then there's barn raised, usually marketed as "eggs from free chickens". Huge warehouse with tons of chickens running around, sure it's not cages, but not that good of a life either. I think you can have a max of 9 birds per square meter.
Then we've got organic, they have to be let outside for four months in the summer, after the Avian flu restriction is over (end of May). And the space requirement for the outside is huge, inside you can keep up to 6 birds per square meter. Also, natural light, and 95% organic feed are required.
And then there's free range, year round access to the outside (minus the avian flu restriction, March-May), same huge outside space requirement (4 square meters per chicken), inside you can keep the same 9 birds to one square meter. This is my favorite way of keeping them. But we only have one place in Finland producing these eggs. The feed doesn't need to be organic, but they do feed non-GMO feed at the place that makes them. Below are some videos from the place:
Interview with keeper, shows b-roll from their "terrace" and the insides, next videos are from the outside.
I don't do videos but thank you for posting these.
Yeh, ACTIVITY CAGES...what the heck will they come up with next? Factory farms are factory farms...it is all about management...not one iota about happiness for the creatures. There are protocols here about addressing anti-cruelty...but that be that. It has to be way bad and I will let you know...a little conversation I had with a poultry inspector I know thru vintage vehicles...common interest of Rick's and mine...
He told me straight up... the factory farms here, they run the show. No wee provincial poultry inspector is gonna change how they run their biz. Nope, the fella told me they could be in violation of these hilarious dumb laws and no report he makes will matter. Big Ag is in the control seat...always has. They call the shots and these wimpy laws that are barely able to address HUMANE treatment of farm stocks...simply a joke.
Watch the show Food Inc...
The film's first segment examines the industrial production of meat (chicken, beef, and pork), calling it inhumane and economically and environmentally unsustainable. The second segment looks at the industrial production of grains and vegetables (primarily corn and soy beans), again labeling this economically and environmentally unsustainable. The film's third and final segment is about the economic and legal power, such as food labelling regulations of the major food companies, the profits of which are based on supplying cheap but contaminated food, the heavy use of petroleum-based chemicals (largely pesticides and fertilizers), and the promotion of unhealthy food consumption habits by the American public. It shows companies like Wal-Mart transitioning towards organic foods as that industry is booming in the recent health movement.
So if'n you still want commercial breeds of chickens, meat or egger ones...see how these ones are raised and replicate that, eh.
Meat birds...in the dark, not too much space because all the birds want to do, bred to do, engineered to do is consume inputs and make outputs...not run round yer yard squishing dirt between their toes...same for the eggers...yeh, some life. Pump out egg bombs till you are a year of age and that be that...you live a longer life than the mush meaters, but a swill egger is not economically viable for the second year of life.
If this don't scare you straight to REAL birds, heritage breeds...think on this economically speaking...it costs me with NO WAGES (not even a minimum wage for my slaveattude to the cause here), it costs me $35 per egg bird to get them to the point of lay...the eggs you buy that might be fertile is for egg layers, factory farmed genetics...
Thirty Five Dollars in expenses = POL to begin laying eggers
That is a conservative estimate on cost of the hatching egg, incubation and brooding costs, 7% mortality rate, the feed they eat, grit and calcium, like a buck a month for bedding, a buck or so for replacement of equipment I will hafta replace that wears out eventually (like we all wear out eventually, eh)... This cost is $35 for an egg layer to begin. For a meat bird...it is less if I harvest at twenty weeks. Our culls should be our meat--all but my Booted Bantams would at the very least make chook stock for my dogs' dinners at the worst case point costs...I keep the same number of males to females in many cases in my chooks...I don't popular sire syndrome myself into a genetic corner...lots of males to keep the genetic gene pool healthful. I adore my boys as much as my girls...cherished keepers to embellish my own self sufficiency here.
So why the heck would I waste my efforts hatching birds NOT designed to live here in my yard...on my dirt, chasing bugs, soaking up sunshine, plucking grass and eating greens I grow or buy in cases for them, sleeping in the shade, thriving thru ten months of winter (OK...nine months is more what it feels like), that won't kick over from any illnesses I have here, or are brought here by those supposed diseased and dangerous wild birds...etc.
Originally Posted by Razadia
I remember this. They tried to make it easier for them to process the foxes and ended up destroying their own business. They were a Silver Fox breeder, but as they bred for tamer foxes it made dormant coloring come out. The ended up selling the farm and it was bought by a geneticist that was intrigued by what had happened and how different the tamed foxes behaved. They ended up selling them as pets. I know of someone that actually has one from there. She lives in Michigan. Sadly, the site for the institute has been down for several years now.
They even WAG their tails, eh. Neato that these tamed foxes continued!!
What we all need to keep doing is raising chooks...turks, ducks, whatevers. I don't care if you raise a tiny flock of two birds...that fact is that so long as we keep raising the birds, the numbers of us that CARE about this is what matters the most.
HERITAGE...defined for the turkey...
1. Naturally mating: the Heritage Turkey must be reproduced and genetically maintained through natural mating, with expected fertility rates of 70-80%. This means that turkeys marketed as “heritage” must be the result of naturally mating pairs of both grandparent and parent stock.
2. Long productive outdoor lifespan: the Heritage Turkey must have a long productive lifespan. Breeding hens are commonly productive for 5-7 years and breeding toms for 3-5 years. The Heritage Turkey must also have a genetic ability to withstand the environmental rigors of outdoor production systems.
3. Slow growth rate: the Heritage Turkey must have a slow to moderate rate of growth. Today’s heritage turkeys reach a marketable weight in about 28 weeks, giving the birds time to develop a strong skeletal structure and healthy organs prior to building muscle mass. This growth rate is identical to that of the commercial varieties of the first half of the 20th century.
HERITAGE defined for the chook...
Heritage Chicken must adhere to all the following:
- APA Standard Breed
Heritage Chicken must be from parent and grandparent stock of breeds recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) prior to the mid-20th century; whose genetic line can be traced back multiple generations; and with traits that meet the APA Standard of Perfection guidelines for the breed. Heritage Chicken must be produced and sired by an APA Standard breed. Heritage eggs must be laid by an APA Standard breed.
- Naturally mating
Heritage Chicken must be reproduced and genetically maintained through natural mating. Chickens marketed as Heritage must be the result of naturally mating pairs of both grandparent and parent stock.
- Long, productive outdoor lifespan
Heritage Chicken must have the genetic ability to live a long, vigorous life and thrive in the rigors of pasture-based, outdoor production systems. Breeding hens should be productive for 5-7 years and roosters for 3-5 years.
- Slow growth rate
Heritage Chicken must have a moderate to slow rate of growth, reaching appropriate market weight for the breed in no less than 16 weeks. This gives the chicken time to develop strong skeletal structure and healthy organs prior to building muscle mass.
I personally have some issues with chicken definition...there are and always has been NON conforming chickens in our breeding pens...has to be...even things like breeding for blue dilution means fifty percent of the outputs from APA recognized variety (the BLUE which is heterozygous or impure!), will not conform to the description of the variety and yes, they state BREED. To be a real stick in the mud...define "traits that meet the APA SOP?" A simple disqualification...is that allowed to call any breed heritage then...may Chanteclers with PEA combs (SOP says CUSHION combs) be in a breeding pen then and the offspring labelled livestock conservancy HERITAGE then?
Besides my own pickiness...it all boils down to the same cause. We the people that choose to keep the heritage poultry...WE are special as special as our birds are...don't EVER envy the factory farmed commercials...there is a special place in my heart for what we have done to fellow beings in the name of cheap food...the shame and lack of a value system that would produce HAPPY food if we were not enslaven by the values of the almighty dysfunctional dollar...money measures success...not quality of lives. Sigh...
WE need each other to raise heritage birds--birds that could do quite fine without our interventions, easy keepers, those that need us because they like us and all our personal human shortcomings. Smart birds, intelligent birds that have instincts and are taught to fend for themselves quite well. The farm animals that need us to allow them to enjoy good lives, let them just be themselves, birds we need so we may love them, birds that supply us with good outputs to eat happy meat and happy eggs, to have birds that run in the dirt, breath clean air and soak up sunshine, sleep in the shade when not chasing bugs on wing or feets...to be REAL like us humans need to be REAL...to be outside enjoying life in the REAL WORLD and to continue to OWN IT...the right to have control over our food and keep our pets with benefits. When we get lazy, we let others control our basic needs to survive, heaven help us all and how very ill we shall all be...right down to how ill that will make this EARTH.
Rah rah rah!
Doggone & Chicken UP!
Tara Lee Higgins
Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada