Saturday, December 26, 2020

Latest electric Tractor from the US

Monarch Tractors in the US has introduced an all electric tractor. It's not available in Australia yet but when it is I'd like to put it through its paces on the farm. In my days of editor of Power Farming magazine, we often had tractors and other farm machinery here for evaluation.Once manufacturers provide equipment for us to work with, we will undergo on-farm testing, set up a small farm equipment blog,YouTube channel and Facebook page to provide reports as well as sending details to traditional farm media outlets and publishing on our existing blog and facebook page.We will provide assessments on a wide range of machinery designed for small farms - so don't expect features on 800 hp tractors and other machinery aimed at broadacre farmers. The Monarch is able to operate with or without a driver, using autonomous technologies to offer driver-optional operations. It can perform pre-programmed tasks without a driver, or can follow a worker on the farm. Other manufacturers, such as John Deere have also come with electric models which we would like to assess along with a wide range of other farm machinery and equipment.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Insect protein powder for chickens

 Most of us have heard of protein shakes for people, but how about protein powder for chooks? A Melbourne company has developed a protein powder from insect larvae and here at Freeranger Eggs, we are sampling the product to see how the hens like it in their feed. Poultry feed is responsible for 60-80% of the total production cost of eggs with the protein ingredient accounting for about 70% of the total feed bill. Most poultry fed currently depends on meat,fish or soy meal as the main protein ingredientsThe Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recommends insects as an alternative protein source in poultry feed . The Melbourne company is Karma3 Technologies, its chairman is former CSIRO scientist Professor Paul Wood and we will be pleased to see how the sample goes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Big demand for information on setting up a freerange farm

Our eBook on how to set up a sustainable freerange farm is even more valuable now the clear consumer demand for free range eggs has generated a strong increase in the number of people thinking about starting their own free range businesses.

Small, ethical and sustainable farm businesses can be established to service local communities.

A good starting point is reading our(pdf) 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.


Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Europeans show that intensive egg farms are a health hazard

Studies by the European Food Safety Authority have shown that chickens in cage production facilities have higher rates of contamination from salmonella virus strains compared to free range farms.The EFSA assesses risks throughout the food chain. 

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Hatcheries slow to implement embryo identification


Chicken egg hatcheries in Australia have not yet implemented systems which eliminate the practise of euthanising day old male chicks – even though the technology has been available since 2016. As well as solving an animal welfare issue which has plagued the industry, it will lead to significant cost savings.

Trade body, Egg Farmers of Ontario patented a process which it says can determine the sex of a chick before incubation.

General manager, Harry Pelissero, said since 2016, machinery manufacturers had a prototype candling device that can sex eggs in a hatchery.

They found a way to analyze within seconds the chemical makeup of gases leaking from the pores of an egg to determine the sex of the embryo inside.

Scientist at Leipzig Unversity have also developed an embryo identification system.

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the Government was co-funding research by Australian Eggs “to explore the use of laser spectroscopy to distinguish between male and female fertile eggs”. Victoria's agriculture Minister, Jaclyn Symes said "The government has committed to modernising Victoria's animal welfare laws to improve the safeguarding of animal welfare and enable a more effective response when people mistreat animals. In line with the recommendations of the Activism Inquiry, the work to develop subordinate legislation for the new Act will include consideration of alternative practices in the treatment and management of male chicks in the egg industry."

Thursday, December 03, 2020

New animal welfare act for Victoria


Egg farmers and consumers have been asked to comment on plans for a new animal welfare act in Victoria.The State Government wants feedback on its proposals for the new Act which will replace thePrevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986).

The government says the old legislation is outdated after 30 years and some parts do not work as well as they could.

feedback on the proposals will inform the development of a draft Bill (the draft text of an Act before it is debated and passed in Parliament) for a new animal welfare Act.

Details: Help shape a new animal welfare Act :: Engage Victoria