Is an Egg for Breakfast Worth This?

Here’s a good article about how commercial factories raise chickens in order to sell their eggs. Commercial chicken practices can include simply terrible living conditions for hens. It’s all about the eggs to those businesses!  I’ve included the link to the New York Times so please head over there to read the entire article.

Supermarket eggs gleam with apparent cleanliness, and nothing might seem more wholesome than breaking one of them into a frying pan.

Think again. The Humane Society of the United States plans to release on Thursday the results of an undercover investigation into Kreider Farms, a major factory farm that produces 4.5 million eggs each day for supermarkets like ShopRite.


I’ve reviewed footage and photos taken by the investigator, who says he worked for Kreider between January and March of this year. In an interview, he portrayed an operation that has little concern for cleanliness or the welfare of hens.

“It’s physically hard to breathe because of the ammonia” rising from manure pits below older barns, said the investigator, who would not allow his name to be used because that would prevent him from taking another undercover job in agriculture. He said that when workers needed to enter an older barn, they would first open doors and rev up exhaust fans, and then rush in to do their chores before the fumes became overwhelming.

Mice sometimes ran down egg conveyer belts, barns were thick with flies and manure in three barns tested positive for salmonella, he said. (Actually, salmonella isn’t as rare as you might think, turning up in 3 percent of egg factory farms tested by the Food and Drug Administration last year.)

In some cases, 11 hens were jammed into a cage about 2 feet by 2 feet. The Humane Society says that that is even more cramped than the egg industry’s own voluntary standards — which have been widely criticized as inadequate.

An automatic feeding cart that runs between the cages sometimes decapitates hens as they’re eating, the investigator said. Corpses are pulled out if they’re easy to see, but sometimes remain for weeks in the cages, piling up until they have rotted into the wiring, he added.

Other hens have their heads stuck in the wire and are usually left to die, the investigator said.

Read the rest of this article here. Please leave a comment here on our site and let us know your thoughts about buying eggs from the big commercial factories.

 

busy henhouse

We prefer raising chickens free range, eating bugs and grass. They even work over our compost, fluffing it up before it gets added to the gardens. We think we have a better attitude towards our girls, than commercial chicken practices! I bet you do too, if you have a couple of hens at home.

 

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Raising Heritage Chickens in the North

Here’s something worth considering. If you’re thinking of getting a flock of chickens, consider getting a heritage breed.

Do some research as to your weather conditions, how harsh your winter is and how much natural vegetation you have in season. Then get some heritage breed chickens! They know how to forage and they’re used to being outdoors.

If you live in a northern climate and have room to let your chickens free range (and you should, no matter what size yard you have) then look into Icelandic chickens. They’re great layers, fantastic at finding their own food and are excellent at being broody.


 

laying hens foraging for food

Our chickens are a Red Sex Link….great layers, not so great at being broody. I think its been bred out of them, although we do have one that will make an excellent mother.

 

busy henhouse

She does a great job of keeping our eggs from freezing during winter. Since our layers tend to lay in one box, Beatrice gets in there and keeps all the eggs warm until we go down and collect them.

We have trained these girls to hunt and peck for their food. Not that it does much good in the middle of winter, but we know that as soon as the snow melts, these girls will be paying their own way again.

 

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