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New California Commercial Chicken Law

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by BrooklynBirds, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. BrooklynBirds

    BrooklynBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    This is an interesting article, for several reasons. Thought I would share it along with some points and questions that come to mind.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-...ane-chicken-act-complicates-u-s-farm-law.html

    (1) The photograph of the "cage free" commercial egg laying operation looks only marginally more humane and sanitary than the battery-cage operation. And certainly no more sustainable or healthy for the end-consumer (pastured hens these are not).

    (2) It is ironic that the most obvious solution to abuses in the egg-laying industry wasn't taken up by CA voters at the local and state level (though please correct me if I am wrong): liberalizing the laws restricting backyard chicken keeping. Very recently, Berkley, among all places, has been seized with controversy when people wanted to lower the lot size requirement for keeping a few hens (to somewhere around 10,000 sqf -- not tiny).

    (3) I wonder if an increase in commercial egg prices will have a discernible impact upon the number of families keeping their own flocks?

    (4) Will the average consumer ever realize that "cage free" doesn't necessarily mean more humane, more sustainable, or more healthy eggs? To the extent that The Humane Society is passing off "cage free" as synonymous with more humane and more sustainable, they are doing a disservice (again, look at the picture of "cage free" -- and imagine the manure management problem there).

    Discuss.
     
  2. chickenboy100

    chickenboy100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The video guy says about 67 square inches being not enough to flap their wings, which is around 33 inches wide and long, if it's a square cage, so that's more than enough to flap a chickens around 12-20 inch wingspan.
    Really, they're more crouded in 'cage free' and have less space than cages, and they have no other birds eating their food and pecking them.
    In cages they don't need debeaked as often because they have little interaction with other birds.
    Their lives are still just a comodity to the owners. A sick cage free bird will still be killed the same way.
    In cages they have often a wire floor, in turn they don't have to stand in the manure that they would in cage free.
    ^ Reasons I think cages are really a better idea than commerical "cage free"
     
  3. 33 inches by 33 inches=1,089 square inches, not 67[​IMG]
     
  4. BrooklynBirds

    BrooklynBirds Out Of The Brooder

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    Actually, a 67 square inch space is roughly 8 inches by 8 inches (area of a square or rectangle = height x width). An eight inch by eight inch square is barely enough room for a mouse. But again, if they are confined to the same effective area in a "cage free" environment due to overcrowding, their condition isn't improved. In other words, the issue isn't cage or no cage -- the issue is the amount of room a chicken has to move around, regardless of confinement method. By focusing on the method of confinement rather than the amount of floor space per bird, this law is a farce.
     
  5. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2014
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    Michigan cages

    Public Act No. 117 of
    October 12, 2009 will require that by April 1, 2020 all egg laying hens be housed so that
    they are able to fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. Hens may be housed in
    a variety of housing arrangements such as aviary, single tier systems or colony systems
    that are large enough to do so with a minimum of 1 sq ft per hen.
    Housing in cages: Cages shall be designed, constructed and maintained to avoid
    injury to the birds and allow bird comfort and health. The cages must be so constructed
    as to allow the safe placement and removal of birds. Cage height shall allow a
    minimum of 14 inches with a floor slope not to exceed 8.5 degrees. As stated above
    conventional battery cage systems will be eliminated as a housing option on
    April 1, 2020.
     
  6. chickenboy100

    chickenboy100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. chickenboy100

    chickenboy100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cage free definitely looks to have more space and freedom of movement than a tiny 8x8 inch cage which they can't even stand in. If your going to cage an animal it should be able to stand, turn and stretch its' wings. Four square feet minimum if that's going to be the bird's enviroment for the rest of it's short life.
    If I was a chicken I would choose cage free without a doubt. As a consumer I guess the only question I would have is where do those hens lay their eggs in a cage free enviroment? On the ground in the poop? Or are there nest boxes that the hens utilize? Even I know that some hens don't utilize nest boxes, they often will lay right on the ground. So that would be a concern. And what indeed is done with all that poop? Are they housed on a thick layer of sawdust/shavings?
    However, I'm not a fan of higher prices either. Even though I have my own home grown eggs, I know how a price rise in eggs will affect overall food prices. Eggs or egg products are in just about everything, even our pet food.
    I'm guessing we will be seeing an increase in imported eggs for consumers not in California.
     
  9. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no lot size requirement in Berkeley. The only rule is their enclosure has to be 25' from your neighbors' houses (though not from your own). Pretty much the same as in Oakland (20' from neighbors). A state-wide law isn't practical (what works in rural Petaluma might not be a good fit in San Francisco, and vice versa), but most of the local ordinances I've seen are pretty liberal. A lot urban dwellers can even have goats and pigs!
     

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