Archive for the ‘poultry welfare’ Category

Thoughtful Post on Slaughtering Animals for Food


My readership varies from omnivore to vegan, and I try to respect those choices in my individual clients. This post was a well-written, thoughtful reflection on those who choose to eat meat and one farming family’s respect for the creatures who provide their protein needs. Please by patient through the beginning section; the main points follow.

Endangered… Chicken Breeds


Yes, some chicken breeds are in danger of dying out. As we become an increasingly urban society and move away from food production, we’re losing genetic diversity in all of our food crops, plants and animals alike.

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) focuses on protecting these heritage breeds. A chart listing rare livestock is on their site. If you are a chicken keeper, you can participate in keeping a breed alive by selectively and carefully breeding these rare chickens.

Please note that ordering these breeds from a hatcheries is not the same as actually selectively breeding the birds. ALBC offers guidelines and information for breeding heritage chickens.

Chicken Adoptions: Prairie Crossing: TIME SENSITIVE


Chicken Adoptions!

[NOTE: If you are interested in introducing chickens to an existing flock, the process is often difficult and result in dead birds, due to disease or social adjustment. Read Avian Introductions on my blog for some tips. Note also that these hens have most likely reached their max in terms of laying.]

The Prairie Crossing Learning Farm in Grayslake is seeking adoptive homes for our chickens! The current flock of pasture-raised chickens came to the Learning Farm as one-day-old chicks 2 years ago. They immediately engage farm visitors with their gentle clucking, and entertaining chicken behaviors! The chickens have provided certified organic eggs to Learning Farm customers, educational opportunities to Farm Campers and tour participants, and real farm work volunteer opportunities to our dedicated Hen House Helpers.

The reality of farm life and economics is that the Learning Farm is unable to continue to support this aging flock. During this past year, egg production has diminished significantly and we have been unable to provide enough eggs to our loyal customers. Most commercial operations maintain their flocks for only one year, but the Learning Farm committed to maintaining this flock for two years — until November of 2012.

We will offer free hens (no roosters) to adoptive homes on Saturday, November 3 from 2-4 p.m. All chicken adoptions must take place during this timeframe, so we are providing as much advance notice as possible. Please come to the farm during this timeframe to select chickens, or send someone else on your behalf. Many towns have regulations about maintaining chickens in your backyard, so please make sure you know what those are before taking home a chicken. All chicken adoptions are final, and are first come/first served. Please bring a large box or dog crate lined with newspaper to transport your chicken(s). Our address is 32400 N. Harris Road, Grayslake, IL 60030.  Please read the very bottom of our website for directions to our farm as some internet maps are incorrect – www.prairiecrossing.com/farm/learning.php.

The Learning Farm flock is composed the following varieties of heritage breed chickens:

  • Barred Rocks
  • Black Australorps
  • Buff Orpingtons
  • Rhode Island Reds

We hope to connect many backyard chicken enthusiasts with our chickens as possible. Please help us spread the word! After this chicken adoption day, the rest of the flock will be humanely butchered. We are still working through the details on when a new flock of chickens will be brought to the Learning Farm, so stay posted for more information. The Learning Farm remains committed to raising chickens for educational opportunities, production of local eggs, and meaningful volunteer experiences.

Thank you!

Erin Cummisford

Liberty Prairie Foundation

ecummisford@prairiecrossing.com

www.prairiecrossing.com/farm/learning.php

 

The Atlantic on Chicken Welfare


This article addresses the new Egg Products Inspection Act, which it later refers to as “lipstick on a pig.”

In the industrial egg factories where most of America’s eggs are laid, the newly introduced Egg Products Inspection Act would, if passed, make life easier. The bill grew from a compromise between United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States. It would mandate replacing the nation’s 280 million chicken-sized battery cages as they’re called with group cages equipped with amenities like dust baths and perches, while banning some of the cruelest practices associated with egg farming.

To learn more about supporting this act, go to the Humane Society’s webpage. 

You can read the text of the bill here. 

To nix this bill (see Scott’s comment below), go to Stop the Rotten Egg Bill (http://www.StopTheRottenEggBill.org).

Egg Scorecard from Cornucopia


Check out this great tool for egg shopping!

This goes hand-in-hand with my blog post on egg carton labels. If you want the absolute best in animal husbandry practices, try Ellis Family Farms eggs at the Oak Park Farmers Market. They are Animal Welfare Approved, which is the highest rating an egg producer can get. And eggs with that rating are not available in stores.

Rooster Found on Logan Square El Tracks Available for Adoption


A rooster was found on the el tracks in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood yesterday. He has a broken wing, and Animal Control informed me this AM that he will not be euthanized. Contact animal control if you can give this poor guy a home and get him back to health.

Here is the story.

Support Legislation in Favor of Humane Living Conditions for Laying Hens


Help Improve the Lives of Laying Hens

Congress is now considering legislation (H.R. 3798) that would improve the lives of hundreds of millions of egg-laying hens in our country—and you can help! The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 would phase-in significantly more space plus environmental enrichments for these birds, as well as ban starvation molting and give consumers more information about production methods right on the egg carton (e.g., labeling “eggs from caged hens” and “eggs from cage-free hens”).

TAKE ACTION
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative, urging co-sponsorship of the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, (H.R. 3798). Then, make a brief, polite call to your two U.S. senators to support this legislation as well. Look up your legislators’ phone numbers here.

Please also use the form below to send a follow-up note to your federal legislators urging support for H.R. 3798. We encourage you to add your own thoughts or comments about this legislation in the editable portion, so your federal legislators know how important this issue is to you personally.

Taken from the Humane Society’s website.