Is anyone listening?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by rancher hicks, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Or do you just take me to be an old fool and crackpot?

    Two articles in today's Sunday paper sparked my interest and concern.

    The first I came across is this one titled "Superbug Kills Seventh Person at Hospital".

    A Deadly Germ untreatable by most antibiotics has killed a seventh person at the National Institutes Health Clinical Center in Maryland. The Washington Post reported the death Friday , NIH officials told the paper that the boy from Minn. died 9/7. NIH says the boy arrived at the research hosp. in Bethesda in April and was being treated for complications from a bone marrow transplant when he contracted the bug. ...............
    He was the 19th patient at the hospital to contract the antibiotic - resistant strain of KPC, Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    The Second, is about Rachel Carson's book "The Silent Spring", accompanied by a picture of the Bald Eagle. Her book in 1962, created a hoopla with manufacturers in the chemical industry. The bald eagle as you may or may not know is mounting a comeback after reaching near extinction due to the chemical DDT.

    "Around the 1940's there was a sharp decline in the eagle population due to farmers using pesticides like DDT. This harmful pesticide was passed to animals like mice and other small animals when they would eat the plants that were treated and when the mice were hunted and eaten by the eagles they would ingest the poison. DDT caused sterility and death in eagles. " -

    As a chicken keeper I try to keep abreast of things in the food industry. I admit my motive is to promote the small private Back Yard Chickener, because I believe we as individuals need to take some control over what we eat and it's safety. While I do believe the current research into the nutritional value of Organic vs. Non- organic is true. I also believe what is being missed is the danger of what is "in" commercial non-organic foods.

    So what do I believe is there? What I like to call "enhancement drugs". I have in front of me an article that I printed out concerning the use of Antibiotics in the meat and poultry industry by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. They are "calling for the USDA to prohibit antibiotic - resistant Salmonella in ground meat and poultry on the grounds that dangerous strains make food-borne illnesses harder to treat." -quote.

    I call them "enhancement" drugs because these drugs are not being given to treat disease but because, "Antibiotic resistance is an inevitable consequence of antibiotic overuse, according to the CSPI. Most antibiotics used on animal farms are not used to treat disease but to promote growth or to prevent diseases caused by over crowding , and poor hygiene and other problems. " -quote.

    I also believe that by taking some control over what we and our families eat, we might be able to prevent our children, grandchildren and future generations from experiencing some of the health problem we older generations are plagued with. Health problems that result in taking pill upon pill to get us through the day.

    While I admit I can't afford to feed my chickens organic feeds, I do believe what is not in the commercial feed used by us small holders is the antibiotics and other things added by the commercial industry. What's more our birds do not solely rely on the feed we buy for their nutritional in take, since they are pastured. I also have information on pastured vs. non pastured but that is another story.

    I advise those who sell eggs and meat to print out articles that you read and give them to your customers. These hard copies will have more influence than anything you can say. Will you change the world? Perhaps not, but you might change one small piece.

    Have a nice day,

  2. thebanthams

    thebanthams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2010
    Safford, Arizona
    I had the same thoughts too ! thanks for sharing
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Never hurts to make someone think.
  4. ScottnLydia

    ScottnLydia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2011
    You know Buddy, you and I must have been thinking along the same lines today! I posted a rant about the food industry in the Family Stories section, "Who else has been living super frugal?" blog.

    As I have said before, I have worked in both the meat cutting (high school) and medical professions. I have watched what big agribusiness has been up to, not unlike the big banks that stole our retirement accounts so their CEOs could have obscene payoffs before going belly-up. Or other big businesses that put their enormous profits ahead of the welfare of the very consumers that make their existence possible!

    Uh-oh, do I sound bitter? Yup, that there is the bitterness that comes from feeling helpless. Rancher, when we were young, do you remember how doctors used to give penicillin for everything, even colds? Then they came out with anti-bacterial hand soap.

    Every dang time someone uses an anti-biotic, and a germ survives, it becomes stronger, even immune to the anti-biotic. Feeding antibiotic "just in case something might happen" , and to make cattle fatter, and to treat illness that doesn't even respond to an antibiotic IS JUST HOW WE CREATED SUPER-BUGS IN THE FIRST PLACE !!!

    So don't use medicated chick starter! Accept some losses and build immunity. The madness has to stop somewhere, it might as well be with us!

    Yeah Rancher, you're an old crackpot, and so am I. Maybe no one will listen, or maybe enough will that this craziness will start to change!

    Your partner in crime,
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    It's funny you should mention Medicated chicks starter. I have used it and do use it but recently found myself in a situation where I can't. I have broody hens with chicks and of course can't use a medicated feed for the hens. So the chicks have to be fed non medicated starter crumbles. So far so good.

    Until you mentioned it, I never gave it any thought.

    As for bitterness? Sure I feel bitter sometimes, having been forced into early retirement, but it does no good. I don't feel helpless with my faith in God, knowing that He is the defender of the weak. We'll all stand before Him naked as the day we were born and no amount of money will save us, or the thieving bankers, politicians, cheating lawyers and the like. But that's just me.

    Time spent being bitter is time wasted. When it could be spent enjoying the things money can't buy. Like friends, family and lately my granddaughter. If I had known grandchildren were this much fun, I would have had them first. [​IMG].

    As for what I posted, we also are not completely helpless. We can plant a garden and perhaps have a few chickens. Reducing our exposure to the things we believe are not healthy for us and our families.

    I wish you the best,

  6. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC
    I am right there with you. I purchase heirloom variety seeds to try and avoid GMO produce as much as possible. We hatch and raise our own chicks for eggs and meat. We plan to get a couple of goats for milk, and a beef calf or two in the next year or two. We can't afford to do it all at once, but we are trying to be more self-sufficient regarding our food so we know what is going into our bodies. I really don't trust the large companies, or our government, to look out for us.
    1 person likes this.
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    I've never used medicated feed either. I read it was about hygiene, kept them clean. Broodies expose their clutch to it from the day the step off the nest. I've lost a chick to cocci. Hawks yes...cocci no. I was one of those kids that got those darn awful penicillin shots every other week it seemed like until they took my tonsils out.
  8. ScottnLydia

    ScottnLydia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2011
    Thanks for being the voice of reason, and for calming me down.

    Being a father and grandfather myself, I feel protective towards my family, naturally. Sometimes I lose perspective though, and start feeling protective for everyone that gets victimized by big business. (My wife calls it 'snowballing'). I know I can't help everyone, it's crazy to think that you can, but trying to help where you can is still a good thing. My faith tells me that it is all part of the Divine Plan and that God will take care of all. My conscience, however, wants me to do whatever I can. I guess if all that means is to take care of us and to teach by example, then so be it.

    I raise all my chicks, even turkeys on unmedicated feed solely. Out of I-don't-know-how-many batches I had one (1) get sick and die. Clean brooding conditions seem to be sufficient. Granted, I live in a very dry environment, and perhaps that helps. But in a brooder it's always supposed to be dry anyway.

    Although I keep a bottle of penicillin in the fridge for emergencies, I wouldn't use it unless there was an obvious, life threatening infection that won't get better on it's own. So far, nobody has had one. They all have tremendous immune systems and haven't required any help.

  9. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    I've never used medicated starter with any of my birds..nor requested shots from the hatchery.. all are thriving fine and no losses. We're trying to do the same, though I wished we started it earlier when my DH's DD was younger, maybe we could have influenced her eating habits. I feel confident, that we would survive several years with stored foods and livestock choices... though we are building/reducing as we go slowly so we can see what works and what doesn't. I've debated between a cow and a goat for milk. ... so we've got neither at this time. though I now have 2 wether goats to "see how it goes".

    My DH's EX would take their DD in to the dr for anti's every time she sneezed or coughed...and she coughed A LOT... till I called her out on the coughing... it was an emotional response when she knew she was or was going to be in trouble!!! One day she got caught doing something... we confronted her, she started coughing and I told her flat out, stop coughing, it's not going to work here. It cleared right up! So all those anti's were given when she was never actually sick.

    My best friend refuses to eat any garden fresh produce, fresh eggs or meat unless it's nicely packaged at the store or processed. Mean while, her MIL is battling one of the worst possible versions of breast cancer..... hunny, wake up and smell the chemo!!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I wouldn't put medicated chick starter in the same league with antibiotics. Most of those have only amprolium, which is a thiamine analog, not an antibiotic. Yes, some do have trace amounts of stuff like bacitracin, but not the one I use. I cannot get hold of non-medicated and I feed the stuff with amprolium to both the broodies and the babies.

    That said, most folks don't realize that the medicated starter just does not necessarily prevent cocci anyway, especially in very humid, warm climates. I've had to use Corid on chicks who were raised on medicated starter anyway in the past. And I'd say most backyarders won't accept entire batches of chicks dying of coccidiosis, which does often happen if they are left untreated. Yes, you can build a cocci-resistant flock by not treating and allowing the deaths, but you also will have chicks with damaged intestines live but never grow to their full potential. I've seen it happen.

    Antibiotics are a different topic altogether, IMO. I absolutely go NUTS when I see people throwing antibiotics at birds who sneeze or "look funny". It's crazy irresponsible. That is what is causing issues, treating birds who should be culled because they are Typhoid Marys.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

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