let's talk farm animals

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.


Posted by FFC on May 12th, 2011 :: Filed under Chickens,eggs,Housing,Poultry,Research
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Perception marketing takes advantage of consumers and farmers

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

When it comes to food marketing, I’m starting to believe that both consumers and farmers may be getting the short end of the stick.

Perhaps farmers have been too focused on what they do best; producing an abundant and generally safe supply of food at a reasonable price to consumers, to worry about misleading advertising.  Perhaps consumers don’t know enough about farm practices to see past the marketing hype to be able to make an informed purchasing choice.


Posted by FFC on May 5th, 2011 :: Filed under Chickens,Consumers,Misconceptions,Poultry,Sustainability,Urban Myths
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The true story of your Thanksgiving turkey

The following is a guest post written for us by Lilian from Food and Farming Canada.

Most of us have very little knowledge of where our food comes from or how it is produced. As a result, misinformation is widely circulated in many different forms – so to get to the real scoop on what’s going on, there’s no one better to ask than a farmer himself.

I had the chance recently to visit with Brent, who raises turkeys on his farm in south-western Ontario, and seized the opportunity to pepper him with questions about one of my favourite holiday meats, turkey.


Posted by FFC on May 26th, 2010 :: Filed under Animal care,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Food safety,Poultry,Sustainability of the family farm
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BC Egg Farmers Care for the Right Reasons

BC egg farmers care for the right reasons. There is more to caring for hens than meets the eye.


Posted by BCFACC on October 16th, 2009 :: Filed under Animal health,Education and public awareness,eggs,Poultry
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The business of Eggs

Food For Thought looks at how we use hens as protein factories to produce an egg a day for our tables

By Luisa D’Amato, Waterloo Region Record, 05 Jul 2008

When you walk into the long, dimly lit barn where Gary West keeps 25,000 egg-laying hens, the first thing you notice is the sound.


Posted by FFC on July 22nd, 2009 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,Poultry
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High-technology enters world of poultry business

By Mannix Porterfield, THE REGISTER-HERALD (BECKLEY, W.V.)
Aug 16/06

FAIRLEA, W.Va.— Go back in time, say a century or so, even before the iron horse made its debut, and fetch a poultry farmer, pluck him off his Currier and Ives setting, then escort him into a modern chicken barn.


Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Innovation and technology,Poultry
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Poultry production has lower carbon footprint than other livestock systems

Source: Farmers Weekly Interactive 22/11/2007

Poultry meat uses less global energy than other livestock systems and
intensive poultry uses less than free range and organic, according to new research.


Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,Family vs factory farming,Poultry,Research
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Canada’s Egg Farmers Welcome Change

OTTAWA, Aug. 22 /CNW Telbec/ – Working in one of the country’s most dynamic agriculture industries, Canada’s egg farmers have had little time to rest. Just ask Laurent Souligny, 64, a proud egg farmer and chairman of the national egg farmers’ organization, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC).


Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Animal health,Canada,Poultry
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Ambassador for ‘nature’s perfect food’

Source: The Record (Kitchener), September 29, 2008, KEVIN SWAYZE

International poultry expert Peter Hunton is tired of the question.

“What came first? The chicken or the egg?”

The Cambridge man answers in a deadpan tone.

“I don’t have a good answer to that question.”

But ask Hunton, 72, a serious question about his life’s work and conversation comes easy for a 2008 inductee to the International Poultry Hall of Fame.


Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Housing,Poultry
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United Egg Producers: Are Free Range Birds Happier? Maybe Not!

PRNewswire, ATLANTA, Dec. 19 / 2007

Animal rights activists have long alleged that hens in modern cages live a horribly stressed life, but new research appears to debunk those claims. Researchers have discovered that free range hens experience just as much or more stress than hens raised in modern, conventional cages.


Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,Housing,Poultry,Research
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