If all chickens had to be cageless

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by seedcorn, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    1) Most of you on here would be put out of chickens. Your 4'/chicken is a "cage".
    2) 250 million commercial layers in USA, where would they go? How would you like to be the bottom 100 hens in a 10,000 cageless building? A building is just a "huge" cage.
    3) Free range only, ok, how big of a pen would it take to give them comfort/safety. How long in the pen before it needs to be moved so the birds aren't tramping in their own excrement? Is a pen any better than a building if the room/hen isn't any better?
    4) No pens, true free range, good luck gathering eggs, controlling diseases, predators, etc. I'd hate to think of the cost of eggs in this system.

    It's great to say it's cruel & stop the "cage" industry but what would you replace it with?
  2. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I have to give you a little info on cage free chickens. Technology is here that the manure is cleaned out every day so they are not standing in there own manure. Egg, Water and Feeding are all automated. But you are right on the 2 topics that the price would go up and that the pecking order can be bad.
  3. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    Colored, if they are building bound, manure can be cleaned out. If they are allowed to run outside in pens, how are you going to clean out the manure? Are you going to switch dirt every week? Don't get me started on the hypocrisy of "cage free free range" eggs. With the window at the peak where NO chicken could ever get out.

    If building bound, how are you going to stop the pecking order so that the lower ones don't get eaten alive.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  4. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    I was talking about the inside birds not outside birds for cleaning. for the pecking order there is really no way to clear it up. For mine If I see one getting picked on I will separate it out and put it in a small group. Luckly Ive only needed to take 2 out. The industry way to control the pecking order is beat trimming.
  5. Rosewynd

    Rosewynd In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2008
    Anza, CA
    If it's made illegal to cage them, then you won't be able to transport them either.
  6. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I am assuming you are writing in relation to the CA proposition about caged animals? If so, here is the specific language : "The proposed act prohibits the confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs" this absolutely DOES NOT include our 4x4 guidelines for hen houses. It deals with the most extreme forms of confinement, which I don't think anyone here can claim is humane in any way. I don't think being "cageless" is on the table anywhere for legislation, and I doubt it will be. There is a lot of room for improvement in the way this nation has raised livestock commercially (feedlots and battery hens) for the last 50 years, but wanting some change doesn't mean it's going to be as extreme as "everything must be cageless".

    Yes, change would make eggs more expensive, but who says all food must always be so cheap? We in America spend a much smaller percentage of our income on food than the rest of the developed world, and less than we ever have before in this country. Which, by the way, has contributed to the strangling out of our small farmers. I for one would like to see the return of that profession as an option for our young people, and paying more for humanely raised animal products is part of that equation.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    4) No pens, true free range, good luck gathering eggs, controlling diseases, predators, etc. I'd hate to think of the cost of eggs in this system.

    I would imagine that disease control would be much easier in a free range operation due to birds not being confined in close proximity to one another. I would put the health of my free range flock up against any penned, or caged, flock any day.

    I realize you are referring to a commercial operation but the fresh air, sunshine and exercise of a truly free range operation would only contribute to good health, no detract from it.

    As far as gathering eggs, I would imagine this would be done the same way it was in the days of the large chicken farms, before the techniques they have in place now....the same way I do...train them to use the nests and eliminate other potential nesting areas.

    Predators? A few GPs and an acceptable loss ratio from air attacks should take care of most predators in the day. At night they would be in the buildings anyway and safe from predation.​
  8. NIce Try Seedcorn, but this one will get locked too.

    As to cage free not being in trouble, one must look at the vague language. If hens stretch their wings and have the potential to touch another hen then the cagefree operation is in violation of the proposed law.

  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    if the exact wording is as above, then it doesn't say they must be able to stand side by side and be a wingspan apart from eachother, but that they must be able to stretch out their wings. Four birds could stretch out their wings in a two foot cage, if they took turns. Not advocating it, just saying... What is the difference anyhow, two feet, three feet, they still have a raw deal if they are a commercial egg layer.
  10. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    BeeKissed, here in Indiana, between the coyottes, hawks, neighbor's dogs, they would wipe out a flock that ran true "free range".

    Angie, I agree that food is "too cheap" but I don't see the American politicians (& the public who vote them in) allowing food to become "fairly" priced so we can raise it differently.

    Again, how would you control the manure in "free range"? Would you have to pass laws on how many chickens/acre and how long could they stay on that piece of dirt before you would have to rotate them out? The P levels in the ground are government regulated, imagine most of you are not in compliance.

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