Friday, April 02, 2021

Vaccines for chickens, pigs and people

 Vaccines are creating news all over the world. Covid 19, Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever are all on the agendas of the world’s pharmaceutical companies. Ma Xiangjie, A senior executive from a major Chinese group said the use of illegal vaccines for African swine fever (ASF) reduced the output of pigs and eventually killed them. using  unapproved vaccines has been widespread as farmers tried to save their animals.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Facebook promoting Identity Theft

 

We are no longer able to maintain the Freeranger Eggs Facebook page because Facebook demanded we change our password and before approving a new password, required us to send an official photo ID document, such as a drivers licence. That is a clear identity theft issue.. We have tried to resolve the matter but there has been no response, however, we still receive emails from Facebook about notifactions made sin ce the last time we were able to log on.  Links to our Facebook page have been removed from this blog and from our website.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Scientists findings ways to boost production

 As chickens grow larger and produce more eggs, growth-related issues in laying hens and broilers have become more common. Researchers at the University of Georgia are finding ways to combat these issues, which can affect animal welfare and lead to production losses.

A recent journal article published in Poultry Science studied the effect of 20(S)-hydroxycholesterol, a naturally occurring bioactive compound, on satellite cell proliferation and differentiation of broilers and laying hens. Satellite cells are muscle-specific stem cells that are responsible for the post-hatch growth of skeletal muscles by increasing protein synthesis levels in muscle cells and resulting in muscle growth.

Led by Woo Kim and Yuguo Tompkins with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with Sandra Velleman, professor at The Ohio State University, the study examined the use of the compound to potentially improve both bone health and muscle growth. The study found that 20S has a positive effect on bone health in birds.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Help to set up freerange farms

 There is still strong demand for information about setting up a freerange farm.

Our eBook on how to establish a sustainable freerange farm is even more vital now the clear consumer demand for free range eggs has increased  the number of people thinking about starting their own free range egg businesses.

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

A good starting point is reading our 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



Saturday, January 23, 2021

Rescued Roosters

 

People can be very strange, but the more strange thing is that authorities listen to them. A rooster crowing at first light for example is a natural event, but if neighbours complain, Council’s often move in to kill the offending animal – even though those people may host loud late night parties and disturb weekends with noisy trailbikes. We received two pleas from residents of Bass Coast Shire asking if we would rehome roosters which Council said would have to go. One is a Cochin with feathery feet and the other is a Cream Legbar. We will certainly find places for these proud creatures.



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Agriculture aims to be most trusted industry by 2030

 

The National Farmers Federation says it wants agriculture to be Australia’s most trusted industry by 2030. It is developing a national framework for building community trust although it acknowledges that the industry faces issues that may erode community trust and support. Some sectors, such as the egg industry already have a credibility problem with many examples of deceptive labelling in recent years which led to hefty fines following prosecutions by the ACCC. Many big producers make millions in extra profits each year by simply adding the words free range to labels . For them, fines are just a cost of doing business.https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-25/egg-producer-snowdale-holdings-fined-over-free-range-claims/8741706

The NFF said Australian agriculture requires $159.5 billion in new capital to fund its growth ambitions. Traditionally, farm businesses have relied almost exclusively on debt financing for capital.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Freeranger Facebook posts reach over 4000 people in January

 

Freeranger Eggs Facebook page had 4,068 visitors in January, the highest monthly figure for some time. One of the most popular posts was about the importance of rodent control and the threats posed by mice and rats.

Rodents are a major concern on many poultry farms due to spreading diseases, damage and feed loss. This is a major reason for keeping hens in mobile houses which are usually easier to keep rodent-free. Unless steps are taken to prevent their presence, the house mouse (Mus musculus), and black rat (Rattus rattus) may become unwanted (and frequently unnoticed) guests. Sheds are attractive to these freeloaders because they provide a home, food, and water. Both rats and mice only need a hole large enough to pass their head through, as small as a quarter-inch for mice or a half-inch for rats. Once inside the house, they can easily burrow into poultry litter, under nests, into dirt floors, and into insulation in the walls and ceilings. This may go unnoticed, because rodents are active mainly at night when farmers often are not present. Rodents are seldom seen during the day until their numbers reach epidemic proportions. However, even a small population of rodents can cause significant problems that cost money. Possibly, the most obvious problem with rodents is the feed they consume and contaminate. All rodents will eat poultry feed, and they contaminate and ruin much more than they eat. An adult rat eats up to 10% of its bodyweight in feed each day, so a large rodent population may eat several tonnes of feed each year.

Rodent control is also needed in grading rooms and carton storage areas to limit contamination.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Chickens on collectable cigarette cards

 

In days gone by, cigarette cards were all the rage. There are still avid collectors for cards on all sorts of subjects. One popular selection in the 1930’s and ‘40’s was poultry cards,from John Player and Sons, depicting a wide variety of chickens.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Intensive food production systems meet fluctuating consumer demand


Quantity over quality is the rationale behind intensive production techniques in the food industry, whether it's eggs. meat, grains or vegetables.

Balancing supply with demand has always been as issue for small egg producers like us – particularly in an area which is a holiday destination. A boom in demand as holidaymakers descend on the region, followed by a slump when they return home has been a natural cycle of business since we started producing eggs. But now, we have the added problem of fluctuating Government travel restrictions in response to the Covid19 pandemic. Big producers with coolrooms full of stockpiled eggs, are able to cope without missing a beat – just load up the trucks and send eggs off to the stupidmarkets.

However, selling quality, fresh eggs, is rather more challenging as we have no stockpiles to plunder when customers need extra supplies. Theres is no question that intensive egg producers are better able to supply fluctuating market demands compared with boutique egg farms meeting niche market requirements.