Just read THIS in an article on starting your own poultry farm...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ChickenGoesRuff, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In looking through different career options and figuring out college planning, I have looked at plenty of articles and websites. (Currently between elementary education and poultry farming)
    This particular article-- or rather, paragraph-- though.... It's a completely different story. What started out as a seemingly innocent website detailing different routes to starting a chicken operation led to this abhorrent bullet point and followed reasoning:
    • Battery Cage Method: Battery cage layer poultry rearing method is one of the very common methods used in many countries. In this system usually small, A4 paper-sized metal cages are used. Each cage can accommodate about 3 to 8 hens. The walls of the cages are generally made of mesh or solid metal and the floor is made of sloped wire mesh which allow the faeces to drop down. When the hens lays eggs, then all the eggs gather in the egg collecting conveyor belt of the cage. In this system food is provided in front of the hens by a long bisected metal or plastic pipe and water served to them by using overhead nipple systems. The cages are arranged in long rows in one above another system. There may have several floors in a single shade which can keep many even thousands of hens together. For reducing feather and vent pecking, the light intensity is generally kept lower than 10 lux. The battery cage method has many benefits. The main benefits of battery cage are listed below.
    1. It is very easy to care for the birds.
    2. Healthier for the birds.
    3. Very easy to collect eggs.
    4. Cleaner eggs.
    5. Requires less feed to produce eggs.
    6. Thousands of hens may be housed in a specific floor space of the house.
    7. The birds suffers less by internal parasites.
    8. Labor cost is very low.






    Besides those benefits battery cage system has some difficulties too. By rearing large numbers of hens in a small place the air inside the house may contain high ratio of CO2, but is easily combated by air vents and fans. The hens also can’t get sufficient space to walk, flap their wings, stand or perch. For this reason they may suffer by frustration and boredom and their behaviors may change which in turn may affect their production.
    So, yeah, that just got said. Even though I've had chickens for a mere 3 years, reading this was like a slap to the face. I know this stuff happens, but the way they list the "benefits" and the "difficulties". "For this reason (Lack of room to flap, walk, stand, or perch), they may suffer by frustration and boredom....which in turn may affect their production."

    I realize that I may just be overreacting a little too much to this article, and while I understand that this practice will probably continue for who-knows-how-long, this article kind of made me want to do something about this blatant ignorance of even common sense. So I made a thread. Sorry for any offenses taken or ranting contained in the above. But seriously, I can't be the only one who gets a bee in their bonnet from this excerpt, right?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  2. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    No, it irritates me to no end. That is no way to keep animals. All the more reason to adopt ex battery hens :)
     
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Sadly, that's usually the way "mass produced" meat is reared... Feedyards are really no better than commercial henhouses; cramped quarters, filthy air, boredom and general unhappiness....

    But, the need for cheaper meat for the people who have no choice but to buy bulk at the grocer will drive the need for large quantities of very sad animals.

    That's where backyard chickens, small farms, and hobbyists bring a little happiness to a select group of animals. I may not be able to go rescue every battery hen or broiler that's been abused or mistreated, but my herds and flocks produce free, organic, happy food for myself and my family, and teaching others about it encourages more people to do the same.

    In the end, yes, it still upsets me to see a truckload of broilers going 75 mph down the interstate with nothing but a rotisserie to look forward to, but at least I know that mine at home are safe, happy, and will meet their end with at least a "thank you" and have had a good life of fresh air and treats every once in a while. It's all I can do, really.

    I do try to avoid reading upsetting articles or posts though lol, I'm touchy about my well loved chooks ;)
     
  4. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @shortgrass I also try to avoid articles and videos with commercial animal production in general, too. From the first bullet points and paragraphs of the posting, it seemed to be a knowledgeable account of beginning a poultry business, but I did stop reading after this article.
    When I first started with chickens, I rescued 2 EE pullets that never had enough food or clean water because the owner assumed they (along with the other 100 or so chickens) would eat the same feed as their pot-bellied pig because when they threw the food in the yard, chickens came running. The rule that used to be enforced at my house was that any time the waterers or feeders were under .5 full, I had to fix it immediately or sell 1/2 my chickens as well. I guess that the general culture where most people don't either care enough or take the time to even manage an animal's welfare(pets and livestock) properly to a reasonable extent is just an issue that will sadly plague society for far too long, even already. The 3 years I've done anything with chickens have been so rewarding, family dinners when I can tell everyone exactly how well their meal lived and what it ate for it's final dinner(canned corn and green beans); but I guess even before then I knew where food came from, and I cared about animal rights, but I never felt motivated to do anything about it or inspired to be the change.
    Jeez, little heartfelt epiphany there. Maybe I'll look into whatever career would launch me to a point where I could help change stuff like that? Thanks to both of you, for letting me go onto tangents, and for helping me direct my focus to something that I'm definitely passionate about. [​IMG]
     
  5. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    I completely get it. I don't eat meat whatsoever, which is really the only thing I can do since I can't stop the mass production of meat.
     
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh...how I wish I could go back and do the same lol. I went to school for genetic engineering, but changed my mind a year in and went with Agronomy, since I grew up on a farm and loved growing things... If I could suggest a few options to peruse; teacher, wildlife rehabilitation, and park ranger would have been a better choice for me, because that seems to be what I do now! Good careers to secure nowadays, too. Most people are into computers and business management etc but we are lacking in caring, knowledgeable urban conservationists!

    Im still a farmer lol, but I spend a lot if time researching and teaching others how to conserve and manage our delicate resources, including our farms. Too many ignorant folk out there that just need a little helpful education of where food comes from and why we should care. ;)

    Supposedly, the qualifications for an actual wildlife rehabilitator is about the same as for a vet, so that could be a good choice, too!
     
  7. Athaid

    Athaid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, but vet courses are very competitive, so if you do go that route make sure it's something you really really want.
     
  8. ChickenGoesRuff

    ChickenGoesRuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have definitely considered the vet/related careers, and though I have had to put down pets and butcher livestock, euthanasia and needles just freak me out. I have looked into being a park ranger, but (at least in Iowa) you can't raise livestock or at least chickens, and dogs or cats need to be penned or tethered to avoid inadvertantly killing wildlife. I don't think that's quite my cup of tea either.
    I might go into something with a minor in behaviorology. I know ARS works with the USDA to create standards for care, so I'll do a little more digging into careers and majors with that. Again, thanks everyone!
     

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