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.
Archive for the ‘poultry welfare’ Category
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.
[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.
Liberty Prairie Foundation
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).
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.
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.