let's talk farm animals

There is no reasoning with the unreasonable

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

One of the great things about our country is the freedom to express and defend our personal opinions.  We have more venues to do so than ever before.  Not so long ago I was pulled into an on-line discussion on food animal production. The discussion was prompted by a CBC radio commentary on egg production but quickly moved into animal farming and food practices in general and the need to eat animal products in the first place. Illustrating how agriculture crosses into so many issues.

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Posted by FFC on October 24th, 2011 :: Filed under Activism,Housing,Misconceptions,Speaking out,Vegetarian
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Camels have it over farm animals

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

The Dog Days of Summer are tough on most living things; people, plants and animals. But with this summer’s record breaking-temperatures  in many parts of the country, the heat and humidity are especially bad news. Hot weather can take a toll.

Camels obviously can tolerate heat, but livestock and poultry are not so fortunate. Many types of farm animals can’t regulate their body temperatures as well as people can- pigs can’t sweat for example- and even a slight prolonged rise in body temperature can heat stress cattle. Just as with people, heat exhaustion can kill. So it’s up to the farmer to get them through the ‘Dog Days’.

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Posted by FFC on July 25th, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Housing,Transportation,Weather
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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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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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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.

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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.

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Posted by FFC on July 22nd, 2009 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,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.

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Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Education and public awareness,Family vs factory farming,Poultry,Research
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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.

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