For those who raise meat birds! (Finished Paper Pg. 4)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Morgan7782, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Sacramento CA
    I am doing a school assignment on backyard chicken family run farms vs big broiler/egg farms and companies, and I asked for some help in egglaying forum but now I need a bit of personal words from some meat bird owners. [​IMG] I would be SO grateful for anybody sharing personal experience, does not need to be facts at this time. I will also site your words as either Backyard Chickens.com OR your username, whichever you are comfortable. Onto questions!

    Has anybody here had a flock wiped out from disease? Please share your experience, and what you did to fix the problem.(excluding deaths due to weight)

    What are some personal pro's to raising your own meat birds?

    What sort of epidemic could you see happening if the US was to change from big company broiler companies back to family run farms and sales? (Provided there was enough land* this is strictly a "what if" question)

    Thanks for any help! Also let me know how you would like to be cited! (Backyard Chickens.com or username.)

    The finished product is on page 4! I think it got my point across and that was the point to write a pursuasive paper and try to make the instructor see it how I see it. Thanks everybody! I cited the entire BYC forum because my list would have been another page with all the information I gained from indaviduals here! Thanks a ton all!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Quote:Personally, I don't see this change as even being possible the way our country is. The government would not allow it--they are aiming for more and more control of our food, not giving control back to us. Not everyone who wants to eat chicken can or will want to raise their own, but there are not enough people capable of raising backyard chickens to meet the demands of themselves plus everyone in cities or wherever that do not/cannot raise their own...we simply eat too much meat, much more than we used to. Back in the days where people raised their own, they did not eat meat like we do now--maybe a couple times a week, not a couple of times a day! People who do not care about where there food comes from would rather have the convenience and low price of the factory farmed bird from the grocery store than driving out to a farm and paying twice as much or more, plus not being able to get as much chicken as they like whenever they like, or only buy fancy cuts like boneless breasts, they would have to take the dark meat too from most farms.

    As far as a disease epidemic, I think we would have much less disease IF we went back to this system. Sure, back in the 1700s, diseases would wipe out one person's stock sometimes, but his neighbors would be fine, and they would all help him back on his feet. Only a few chickens would be affected, where if a factory farm gets a disease, millions of chickens are affected and they have to minimize their monetary losses somehow, and they may do that by sneaking sick birds into the food supply rather than throwing them away. The overcrowding of factory farms contributes to disease, birds that are raised in the open air with enough room and healthy food are much more immune to diseases that will decimate a factory farm. So, the factory farm has to feed the birds medications all day long to keep them from getting sick, and in turn, those medicines end up on your dinner table, especially if they do not follow proper procedures for withdrawing the animals from medication before butchering.

    (Quote me however you like, if you're going to.)
     
  3. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has anybody here had a flock wiped out from disease? Please share your experience, and what you did to fix the problem.(excluding deaths due to weight)
    I lost a flock to Pneumonia, it was my fault. I didn't brood the lil guys long enough and we had a cold/wet patch in the early spring. Completely my mistake.

    What are some personal pro's to raising your own meat birds?
    I know what they eat, I know what they stand on, I know what happens to them from day old to slaughter. I am in control of their lives and I make sure they get the best nutrition, have access to plenty of sunshine and fresh water. I make the most nutritionally dense chicken possible.

    What sort of epidemic could you see happening if the US was to change from big company broiler companies back to family run farms and sales? (Provided there was enough land* this is strictly a "what if" question)
    Epidemic? Like disease? I don't see one. Since nature never produces mono-cultures, moving the broiler business back to the farm is a good thing. BTW, there is enough land. It would cause the cost to go up slightly, but not terribly. It would mean that if there was some kind of problem it wouldn't effect the entire US. Family farming is based on balance, industrial farming isn't. When your assets, become liabilities, you are out of balance. When you have to haul off waste, you are out of balance, manure is an asset around my place. The only problem I see with putting chickens back on small scale operations is we would waste less. Wait, is that a problem?

    Commercial broiler production can be done in a fairly large scale, without the current industrial methods. We can bring back the poly-culture and create an environment where productivity means the best product, not just a product.
     
  4. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Very helpful thanks a bunch! I am sadly aware the days of family farms are growing far and few between, that's why this paper is mostly opinion based.

    We watched a movie on a recent closure of a California slaughterhouse that was dragging downed cows to the kill platform, and ironically that meat went to schools to feed the future generations. Bizzare to me but ah well. Legally unless a cow can walk to the kill platform, they can't be slaughtered, which is why this paticular company was shut down.

    I am sure the same goes for large broiler houses. They keep as many as 20,000 broilers together in conditions that are unable to be helped but be filthy. One thing I think of when regarding huge broiler houses and egg farms is spread of disease. When you are mass producing amounts that we do, a single outbreak could be a HUGE problem both financially and of course health risks.

    I would think, before doing reasearch, these big companies cause more of a country wide epidemic with things like salmonella. If a backyard family farm had such a problem chances would be they would cull the flock, and start over. It would affect a number of people, but probably no more then a hundred or few hundred depending on customers and such.

    To me, the health thing pretty big. I have seen battery hen videos where they are pulling mummified carcasses of hens out of cages. If that is not sanitary I don't know what sanitary is! (the animal welfare is a big deal as well, but a lot of mankind has proven that is not at the top of the agenda.)

    Scuba: After your post I wanted to jump up and cheer!! I agree completely with everything you said, and will use all opinions I am given here on BYC. This will be a great paper! Thanks all!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    Quote:I had a flock wiped out once, well part of a flock. I decided I wanted to raise a critically endangered Dual Purpose AKA meat breed. I bought eggs and chicks from three different breeders of this breed. at the time I had well over 200 birds - 40 of them were this particular endangered breed. Some I sold off to other people, who like me wanted to do their part in preserving a breed, they were sold as chicks and younger pulletts. 39 of those 40 birds died before reaching laying age, even the ones raised on other ranches. That said, NONE of my other birds died that year. After inconclusive necropsies it was decided in my circle that there was an obvious reason why this breed was critically endangered! I see this as an example of the good in hybridization and change/growth with the times.

    Personal pro's for me would be: knowing what went into the meat my family will be eating; knowing the once living creature was given a humane, safe, and yes happy life; and the knowledge that my family could be self sufficiant in the event of a break in the consumer chain.

    Not sure what you mean when you say epidemic; however as a trend, I would expect the increased demand for both the poultry and poultry feed to create intitial shortages in available stock.
    Please site me however you like.
     
  6. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I lost about 25% to disease with my spring batch of broilers. I just got angry and watched them die. I don't medicate, and I'm not sure what it was. I usually have about a 3-4% loss.

    The risk of an epidemic would be FAR less than it is now. Nearly all cases of food related recalls/sickness have been from large factory farms or large factory processing plants. Simply having individual birds on different farms would reduce the spread of disease, smaller processing facilities would result in smaller outbreaks, and it's easier to keep small operations clean.
     
  7. BigPeep

    BigPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't yet tried raising the meat birds, just layers, but I am planning on doing this next year with Poulet Rouge chickens which are a French breed that was developed for free range conditions. The main purpose for this is to prepare my area for an organic garden. I have had a terrible problem over the last couple of years with weeds due to all of the rain we have been getting due to global warming. The last three years in a row have had abnormal amounts of rainfall, including this one, in the Midwest. As an organic gardener I can 't spray the weeds so I am looking for organic methods. The ground is also losing fertility at this point and I would have to add six tons of compost per acre per year which is tough to do without larger equipment. My solution is to use various animals to do both jobs.

    I have introduced goats to take down the larger weeds and have a turkey tractor to put in after that. Then I plan to put in chickens in tractors. The problem with doing this with egg layers is that you first of all need a tractor that can accommodate a place for the chickens to lay the eggs, and secondly that you have to plan on having a winter coop to move them into at the end of the season. With the meat birds you don't need that and can send them for processing before you have to over winter them.

    I do have three chicken tractors now for the egg layers but they were very time consuming to build and are heavy to move around.

    I plan on doing an egg and meat CSA for next year where the customers will pre pay for one chicken per week plus one dozen eggs. I am doing an egg CSA this year and am sold out with a waiting list at $4 per dozen eggs for organic free range. I will sell the meat chicken for $3.50/lb in the CSA which is what they sell for at the farmer's market for organic. This will bring me about $12 per chicken.

    The plan for next year is to order 50 chicks per month and build tractors that can accommodate 25 chickens each. I will therefore need a total of six tractors as the chickens will be ready for market after ten weeks so by the time I have the third batch ready to put in the field, the first one will be ready to go out to the processor. I plan to construct the tractors using 16 foot hog fencing which is 30 inches high and topping it with 4 foot tall cattle fencing with a tarp to keep out the rain in the back and electric conduit pipe to provide some rigidity. Hopefully this will work.

    I hope this helps you out with your project.
     
  8. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

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    Sacramento CA
    Katy, Jaku and BigPeep you are very helpful! This will definately help with my paper and I am happy to have people who have experience in this area! I would love to raise meat birds, but at the time do not have what I consider proper room or enough time at the moment.

    I love all the comments from what I consider "family run backyard farms" (backyard meaning any amount of land).

    I am having problems finding SPECIFIC issues with large factory farms and massive producers. If anybody happens to come across some sort of article or fact sheet please do post! I have been scouring Google all morning.

    I am looking for instances of illness (I will be using current salmonella issue), bad husbandry, really anything specific around egg farms/broiler producers. Thanks a ton all! Very useful and good to have love the instances and point of views as well!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  9. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Have you seen "Food Inc?" If not, you need to- it will give you more than enough info.
     
  10. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    Yes definately, Food inc has a lot of info. I have to take a kid to school right now, but will get back to you this eve with some info from my friends hatchery.
     

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