let's talk farm animals

Meet Mr. May in the 2012 Faces of Farming calendar

 
by Patricia Grotenhuis

The world of horse racing beckoned for a 10-year period for Darryl Drain, but eventually he found his way back to the family egg farm. Drain’s role as an Ontario egg farmer and an advocate for the egg industry has earned him a spot as the face of May in the 2012 Faces of Farming Calendar published by the Farm Care Foundation. His page was sponsored by Egg Farmers of Ontario.

He had always planned on eventually taking over the farm, but the road between when he left his father’s farm and on-farm store and when he returned to it was a long one.  Drain studied at the University of Guelph for a diploma in agricultural business, and then took a step towards training racehorses.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on May 9th, 2012 :: Filed under Animal care,Canada,Consumers,Education and public awareness,eggs,Faces of Farming,Farm life
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Where is the transparency at Burger King?

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food Commentator

I was as surprised as anyone to hear the news last week that Burger King in the U.S. is making an exclusive move to purchase “cage-free” eggs and pork within five years. It has certainly dominated the news. Even my urban friends (knowing I work in agriculture) have brought it up the past few days. Sadly however I haven’t been able to provide answers to some of their questions.

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Posted by FFC on April 30th, 2012 :: Filed under eggs,Food,Housing,HSUS,Retailers
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Even experts can inflate the facts

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

A recent news item in the Vancouver press illustrates why we need to be critical of what we read, regardless of who it comes from. This particular news story highlighted the growing demand for animal welfare certified foods in B.C. To her credit the journalist went to a noted expert rather than a vested marketer to write her story. In this case she cites UBC professor of applied ethics and long-time welfare researcher David Fraser.  According to her reporting, the animal welfare expert says the move (to certified humane) is part of a larger consumer trend of rejecting products from factory farms.

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Posted by FFC on August 22nd, 2011 :: Filed under Consumers,eggs,Food,Media,Organics
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Guest blog: Ballot measures scuttled

Dan Murphy  

(Dan Murphy is a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator in the United States)

Updated: July 11, 2011 -  Both sides are carefully calling the agreement between the nation’s egg producers and HSUS leadership a “victory.” For industry, that means that two ballot measures set for November that would have asked Oregon and Washington voters to ban the use of cages in egg production will now be withdrawn.

Why? Mostly because the odds of victory were looking less certain for HSUS.

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Posted by FFC on July 13th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Animal care,Chickens,eggs,HSUS,Regulations,Uncategorized
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Farm animals save lives

By Leslie Ballentine,  Farm and food commentator

When we think of cattle, pigs or poultry we may think of our next meal. But what many don’t know is that farm animals provide more than just sustenance.  They also save lives in other ways too.

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Posted by FFC on July 4th, 2011 :: Filed under animal by-products,Beef cattle,eggs,Innovation and technology,Pigs,Research
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Recalls happen for a reason, but reasons aren’t an excuse

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Recalls happen either because a company finds a problem on its own or is informed of a problem by someone else, after the product has gone out the door. For farmers and food companies, prevention is the ticket to avoiding these events as well as the financial and public relations fallout associated with an outbreak of food-borne illness. To avoid food recalls means starting at the farm.

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Posted by FFC on June 20th, 2011 :: Filed under Canada,Consumers,eggs,Food safety,Meat/slaughter plants
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Laying hen housing not all it’s cracked up to be

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

I just finished reading some more animal science studies out of Europe (a sure cure for insomnia) on what “free range” and “free run” laying hens are up against. And it’s a bit of a buyer-beware scenario too. Although it is a small niche market here in North America, so-called “cage-free” egg production in the UK has steadily grown in the last 20 years. That is where egg laying hens can move around within the confines of a pasture or barn. But the health and animal welfare news isn’t all good.

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Posted by FFC on May 12th, 2011 :: Filed under Chickens,eggs,Housing,Poultry,Research
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Stranded travellers seek refuge at egg farm

Much of Canada has been following the stories this week of hundreds of drivers stranded along a particularly trecherous stretch of highway in southern Ontario. Kudos to these egg farmers for taking the lead on helping some of those motorists and thanks to the Toronto Star for covering such a touching story! – OFAC

Stranded travellers seek refuge at egg farm

December 15, 2010 Toronto Star – http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/907199–stranded-travellers-seek-refuge-at-egg-farm?bn=1

Debra Black

 The storm started Sunday night and it didn’t seem all that bad to Heather Helps, a 50-year-old egg farmer near Reeces Corners, Ont.

“We farm and so we have a snow day with the kids and that’s fine,” she told the Star.

But suddenly Monday the storm became severe. The Ontario Provincial Police shut down the nearby highways, and paralyzing winds and snow left more than 360 travellers stranded in their cars.

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Posted by FFC on December 15th, 2010 :: Filed under Canada,Education and public awareness,eggs,Farm life

Are Consumers Willing to Pay for Animal Welfare?

We found this article interesting. Although it’s out of the United States, the findings would be mirrored in Canada  - OFAC

http://www.dairyherd.com/news_editorial.asp?pgID=675&ed_id=11876&news_id=28210&ts=nl2

July 15, 2010 – Research presented recently at the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting looked at consumer-purchasing decisions when it comes to animal welfare.

What would happen if all consumers were informed about the different types of egg and pork production systems available, and were allowed to purchase egg and pork products from these different systems? asked Bailey Norwood, associate professor at Oklahoma State University. The only difference between the food products would be the level of animal welfare. And, suppose that the price premium attached to products with higher standards of animal care exactly equals the estimated cost premiums. What would happen?

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Posted by FFC on July 30th, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,Consumers,Education and public awareness,eggs,Pork,Uncategorized

Urban egg farmer: top ten list of chores

With a growing interest in buying local, there has also been an increased interest by urban residents in growing their own foods and, in some cases, raising their own chickens for eggs. Here’s a fact sheet prepared by Egg Farmers of Ontario that gives you some tips to think about before you get a backyard flock of your own. – OFAC

Urban Egg Farmer: Top Ten List of Chores

There has been a growing interest in raising egg-laying hens in urban environments.

Properly taking care of chickens requires some physical adaptations to a typical backyard, a daily time
commitment to caring for your flock, a lot of preparation, and a great deal of expertise.

If you are considering having a backyard flock of your own, here is an example of a chore list you should expect.

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Posted by FFC on December 24th, 2009 :: Filed under Animal health,backyard flocks,eggs
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