Sunday, June 28, 2020

preparing pasture

Preparing land for grazing can be a tedious process but it helps to have the right equipment – a tractor with a cab is good and a decent flail mower is ideal. At the time we were developing the farm, it was great that we had an array of tractors and equipment to test as I was editing Power Farming magazine.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Politicians allow algal blooms

Algal blooms in rivers and waterways are generally a result of political indifference and poor land management. Claimsin Britain that the ‘ecological disaster’ of algal blooms facing ‘the Wye River is said to be a by-product of intensive production of free-range eggs. Ecologists say that recent expansion of chicken farming in rural Powys, with the headwaters of the Wye and its tributaries is responsible for high levels of phosphates entering the river and fuelling the blooms. Genuine freerange egg production is small-scale, with limited flock sizes and low stocking densities but the reality is that both here and the UK virtually all eggs labelled free-range come from vast Intensive Poultry Units. These huge egg factories, which often house 50,000 to 100,000 birds, dump enormous volumes of manure on the farm land , the high nutrient load inevitably runs off into river systems and leaches into groundwater. Politicians here allow an outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare which is close to 10 times the sustainable limit.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Another egg farm Salmonella E.outbreak in Victoria

A commercial egg farm west of Melbourne has tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), a bacterial infection that can cause illness in humans. Agriculture Victoria has not identified the farm but has placed a quarantine order on it. Eggs will only be permitted to move off the farm for processing by pulping and pasteurisation at an approved facility. Agriculture Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services are working to investigate this incident, including tracing of eggs, possible links with previous salmonella incidents and laying hens from the infected farm. The collection of ‘spent’ hens may be a factor in the investigation. To protect consumers, it's hard to understand why the labels have not been identified and product recalls ordered as has been the case in most other incidents.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Chicken eggs are not bad for your heart

Chicken eggs are are regarded as a super food and a low cost source of protein as well as containing other key nutrients. They may be naturally high in cholesterol. But the cholesterol in eggs doesn't raise cholesterol levels in the body the way other foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats..studies have found no connection between dietary cholesterol in eggs and cholesterol levels in blood. There is absolutely no evidence that eating eggs is bad for your heart. A major study looked at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease and found no connection between the two. Most healthy people can eat seven eggs a week without increasing their risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown that this level of egg consumption may even help prevent certain types of stroke and a serious eye condition called macular degeneration that can lead to blindness. The white of a typical egg contains more than half the protein of the egg. Egg whites are free of fat, and they contain vitamins and minerals. But the yolk contains all the essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

water pollution is a major result of intensive egg production. Australia's 'free range' standards need to be changed

Intensive egg farms are causing water pollution all over the world. Here’s part of a report in the UK’s Times newspaper. The Wye Valley is a centre for the poultry industry. Modern, multitiered units with as many as 64,000 hens on one farm are dotted near the banks of the river and its tributaries in Powys and Herefordshire. These farms produce tens of millions of free-range eggs a year — including Britain’s most popular brand, the Happy Egg Company — and thousands of tons of manure. Pollutants that wash off farmland are blamed for contaminating the Wye with phosphates, fuelling blooms of thick algae that can suffocate a river.Australia's politicians are allowing pollution on an industrial scale following their approval of a ridiculous standard of 10,000 hems per hectare to be classified as free range production when the previous maximum was 1500. An average chicken produces half a cubic metre of manure per year, meaninhg that at 10,000 hens per hectare, every year a pile of 5000 cubic metres of manure is deposited on each hectare of land.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Allergies and sensitivities

Research on food sensitivities often centres on eggs, when it may be additives used in poultry feed rather than a lack of tolerance for eggs themselves. There are widespread problems with colouring additives in poultry feed. All major egg producers and many small ones - even those which claim to be free range and organic - use colouring additives in the feed they give their hens. The use is completely unnecessary in a genuine free range flock, as hens running on quality pasture and at low stocking densities obtain enough carotenoids from the green feed in the paddock to maintain good yolk colour. The colour will vary – depending on the time of year and what each hen has been eating – but many egg producers want to con consumers by using additives to provide consistent, bright yolk colour. Many of those additives are synthetic - adding to the chemical cocktail mix in food. But even those which are claimed to be 'natural' are manufactured in factories – often in China. What the manufacturers mean by using the word 'natural' is that the additives may be derived from natural products but are processed and concentrated into a powder or liquid. Three of the most widely used egg yolk pigmenters are: Canthaxanin or Canthaxanthin which appears to be an unsafe additive. It can cause diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps, dry and itchy skin, hives, orange or red body secretions, and other side effects. Do not use canthaxanthin if you experience breathing problems; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat; a skin rash or hives; you are pregnant or breast-feeding or you are allergic to vitamin A or carotenoids. Capsicum Allergic reactions to capsicum may occur. Stop eating eggs with capsicum-based colouring and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives. Other less serious side effects have also been reported. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider if you experience upset stomach; heartburn; diarrhoea; migraine attacks or burning sensation in the mouth or throat. Use of Capsicum is not recommended if you are pregnant. If you are or will be breast-feeding while eating food containing Capsicum, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby. Capsicum colourings can bring on anaphylactic shock. See details about which plants generate these problems on this site at the University of Maryland: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/anaphylaxis-000008.htm Marigold Some people experience breathing problems, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat. A skin rash or hives may occur. More details on our website: www.freeranger.com.au