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Increase in people raising their own chickens?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by FunnyFowlLady, May 23, 2016.

  1. FunnyFowlLady

    FunnyFowlLady New Egg

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    Many of you have been members on this site for a long time but I see MANY posts in the "new member introduction" forum. Have you seen an increase in the number of new members or is it always this busy here? Great place to learn about raising birds as there is so much experience and knowledge among the members. Just wondering if chickens are becoming the "in" thing with all of the concern about where our food comes from? With the recent "bird flu" scare and the price of eggs in the store going to $6 a dozen, it makes sense to be a little less dependent on others to provide us with food. We have chickens, cattle and a large garden so are working toward being a little more self sufficient.
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I think that's part of it - seems every time we turn around there's another product recall for salmonella, listeria, or e.coli contamination in commercially sold products and it's scary! Then there's all this scare about GMOs and organic vs non-organic and becoming more aware of what we eat and put in front of our kids (and grandkids) to eat. When it comes right down to it, most of us who do want to do the right thing and only put pure, pristine things in our mouths for our nourishment experience a little shell shock when we shop for those kinds of foods. We know what we should be doing, but when it's cheaper to feed a family of 4 at McDonald's than it is to buy all the "right" stuff and make a meal, that's an issue for me. I mean, I'm still trying to figure out why food that has had nothing done to it, isn't genetically changed in any way, and hasn't had layer upon layer of chemicals sprayed on it costs more than food that has had all that extra expense added into its cost of production! Makes no sense that it costs more to buy a product that shouldn't have had those extra costs built in......weird! I'll bet the bottom line would be the cost of compliance with federal guidelines and all the paperwork and extra regulations that have to be met to qualify as Non-GMO or organic. Can't blame the farmer - if I was a farmer I wouldn't want to be paying out all that extra time and money with no chance of recouping that loss either.

    This really happened to me in a restaurant once. I ordered French Onion soup because I love it, but the menu described it as having "a layer of grated Parmesan cheese dusted on the top." Well I don't like Parmesan cheese, so I asked for the soup not to have that added. When the bill came my meal was $2.00 more than my friend, who had the same exact meal I did. I asked the waitress why and she said it was because my soup didn't have the Parmesan so they charged me $2.00 extra to leave it off. Wait....wait....what??? I got charged extra for NOT putting something on my soup? Yeah, like that.

    So it makes sense that where we can, we grow and raise as much of our own food as possible, in order to get the benefits of non-GMO or organic if we so choose, without the sticker shock at the grocery store. Besides, what's more satisfying than looking in the freezer, the fridge, or the pantry and knowing that your hard work put that bounty in there for you and your family? In this day and age of instant communication, technological advancements and impersonal transactions, that connection to what made us thrive in the past is such a blessing!
     
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  3. FunnyFowlLady

    FunnyFowlLady New Egg

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    May 21, 2016
    I fully agree with everything you said.....but I will admit to being a farmer/farmer's wife and we raise GMO corn and soybeans. We understand both sides of this debate and we do our utmost to ensure that we are good stewards of the land and raise safe crops. In answer to your query about non GMO/organic products being so expense, the answer is supply vs. demand. While one acre of land in this area (NE South Dakota) will produce 200+ bushel of GMO corn, it will at best produce 40 to 50 bushel non GMO corn. This thread is about good people being concerned about eating healthy food.....and I love knowing that the chickens in my freezer were raised in a healthy environment and the eggs in my fridge are fresh. I agree with you that there is no better feeling than having a pantry of home grown and canned fruits and vegetables. It just seems that more and more folks are doing that...for us it is about not being totally reliant upon someone else to feed us. Just think of the people who cannot or do not have that ability. I am happy to live where we can have chickens and a garden.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Oh, I did realize the supply and demand issue....I just got off on my tangent and forgot to put it in as an additional reason for the expense. So glad you pointed that out because it's an important part of the expense equation.

    And as far as this old lady is concerned, there's nothing wrong with GMO crops. I know, I know...not the popular opinion at the moment, but oh well. I reached the ripe old age of 65 eating gluten filled, non-organic food that was sprayed, modified and otherwise "tampered with" and I'm still kicking. One place we lived in was an tiny acreage between 2 farm fields and Dad deliberately planned our gardens to take advantage of the drift from the farmer's spraying to also protect our crops. And look at all the news stories of how many more "senior citizens" there are in this modern age than ever before. They didn't get that way by avoiding everything we are now told we have to avoid. We survived riding sitting in the back seat of the car or pickup bed, fireworks in the backyard, drinking out of the gutters when it rained, unsupervised playground visits, solid foods by 6 weeks old and whole cow's milk by 4 months old. So there is no "perfect" diet, no "perfect" lifestyle, and no "perfect" way to age. There's only what each person decides is right for him/her and neither side should be able to dictate to the other. Where this GMO and non-organic is a death sentence stuff came from I don't know, but it's here now and here to stay. If someone wants to go the non GMO and organic route, that's great - they have their reasons and I'm not second guessing them. There's plenty of room for everyone's choices. As far as I'm concerned, if it tastes good I'll eat it! Wait...I've even eaten Haggis so I guess it doesn't even have to taste good and I'll still eat it! [​IMG]

    I grew up in Eastern South Dakota, around Sioux Falls. Most of my family members were farmers...aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins.....all in that Sioux Falls to Luverne MN, Rock Rapids, Iowa neck of the woods. If there's anything prettier than a mid-western farm in the early dawn, I'm hard pressed to find it, although I have to say that the mountains I'm surrounded by here in Northern Wyoming come pretty doggone close!
     
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  5. FunnyFowlLady

    FunnyFowlLady New Egg

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    Blooie, I think we came from about the same background.....and I am 61 so about the same time frame too. I am like you......love my garden and having some of our food but mostly because of the possibility that food won't always be available at the store. I try to stay informed about safety issues with food but it seems that so many consumers now just hitch their wagon to the shiniest star and never do any research if things are true or just some media hype. An informed consumer is the best friend to farmers, no matter what they raise. Only 2% of the country actively farms/ranches now and they are expected to feed the entire country plus part of the export market. I encourage people to raise their own food.......gardens, chickens, cows, pigs........And I agree you live in one of the most scenic parts of this country! I think this forum is a wonderful place for people to learn about raising chickens, how enjoyable, how easy and how contagious it is!!!!
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    And have you ever noticed that no matter which side of the debate someone is on, they can always find dozens of "reputable scientific studies" to bolster their argument? [​IMG]

    By the way, welcome to BYC...it's so nice to meet you!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. potato chip

    potato chip Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    When I was a kid, people had chickens in their (suburban) backyards. Then they stopped, now they've gone back to it again. So, from my personal experience, yes, it's become popular again.

    Back then, there was no internet, people just found out how to look after their chickens from books or other people. The internet just makes our circle of people to find out from MUCH bigger. Sometimes it's great, other times it can cause unnecessary worry, IMO.

    This site is very popular, if you search for some info about a chicken issue, this site will be top of the search results. Lots of people signing up could reflect more people taking up chicken keeping or it could just reflect that chicken keepers turn to the internet when they have an issue.
     
  8. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Remember, that when many of us were growing up, herbicides were not sprayed on crops or those crops would have died. My problem with GMOs is not the gene splicing, it's the repeated application of weed killer (Roundup) as the crop is growing that leaves herbicide residue inside the food. Glyphosate not something I want to eat or to feed my grandchildren. (Or my chickens for that matter.) That's why I support GMO labeling laws so that people can make an informed choice.

    I like to know where some of my food comes from at least, so that's why I started raising chickens and gardening. Seems like more people are doing the same thing these days, which is a good thing. [​IMG]
     
  9. FunnyFowlLady

    FunnyFowlLady New Egg

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    May 21, 2016
    An informed consumer is one that makes the best choices! I wish more people would take the time to learn about things before making a statement 'for or against'...just because it is popular! We all need to be aware of what we eat and where it comes from!
     
  10. potato chip

    potato chip Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    On the other hand the soil was full of DDT....:( We've all been exposed to all sorts of things for a long, long time. :(

    I like knowing that what I pick out the back has not got anything sprayed on it. Especially for budgie food. Food from the shops has never been a problem, but there's always that little doubt that they might have used something and it's left a residue that might hurt them.
     
    1 person likes this.

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