Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Coronaviris in chickens


Covid 19 is just one Coronavirus. It’s in the news as it happens to be one that infects humans but there are many others, just as virulent, which can be contracted by animals. Dr. Mark Jackwood is a molecular virologist at the University of Georgia. His primary area of research is the study of avian coronaviruses. Specifically, he works with infectious bronchitis  a virus that causes upper-respiratory disease in chickens Dr. Jackwood’s work involves the use of molecular techniques for the identification, characterization, and control of the virus. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in his field. Thankfully a vaccine was developed some years ago and is widely used to protect poultry. Anyone buying poultry should ensure that the birds have been vaccinated against Infectious Bronchitis as well as Mareks Disease, Newcastle Disease, Infectious Laryo Tracheitis, Avian Encaphaomyalitis, Egg Drop Syndrome and Fowl Pox. With quality food, clean water and good animal husbandry, the birds should live long and productive lives. They will be at risk when kept in overcrowded conditions with little or no outdoor access and adequate sunlight.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Setting up a farm as a lifestyle and business opportunity


Clear consumer demand for free range eggs has generated a strong increase in the number of people thinking about starting their own free range egg business.

A good starting point is reading the eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website Detailed information is available on the Freeranger Club downloads page about things like shed requirements, food safety, egg packaging and labelling.

When deciding to set up a free range egg farm, take the time to plan it properly. Find out the zoning of the land and talk to your local Council planning department about their requirements. It’s also worth contacting the State Department of Agriculture. You can find on-line resources in most states. Once that is sorted, talk to your Council Environmental Health Department about any specific requirements they have before you get underway.

Details: www.freeranger.com.au

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

End of democracy in Victoria

 TheCovid19 Omnibus Emergency Measures Bill which the Victorian Government is trying to push through Parliament spells the end of democracy in this State. it seems that the Greens and other cross-benchers in the Upper House support the Bill. If it passes, the law will allow the Secretary of the Public Health and Well Being Act 2008 to appoint anyone as an authorised officer. thePublic Health and Wellbeing Act states the emergency powers that may be given to authorised officers by the Chief Health Officer during a declared state of emergency so it seems that would be the basis for their power and they will be able to arrest anyone for anything and hold them indefinitely.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

 With the easing of Covid19 restrictions in regional Victoria  we could see an improvement in business activity. There is unlikely to be a major boost because most restaurants and other outlets in this region rely heavily on visitors from Melbourne - which is still locked down.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Melbourne's lockdown extension may result in poultry slaughter


An extension of Melbourne's Covid19 lockdown as a result of more State Government emergency powers supported by cross bench members in the Legislative Council, will almost certainly result in the deaths of thousands of poultry on egg farms. The closure of restaurants and shops resulted in a dramatic drop in sales which has left many farms unviable and farmers simply can’t afford to feed their chickens. It’s no surprise that the Green’s Samantha Ratnam gave in to the State Government plans because the party has no understanding of argiculture or animal welfare issues but it is odd thatAndy Meddick of the Animal Justice Party took that step as animal welfare is said to be a key plank of AJP policies. Leading epidemiologists have expressed concerns that a lockdown extention will provide little or no medical benefit.Modelling options used by Government advisers should be revealed.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Corporate egg producers call for an end to free range production


Major egg producers are using the recent avian influenza outbreaks in Victoria as an opportunity to kill off genuine free range production. They want all hens to be locked in sheds.

The Victorian Farmers Federation Egg Group president Brian Ahmed speculated that the strains of AI travelled between wild and farmed birds due to heavy rainfall this winter.

"The extra rainfall and water accumulated around farms, and of course wild birds being the known carriers of this virus — you could say all the ducks have lined up in a row," Mr Ahmed” told the ABC.

"If we keep letting them out during this high risk time, it'll keep spreading.

"The only way is to lock up every bird" he added. In the interview, Mr Ahmed acknowledgeed that the definition of free range should limit the number of hens on a farm to less than 1000.

His commentrs ignore the reality that in many cases the outbreaks of Various diseases are spread by management practices on intensive production facilities, particularloy the movement of products and staff between many sites. With small flocks and good biosecurity, outbreaks would be very limited and widespread culling would not be necessary.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Farm gate sales


Our farm gate sales have slowed in recent weeks which seems to indicate that many of our sales were to people on their way back to Melbourne. With the metropolitan lock down, highway traffic here has been very limited. We assumed that most of our gate sales were locals but that doesn’t seem to be the case as our sales at local outlets are still strong. The big yellow cool box in the driveway allows for contact-less pick up.