Wishes for humane treatment of meat chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SpeckledHills, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are my personal feelings, as well as hopefully useful information for others on this topic. I realize this thread would fit well in the ‘Meat Chickens’ section, but I'm posting here instead so people who avoid that section because of sometimes graphic descriptions (which I’m not putting in this post itself) can read it, too, since I think many would be interested.

    I am not a vegetarian but try to minimize eating any chicken meat other than from our own chickens. I also try to buy pet food with as little chicken meat in it as possible.

    Main reasons:
    1. I am opposed to the cruelties endured by chickens kept in battery cages for egg-laying, and I believe their meat is what is usually used for chicken ingredients in pet food, so buying it supports that.
    2. I am opposed to the accelerated growth genetics often used in chickens raised commercially for meat. They often cause the chickens to get painful physical conditions such as leg deformities or heart attacks.
    3. But very most of all, the reason that I try to avoid eating meat from commercially raised chickens is because of INEXCUSABLY CRUEL KILLING & SLAUGHTERING METHODS used for chickens in the vast majority of U.S. processing plants.

    I will not go into detail here, but those who are unaware of these methods, if you can bear reading about them you can do so here:

    edited for content

    2. No PETA or Cock fighting posts, period!

    http://www.helium.com/knowledge/112203-the-case-for-controlled-atmosphere-killing-for-chickens

    There is a very humane and economically profitable alternative method available, “controlled-atmosphere killing” (which I presume is more reliably humane than the “controlled-atmosphere stunning” method also available), whereby chickens are killed by inert gases that do not cause distress, and then the chickens are processed.

    A quote from one of the above articles:
    “Controlled-atmosphere killing is currently used on about 75 percent of turkeys and 25 percent of chickens in the United Kingdom, and on 10 percent of poultry in the European Union. The United States lags far behind in using this USDA-approved more humane method, although there are now two American CAK slaughterhouses for turkeys and chickens.
    “Factory farming has become a megalithic monster. A number of animal advocacy groups believe that anything that can relieve the distress of factory-farmed chickens in the short term is a good thing. Becoming vegetarian or vegan or eating only compassionately raised chickens are the most humane actions people can take to relieve animal suffering. But supporting controlled-atmosphere killing is one way to reduce the suffering of chickens while remaining a meat eater.”


    I support commercial industry reforms, which chicken-lovers can champion to help vast numbers of chickens have more happy lives and deaths.
    And I am grateful that so many of us also have means for providing a happy life, and a humane death for our personally owned chicken friends, who I believe go on to another beautiful life after this one.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2008
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Speckled Hills:

    While I disagree with a couple of your points and feel the sources you use are suspect, I DO agree that Modified Atmosphere Stunning is an option that should be used in all types of slaughter.

    When this topic was discussed in my Meat Science courses in both my Undergraduate and Graduate programs the two biggest obstacles to implementation were Economic and Safety. Retrofitting existing meat processing facilities to accomadate this technology is quite expensive and may requires substantial modifications to the buildings. The concern for worker safety may be lessened with newer technology, but the fact is that there will be a lot of deadly gases in close proximity to many workers.

    Jim
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Leesville, SC
    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay :

    Speckled Hills:

    While I disagree with a couple of your points and feel the sources you use are suspect, I DO agree that Modified Atmosphere Stunning is an option that should be used in all types of slaughter.

    When this topic was discussed in my Meat Science courses in both my Undergraduate and Graduate programs the two biggest obstacles to implementation were Economic and Safety. Retrofitting existing meat processing facilities to accomadate this technology is quite expensive and may requires substantial modifications to the buildings. The concern for worker safety may be lessened with newer technology, but the fact is that there will be a lot of deadly gases in close proximity to many workers.

    Jim

    Im with Jim here. I respect your opinions; hey, they are yours and thanks for sharing them with us. I don't happen to share them, but I respect them for being yours.

    I feel the sources you quote are driven by special agendas, with only one side of the story portrayed; I tend to take these with a grain of salt.
    It is often like that with our pet causes... we love it when we find something that jibes with them and denounce that which doesn't.

    I know you are aware of the economics of the poultry business, so we wont belabor that too much. We'll only speak in generalities hereafter.

    The poultry biz is just that - a biz. Efficiency, marketability, food safety and meeting the legal and regulatory guidelines are the primary criteria. I work in the pharma industry, which is covered by the same watchdog agencies as the poultry business.

    But for a moment, consider the sole and highest purpose of this business: To provide protein food at economical cost to billions of consumers/human beings. The fact that the customer wants their protein in the form of meat is the reason it exists at all. If they wanted beans, we'd be having a different conversation.
    The fact that there are so many of them is the reason it has become the "machine" that it is. This year the human race hit a landmark moment in it's meteoric rise: Over half of our fellow humans are now living in cities. These people gotta eat, too, as it were. How that is accomplished is happily left up to others.

    For now that is how it is, harsh as it may appear to those sensitive souls among us. It will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. I do believe that people will one day decry the current killing methods and pressure the industry to more humane methods of dispatch. But lets face it, dispatch is dispatch - kill the bird with a blade, machine or poison gas, the end result is the same.

    Will these same people be willing to go one step further and give up the convenience of commercially prepared poultry foods and 'go natural' themselves? Not unless driven very hard by implacable, outside forces.

    Some will welcome that day, I'm sure. I, on the other hand, will rue it, since it will be the harbinger of far worse things to come. I support a vibrant poultry business in this country, the "monster" as you cite it, as it's success is a sign that people have food to eat and business is good, overall. When it goes, so to do we.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  4. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    Has anyone read the book The Omnivore's Dilemna. If so, what did you think of it?
     
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Fun read, and great guide to voting with your food dollars.
     
  6. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2008
    IA
    Those links are from PETA. While I feel there should be humane treatment I also know PETA overexaragrates things as they are animal rights terrorists not activists. They had a protest here because a levee broke and hogs died:( It was very sad but it was not as cruel as PETA made it to be. Also PETA would go to dog shows and poisin dogs and they they would die horrid deaths. That was terriorist not activist.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  7. Bird Hearder

    Bird Hearder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not as good with words as the others and I'll try not to get long winded and in detail.

    Being here on the Eastern Shore of MD. there are 4-5 Chicken farms in every square mile of country. I've helped Friends that are Growers walk through the houses and Cull hundreds of birds (by Hand, Daily) with Deformities or just to small to make it to market. These houses hold Approx. 15,000 birds per house, Most Growers have 6 houses that are 600' long. All fully automated for feed/water temp and airflow.
    I currently work in a Processing Facility as Maintanence. We process 200,000 birds a DAY!! I have also worked in most of the facilities on the shore. Tyson, Mountaire, Perdue. They all use the stunning method But is it really the most Humane way???
    Lets see
    The birds are hung on Shackles 6 inches apart, then they go to the Stunners within a minute or two. To be able to stun them they need to be wet. So they go thru a 10' long Trough filled with salt water upside down. then they go thru another trough with the electrodes getting shocked with 10-12 volts ac. From there they get their head run thru some guide bars to align it into the SAW, The ones that are missed by the saw there's a person with a knife.
    So bottom line the get Drowned and Shocked before they ever get cut.
    IMHO I don't see that as HUMANE!!

    USDA is a Joke. they have WAY to much Authority in these places. Stopping the lines because of light Bulbs are out or there's meat and Fat on the floor. All that does is prolong the birds hanging upside down. Or You'll get a truck load of birds with Manure Burns on the Breast and all those birds get tossed. so they lost their life for INHUMANE Growing conditions. Thats where USDA should be!!!!

    EVERYDAY I feel sorry for all the birds that go thru there. I hear them Peeping because their still Babies @ 7 weeks old. I have to Look them in the eye and know whats in store. But thats what they are raised for!! MEAT

    So on the other hand I would much rather buy My chicken rather than Kill my PET!!

    I'M SORRY IF I UPSET ANYONE. THAT WAS NOT MY INTENTION IT'S JUST WHAT I SEE ON A DAILY BASIS.

    THIS POST MAY BE DELETED IF MODS/ADMIN FIND IT TO GRAPHIC
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  8. shmooborp

    shmooborp artistic fowlism

    i think u would really enjoy the book called "fresh eggs".... its great! and agrees with alot of your points
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sorry, as per rules:

    2. No PETA or Cock fighting posts, period!

    They tend to get out of hand too easily and quickly. Thanks for your understanding.
     
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