vegetarian diet???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mener6896, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. mener6896

    mener6896 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've noticed some egg cartons (that people have saved for me) they advertise "All vegetarian diet" How is this possible? Aren't chickens omnivores, and eat worms and bugs? It drives me crazy that I want to send them a message!! My girls love the worms I give them from my tomato plants!
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There was quite a move away from animal products in livestock feed during the "mad cow" days. That has now been a few years ago but there have been generations of chickens raised on solely vegetarian feed.

    In confinement, they have no opportunity to eat worms and bugs.

    You could say that humans are omnivores, also. And yet, there are plenty of people who are vegetarians.

    Probably, for every BYC'er who insists that chickens need meat, you have a BYC'er who doesn't want to feed animal products to their birds.

    Steve
     
  3. mener6896

    mener6896 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    would this mean that the hens are NOT free ranging or allowed to forage for their food? This seems to go against nature to me.
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Yes they are omnivores and omnivores do/should eat meat but some people feel the need to change the natural instinct of a chicken and try to make a Omnivores in to a Herbivore (vegetarian).


    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:That would be my thinking also....


    Chris
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:At the risk of stirring the pot, how 'bout having never been on the ground in their whole life? Battery hens, i.e., hens raised for egg laying, are raised up in a grower house. The newer grower houses have the enviroment computer controlled - lights, air, feed, everything. Once they are at point-of-lay they are moved to the battery houses. They live in a small cage, surrounded by other caged hens, with their food in front of them and a place where the egg can drop out behind them. Around here the battery hens are slaughtered at 60 weeks (roughly 15 months) and replaced with new ones.
    All things considered they still have a longer life than the broiler birds, who are raised in houses with 30,000 other chickens (in the newer houses), then caught and slaughtered in the 6 to 8 week range.
     
  7. dtimms

    dtimms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is nothing natural about the way factory farm chickens are raised... that's why I got my own!

    Most of the time the "free range" eggs you see (and pay extra for) in the grocery store aren't what you're picturing. They don't open the doors to allow the chickens out until they are older, and at that point they've never seen the sun so they don't go out anyway. But calling them "free range" makes people feel better and open their wallets.....
     
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're allowed to put 'free range' on the cartons as long as there is some sort of outdoor access. It can be a tiny little door which the majority of the birds aren't actually aware is there, and if they do it's just too alien for them to consider, to a tiny little patio sort of concrete apron. Free range does not often mean a big grassy yard or field to range around in. I never believe free range on a grocery store egg carton.

    Likewise, 'cage free' probably also means there's a pole barn with birds crammed onto the floor in a space you and I would consider horrible circumstances.

    It might be possible to research a specific brand found in some locations, I don't know. Not all producers skirt the letter of the law as far as what is technically legal and what is honestly free range or at least a humane version of cage free. There are ethical producers out there, but they are few and far between IMO. The almighty dollar usually overshadows things unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010

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