Saturday, June 15, 2024

Freerange hens not to blame for Avian Influenza

 Claims by major egg producers that the current Victorian outbreaks of Avian Influenza had been caused by hens on freerange farms are false.The outbreaks around Lethbridge and Meredith have been on large, corporate businesses which cannot be compared with genuine freerange farms. The problem in one of overcrowding. Any disease spreads like wildfire when animals are in confined spaces. Political interference, allowing intensive producers with 10,000 hens per hectare to classify themselves as free range was simply absurd. An adult hen produces half a cubic metre of manure a year. Which means that 10,000 chickens produce a mountain of 5000 cubic metres on each hectare of land each year  - resulting in health risks as well as degrading soil health and waterways. Ohio State University says: "HPAI virus infection in poultry (H5 or H7 viruses) can cause disease that affects multiple internal organs resulting in a mortality rate of up to 100%, often within 48 hours. When H5 or H7 avian influenza outbreaks occur in poultry, infected flocks are typically depopulated or culled. The preferred method of stopping spread is to quarantine and screen flocks that are near or linked to the infected flock."


Saturday, June 08, 2024

Beat the egg shortage

 Shortages of eggs on supermarket shelves is almost certain to become more severe in Victoria as currently hens at five major production facilities have been hit by outbreaks of Avian nfluenza.

The growing demand for freerange eggs can be met by people setting up their own farms. More genuine free range farms are needed to give consumers a real choice. Every township in the country should have a nearby egg farm instead of requiring eggs to be trucked across the country to a stupidmarket.


Our politicians changed the Australian free range standard to allow intensive producers to sell eggs with  misleading free-range labels. Egg cartons must display stocking densities, but as there’s no actual requirement for the chickens to go outside, the labels are meaningless. Changes to the freerange definition protects big producers from prosecution under Australian Consumer Law.The ACCC had been so successful with various prosecutions in the Federal Court that corporate egg producers demanded protection.

High stocking densities are more stressful for the chicken. Hens display some aggressive behaviours such as pecking, bullying and even cannibalism as they fight it out to maintain their hierarchy in cramped conditions, making way for justifications for widespread beak-trimming and de-beaking.10,000 hens per hectare is not sustainable or responsible farming.A laying hen produces half a cubic metre of manure a year. So, a stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare means that farmers who follow that advice see their land covered with 5000 cubic metres of manure per hectare every year. High levels of ammonia, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in hen manure can destroy soil health and leach into the ground, leading to contamination of waterways. labelling requirements and standards for free range egg production introduced by poiticians in 2018 destroyed any remaining consumer confidence in the Australian egg industry.

The standard allowed intensive production systems to be classified as free range and protects intensive producers from prosecution under Australian Consumer Law. We still have an eBook available to help set up your own genuine freerange egg farm. Full details are on our website


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Scammers make $millions from gullible people

 

Financial scammers are raking in millions of dollars from gullible individuals – otherwise the scams wouldn’t continue - Here’s a couple of examples we received this week

Woodforest National Bank
Reply-To: woodforestnationalbnk.cathleen@gmail.com
BCC
Message body
Wood-forest National Bank
ADDRESS:45485 Miramar Way, California, MD 20619, USA

The Wood-Forest National Bank California controlling department has
issued a security transfer CODE which the
Authentication section code of this bank concludes the verification of
your file. After going through all the documents of claim received by
this department with justification and verification from the global
strategy United States we are completely satisfied and you have been
confirmed.

The Wood-Forest National Bank has received the sum of $17.5 Million
Dollars from United Nations which has been assigned for you as the
Compensation of the past scam victims you have encountered in the past
and this payment is expected to be in your Account before 3 days.

Considering the volume of your payment, it is right for us to seek for
the approval of some money regulatory Boards here in United States
before we can carry out the Transfer of an amount of such magnitude to
anybody, otherwise any such transfer will be stopped by the
Authorities of Wood-Forest National Bank, and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), Approval Documents from the concerned Authorities
here in United States are needed to avoid stoppage once the Transfer
is carried out and for that reason, you are required to pay the Sum of $100.00

In a separate scam attempt it was claimed that by sending $100.00 I would receive $12 billion US dollars from the Federal Reserve Bank, transferred from four different banks; Royal Bank Of Canada (RBC), Bank of America and Nat west bank London. Millions of emails like this are are sent every week. If only a fraction of 1% of people respond, it's a very lucrative business.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

More Avian Influenza problems for big Victorian egg producers

 

A suspected outbreak of Avian Influenza has been discovered in Victoria. Preliminary tests have confirmed the presence of avian influenza on a farm at Meredith in Golden Plains Shire. Samples have been delivered to the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness at Geelong for further tests which will determine the strain of the disease.

The property has been placed into quarantine and Agriculture Victoria staff are on site. In August 2020, Farm Pride Foods confirmed that it had lost a third of its productive hen stock after an outbreak of the H7N7 avian flu virus at two of its farm facilities in Lethbridge, near Geelong. The outbreak affected a total of 380,000 hens, with the company subsequently downgrading its full year FY2021 revenue forecast by $18 – 23 million.Avian influenza  spread to a second poultry farm in Victoria, , which has resulted in more than 500,000 birds being euthanased. Thankfully it is normally only a problem on intensive farms were large numbers of bird are held. Here's the infected location, near Lethbridge.


Friday, May 10, 2024

Point of lay Isa Browns available soon

 Point of lay ISA Brown pullets will soon be available for pick up at the Freeranger farm in Stanley Road, Grantville.

The vaccinated birds are 15 weeks old and ready to start laying any day. Details on husbandry, feed etc can be found on our website. If you decide that you want signifant numbers to set up a commercial operation, an eBook is available to guide you through the process. We can put you in touch with our pullet supplier who can provide hens in quantities. If you want good eggs, make sure to provide a balanced grains-based ration as well as full outdoor access. Don't feed pellets which often contain colouring additives, fillers and tallow (which may be derived from dead chickens). Our young chickens always go quickly when available so please reserve a few by phone or email to ensure you don't miss out.Our pullet supplier always provides excellent chickens so there is no point in us raising them ourselves.Raising chickens from hatching to point of lay (15 or 16 weeks) is a very specialist job and we already have enough to do on the farm. Growers need to create a solid foundation for the birds so they reach the right body weight in.time.  During the first four weeks of life, pullets should gain a significant amount of weight in muscle, which will help in proper bone development.  At approximately 10 weeks, pullet body weight should continue increasing. This should include an increase in fat content. Specifically, from 11 weeks, growers begin preparing layers for start of lay by increasing feed intake to its peak. 



Saturday, April 20, 2024

Set up a real freerange farm

 Anyone can help to meet growing demand for freerange eggs by setting up their own farm. More genuine free range farms are needed in Gippsland and the rest of Victoria to give consumers a real choice. Ideally,every township in the country should have a nearby egg farm instead of requirng eggs to be trucked across the country to a  stupidmarket.

Our politicians changed the Australian free range standard to allow intensive producers to sell eggs with  misleading free-range labels. Egg cartons must display stocking densities, but as there’s no actual requirement for the chickens to go outside, the labels are meaningless. Changes to the freerange definition protects big producers from prosecution under Australian Consumer Law.The ACCC had been so successful with various prosecutions in the Federal Court that corporate egg producers demanded protection.

High stocking densities are more stressful for the chicken. Hens display some aggressive behaviours such as pecking, bullying and even cannibalism as they fight it out to maintain their hierarchy in cramped conditions, making way for justifications for widespread beak-trimming and de-beaking.10,000 hens per hectare is not sustainable or responsible farming.A laying hen produces half a cubic metre of manure a year. So, a stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare means that farmers who follow that advice see their land covered with 5000 cubic metres of manure per hectare every year. High levels of ammonia, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in hen manure can destroy soil health and leach into the ground, leading to contamination of waterways. labelling requirements and standards for free range egg production introduced by poiticians in 2018 destroyed any remaining consumer confidence in the Australian egg industry.

The standard allowed intensive production systems to be classified as free range and protects intensive producers from prosecution under Australian Consumer Law. We still have an eBook available to help you set up your own genuine freerange egg farm. Full details are on our website



Friday, March 01, 2024

Background of Freeranger Eggs

Meet Anne and Phil Westwood, Freeranger Eggs Grantville

Anne spent years as an office systems manager before moving into farming. She was brought up in Cranbourne where her dad established Faceys Nursery, so she has an extensive knowledge of the area with its native vegetation and wildlife. She took part in a bushland management course with the National Trust, learning with experts, Randal Robinson and Darcy Duggan For several years she was the voluntary Co-ordinator of the Friends of Bass Valley Bush Landcare Group, primarily responsible for office administration as well as organising native vegetation and wildlife surveys.

She was appointed West Gippsland Regional Manager of the Trust for Nature – a Victorian Government Statutory Authority. Once she started work with the Trust she quickly identified the need to protect stands of native vegetation providing linkages through the Strzelecki ranges down to Westernport and started the process of evaluating them for covenants on private land.Her role was to protect, in perpetuity, native vegetation providing linkages from Mullundung through the Strzelecki ranges down to Westernport and started the process of evaluating them for covenants on private land. She worked with Friends of Gippsland Bush and Friends of the Earth to protect key areas from logging, culminating in an agreement with the Victorian Government known as the Bruatalong Park linking Tarra Bulga National Park in the east with the Gunyah Gunyah Rainforest Reserve in the West.The Banksia Environmental Foundation awarded her a Banksia Medal in 2006 for her work in protecting native orchids. She also operated a native wildlife shelter on the farm, The Margo Kyoyer Pedersen Wildlife Shelter, and was instrumental in revegetation works at Corinella’s Settlement point and in establishing a community garden at the Corinella Community Centre. Anne is also an Environmental Auditor, having a completed a course designed by Professor David Bellamy. She set up Grantville Action Group with Phil in a bid to ensure adequate controls on sand extraction companies when plans were revealed in the area. We later established Friends of Bass Valley Bush Inc. Landcare Group to generate awareness of the natural landscape and wildlife in the region. Our farm was the Australian winner of the 2012 Energy Globe international Award for sustainability. Anne and Phil moved from their 20acre property on the Powlett River in Wonthaggi to the 200 acre farm on the Bass River at Grantville where they established Freeranger Eggs.



At various times, Phil has been a Board member of Westernport Water, the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority and the Central Coastal Board. He was the community member on the Working Group established to prepare the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy, Lang Lang to Grantville.


Phil was a journalist with experience in the UK and Rhodesia before being recruited in London by legendary Age editor, Graham Perkin in the 1970’s to work as a finance journalist on The Age and then he moved into public relations with Jennings Industries, followed by the Housing Industry Association, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria and Australian Jewish Welfare, then editing a variety of magazines, including Power Farming and Prime Time. He also provided public relations services to a number of companies, including South Gippsland’s Coldon Homes. He is an Environmental Auditor and was a co author of the Report funded by the Natural Heritage Trust, ‘Baseline Studies of Bass River’ published in the 1990’s.

Anne and Phil lhave encouraged other people to establish genuine free range farms using the principles set out in an eBook and various on-farm workshops. The farm has a website, freeranger.com.au and this blog.  Phil also publishes a political blog ‘politics is a dirty word’ As a result of experience in activating community groups and a hassle with a builder he wrote a handbook on direct action ‘Fighting to Win’ which was used as a text in some community development programs.He has been national President of Free Range Egg and Poultry Association of Australia Inc. and an auditor for the National Egg Quality Assurance Program (Egg Corp Assured).

Smoke from the Hazelwood coal mine fire in 2014 hung around many parts of South Gippsland and created breathing difficulties for Phil which led to his first- ever asthma attack and triggered heart failure with atrial fibrilation and a stroke. He survived, but hasn’t been much use around the farm since then, leaving Anne to shoulder all the work. They are now facing problems maintaining the sustainability of the farm because actions of Bass Coast Shire threaten vegetation management and water flows.