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Anybody have first-hand experience in a commercial egg farm??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    We've all seen horrific pictures of commercial egg factories. But I wonder if there are "good" ones out there. Obviously our BY hens have it MUCH better than their enslaved sisters, but I just wonder if all egg factories are horrendous.
     
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That is your opinion. I doubt the non-enslaved hens that are torn apart by dog and other predator attacks are in a much better position. The birds housed indoors rarely have to worry about frost bitten limbs, inadequate nutrition, or have to contend with precipitation issues.

    Many of us fail to remember why we moved livestock from outdoors to indoors, to PROTECT the animals. We are blinded by our nostalgia for the way Grandpa did it. I remember vividly the elation my relatives had when they finally were able to have a building for their 500 hens. They were estatic that they didn't have to deal with all the rigors associated with "free range" and could improve their profitability.

    Jim
     
  3. seedcorn

    seedcorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay :

    Quote:That is your opinion. I doubt the non-enslaved hens that are torn apart by dog and other predator attacks are in a much better position. The birds housed indoors rarely have to worry about frost bitten limbs, inadequate nutrition, or have to contend with precipitation issues.

    Many of us fail to remember why we moved livestock from outdoors to indoors, to PROTECT the animals. We are blinded by our nostalgia for the way Grandpa did it. I remember vividly the elation my relatives had when they finally were able to have a building for their 500 hens. They were estatic that they didn't have to deal with all the rigors associated with "free range" and could improve their profitability.

    Jim

    duck Jim, the bombs will be coming!!!!!!!!!!​
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I've only seen university style chicken housing and it is not nearly as bad as propaganda has it to be. Propaganda is just that. They grab all the bad exceptions and glorify them for the public to see. Yes they are in small cages and there is poo on everything... but don't we all have poo on things because of the chickens! They do have temp regulated buildings and highly regulated air circulation and feeding programs. They also have regular vet visits that do FLOCK management in a biosecure style meaning 10 days between visits to different flocks.

    So in short, the only things we hear about factory farms are bad things glorified for shock value. That said, I do prefer my own back yard flock as even with the dangers, they get to do fun things like run from hawks and evade ground predators.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I would think we can agree that not all commercial egg farms are created equal. Nor are free range conditions among backyard flock owners.
     
  6. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Quote:Here here! I have seen chichens running loose in total neglect defined as free range and natural. I have seen caged chickens with no food or water available. I have seen about everything inbetween. Judge each on a case by case basis. One mass production place I went too I felt should be shut down for the filth and condition of the birds, another made me ashamed of the condition of my over mated hens who have to look out for the dangers of outdoor life.

    I don't judge the meathod, I look at the outcome and see if it's working.
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Given that conditions for chickens run the gamut from excellent to horrendous.....

    I will add that having worked on agricultural issues as I have for my jobs for at least 20 years I have seen in the U.S. and in Holland some horrifying commercial conditions for chickens (and these are countries with more resources than many others have). Indoors the chickens may not have had predators but I bet they wish they did. Cruelty is the only word I could use to describe what I've seen. I wish it was just hype/propaganda but sadly it was all too real. Piles of chickens crammed in cages where they couldn't even move. You truly could not tell where one chicken ended and the next began. And then also so-called free range operations where the chickens were jammed so deep inside a dim building they trampled each other, not even so much as a 6 square inches of space each, stepping on top of each other to get anywhere - I never was able to see a square inch of floor.These "free-rangers" were never going to see the light of day - the term only meant they weren't in cages, although the buildings they were in were nothing more than one huge cage exploding with chickens. Thousands upon thousands jammed in - can you even imagine the poop in that situation?

    In the name of modernization, too many commercial operations (1 is too many) became all about the bottom line. Without question, some backyard situations are just as cruel, when proper care is not given. On the whole, humans have a lot of evolving to do. Thank goodness some very evolved souls are here at BYC keeping each other company!
    JJ
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  8. seedcorn

    seedcorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    I grew up with every farmer having chickens and commercial layer houses and grower houses.

    1) the commercial layer houses only problem was the NH3 odors. Later laws were passed that allowed more room in the pens for the hens.
    2) The grower houses, because of having to move so many chickens, the chickens got roughed up by catching them and placing them in pens.
    3) Farmer chickens went from never get fed enough and rough conditions to "pet" status.

    The simple solution to having animals raised the way you want, is pay the $$ to get it that way or do it yourself. Don't expect cheap eggs when they are raised as "pet" status. I have a real short fuse for "free range" or "organic" eggs, when people have NO IDEA what they are talking about. Want to do something positive?, go after the "free range, organic" people with the same energy you do the commercial layers--who are only there because people want cheap food. Sorry, I'll get off my soap box and back on my meds.........LOL
     
  9. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Quote:OK, I should have said, obviously MY hens have it much better. [​IMG] Mine are spoiled rotten.

    The purpose of my post was really to hear the other side of the issue. I'm sure not all egg farms are horrific.
     
  10. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:Are you talking about the commercial free-range/organic growers, or the small farmers like me who allow our birds free run of the property and give them certified organic feed? If you're talking about folks like me, what you like to see us do differently?
     

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