Monday, November 27, 2017

New poultry welfare standards

Animal Health Australia has invited public submissions on new welfare standards for chickens.
Interested people are invited to participate in the public consultation on the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry. The consultation period begins today and closes on 26 February 2018. It is important thatsubmissions are made by a wide range of stakeholders to provide governments with a high level of confidence that wide views have been considered.         Email submissions to Animal Health Australia. The proposed new welfare standards for poultry announced by AHA ,appear to be a waste of time. A section in the Regulation Impact Statement demonstrates that the over-riding consideration is financial and that both animal welfare and consumer expectations are secondary concerns. in the document AHA states:‘It is possible to have a physically healthy productive animal that is in a poor state of welfare due to, for instance, mental stress. Indeed, apart from physiological functioning, physical condition and performance – brain state, behaviour, and even an animal’s emotions are now all recognised as key factors in assessing an animal’s welfare. In terms of this broader understanding of animal welfare there can be insufficient economic incentive for a poultry farm to reduce risks to animal welfare, especially where doing so would increase costs with little or no offsetting gains to the business. In fact, egg laying rates are higher in cages than in barns or free range farms; and lowering stocking densities in non-cage egg production systems provides no offsetting benefits to the producer". A better approach would be to adopt the existing Model Code as the standard. It would be more effective and far less costly.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Global Food Security-Free range production can help

the 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security:Global Challenges, Local Solutions and Connected Pathways,is being held in Cape Town, South Africa from December 3 -6. Freeranger eggs believes that food security is best achieved by encouraging networks of small-scale, sustainable farming enterprises. Every village or township around the world could be supplied by its own egg farm as well as suitable crop production. There is a huge untapped demand from consumers for eggs To help meet this shortage, crowd funding is being sought by Freeranger Eggs to develop webinars, to help people establish free range farms which meet consumer expectations, without having to travel for hours to a farm workshop The webinars, together with an eBook will provide all the tools needed to set up a successful free range business.  help the crowd funding appeal here

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Egg production sham

Before the Second World War, most egg production came from farm flocks of less than 400 hens. By the early 1960s, new technologies and the development of sophisticated mechanical equipment designed to increase profits, produced a fundamental change from small farm flocks to large industrial-scale operations.In Australia there were over 3000 egg producers in 1980. The number shrank to 1700 by the mid ‘80’s and now there are less than 1000 – mostly intensive industrial-scale producers. There are probably less than 100 genuine free range egg farmers left in this country. For major egg producers flocks of 100,000 laying hens are common, and some have flocks of more than a million. Because of inept political decisions in Australia, some intensive producers are able to label their eggs as free range. There are still a few traditional free range producers around, such as us at Freeranger Eggs.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

New research into poultry nutrition

Research into the nutritional requirements for poultry is being conducted by the National Academy of Sciences in the US..The study will examine requirements for digestible phosphorus and amino acids and examine new information about nutrient metabolism and utilization. It will provide a review of nutritional and feeding strategies to minimise nutrient excretion. A discussion of the effect of feeding on the nutritional quality of poultry meat and eggs will be included. Effects of the environment, feed management, and other production aspects on nutrient requirements, including antibiotics and their alternatives, will be addressed.. We hope that the findings will demonstrate that nutrients derived from pasture make a considerable contribution to the diet of hens. The last research by NAS on poultry nutritional requirements was in 1994.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Mobile sheds ideal for free range hens

Mobile sheds are ideal roosting and laying houses for free range hens. They can be moved regularly onto fresh pasture.It doesn't make much difference if the sheds are on wheels or skids - wheels make them easy to manoeuvre but the advantage of skids is - no punctures. We normally run four or five different flocks of 200 -300 birds. Our eBook details the process for setting up a small-scale free range egg farm which meets all consumer expectations as well as the red tape imposed by regulations.