Thursday, April 27, 2023

Research confirms freerange superiority of brown egg layers

 Brown egg laying hens show better production results when on free range farms compared with intensive cage or barn systems, according to researchers at North Carolina State University. The results confirmed the views of many in the poultry industry that chickens such as ISA Brown and Lohmann are far more suitable for freerange farming than breeds such as leghorns.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Many factors affect egg prices

 Inflation is driving up the price of just about everything these days. But there’s something about the price of eggs on supermarket shelves that upsets people. “It feels particularly unsettling,” says anthropology professor Cathy Stanton of Tufts University in the US. She said the price increases reflect a confluence of crises, from the spread of avian flu H5N1 and increased fuel costs, to supply chain disruptions and corporate price gouging.

This isn’t the first time the price of eggs has skyrocketed. During the mid-19th-century gold rush, San Francisco’s population ballooned from around 800 to more than 20,000, creating a scarcity of chicken eggs that hiked their price to nearly $1 per egg—the equivalent of $30 per egg today. This increased demand for another type of egg: that of the murre, a seabird inhabiting the nearby Farallones Islands. Poachers flocked to the islands and boats transporting eggs were hijacked, resulting in an “egg war” that endured for 30 years. It all points to the benefits of staying out of supermarkets if you want fresh food.

Friday, April 07, 2023

Check reasons for any drop in Egg production

 Most modern breeds of hens  maintain a steady lay rate rate for about a year, so, if there is a drop in production, check birds and conditions. You need to understand the cause of any decrease.

Changes in environment, nutrition and stress levels cause fluctuations in the rate of egg laying. All these factors are under your control and understanding them will help resolve egg production issues.

Even slight variations in temperature can affect egg laying. Extreme changes in weather can greatly affect chickens. In colder months, the days are shorter and egg production will drop, while in the summer, heat stress that can lead to significant health and welfare problems. The optimal temperature for egg laying range from 18° C to 24° C.

Overcrowding of layer houses is another common reason for hens to stop laying. Keeping too many chickens in a small area can cause stress in chicken which will result to reduced egg production.

Chickens typically stop laying eggs during moulting . Chickens lose their feathers and re-grow them over time but they will resume laying quickly if you maintain a high quality diet.

A broody hen, sitting on eggs, trying to get them to hatch can be a problem for around three weeks. If you have no roosters, the eggs will not fertile, so by removing and destroying them, the hen should resume laying. Selective breeding has minimized the broody characteristic from modern breeds so it's really only an issue with heritage breeds of hens.

Saturday, April 01, 2023