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Hatchery Horrors

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Popeye, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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  2. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Popeye, I cant hear the video still, can you give a quick rundown on what its about? I eat eggs and make them for my daughter so I am concerned
     
  3. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    What the post is about is the practice of killing the male chicks as soon as they are segregated from the female chicks (egg producers). However, the thesis of the post is somewhat in error. The problem is that consumer demand is for white eggs.

    I will explain. When I was a kid (late fifties) all eggs in the markets were brown eggs until the Easter season. Then, people wanted white eggs because they took the colored dye better than brown eggs. Shortly after the Easter season, brown eggs again were the norm in supermarkets. At the time "factory egg farms" had not yet taken over the egg industry. For some reason, the demand for brown eggs fell and the buying public (Women; I have heard women say that they will not eat brown eggs because the look "dirty".) preferred white eggs not matter what the season.

    This killed the market for brown eggs.

    Why does the color of an egg make a difference? Because of the characteristics of the breed of chicken it comes from. The top producing white egg layer is the breed called Leghorn. It is a small white chicken that produces the greatest number of very large white eggs each year. Its small body size insures that the food it eats goes into the production of eggs not muscle tissue. Therefore, if you are an egg producer, this is the breed that you will use.

    Here in lies the problem. The males have no commercial value. They do not produce eggs. Their body size makes them inefficient subjects for meat production because they eat, but do not grow large enough, fast enough for meat production. Therefore, they are discarded to be killed soon after being hatched.

    Brown egg chickens by contrast, are known as "heavy breeds" or "dual purpose". They convert food to muscle tissue as well as eggs. A subsistence farmer who wants eggs, but also wants a large meat bird will always choose a brown egg layer breed like Barred Rocks. Such breeds will produce almost as many eggs as a Leghorn, but will grow to a very large size. Therefore, the males are not killed at hatch, but are grown into firers, broilers (although there are specific broiler breeds), roasters while the hens are kept for two years as laying hens. That is why when I was a kid, eggs were brown not white.

    What is the difference between white and brown eggs? Despite all the folklore I have heard, like: "Brown boiled eggs come out of the shell easier, brown eggs have a darker yoke", etc. None. All fresh eggs will be difficult to get out of the shell when boiled.

    Dark yokes are the result of letting chickens free range to eat fresh vegetation where they get vitamin A and pass it into the yoke...it has nothing to do with egg color.

    Brown and white eggs are identical as to nutrition and taste.

    In short, the change from brown eggs to white eggs is the result of a foolish, emotional rationalization that "white eggs are more sanitary."

    The conclusion of the cited post incorrectly suggested that we should all become vegetarians to solve the problem. This is nonsense. Buy brown eggs at the supper market, or buy brown eggs from private farms that have dual purpose breeds that are free range. I can assure you that these small farms are not discarding the males as they are hatched...they are raising them, selling the meat, or eating them themselves.
     
  4. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    All the chickens are grown to be killed one way or another.

    The question is will they be killed humanely or inhumanely.

    I would consider the fastest death possible to be the most humane. If it can be over within less than a second then great.

    I watched the video and I cannot think of a quicker way to kill the male chicks.
     
  5. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Yes thrown into a grinder why still alive sounds like a swell way to go, chopping off the beaks of the hens sounds real humane too.

    Have you ever been inside a warehouse in one of these egg producing factory farms? The hens spend their whole lives packed in a cage, without room to stretch their wings or even turn around.

    I've owned layers, they may not be the smartest creatures in the world, but they each have their own distinct personalities, have a limited ability to learn, and are very easy to get attached to. I can't imagine subjecting any of them to what in my mind is nothing short of torture..

    You know, considering your political bent, I'm not surprised that you would attempt to justify the tactics employed by the commercial egg industry. It's been my experience, that for the most part, those on the right of the political spectrum feel very little compassion for the plight of animals in today's world.
     
  6. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Popeye is slowing down. It took him two whole posts to blame the plight of chickens, on conservatives. Very different from his usual method, which is to use the first paragraph or even the title.

    So many complaints and accusations from little popeye, so few solutions. Awwwww.....
     
  7. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    The reason the chicks are ground is that they are be utilized for pet food, animal food or fertilizer. Some hatcheries just discard them alive into a dumpster. The primary purpose of the grinder is not to kill them, but to reduce them to usable protein.
     
  8. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    One reason not to buy white eggs is that they are almost exclusively produced on "Factory Farms", where the employees are paid very little. If you purchase brown eggs raised on small local farms, you are encouraging that self-sufficient life style. Also, you will be consuming local production that is not shipped great distances using fossil fuel.

    If you are an egg eater, you should consider raising 3 or so brown egg layers (Barred Rock are my favorites) in a movable cage (research photos on the Internet), in your backyard. Unless you have a very large family, you will have an excess of eggs that you will be able to give to friends, neighbors, or relatives. Three hens in the back yard are very quiet (no roosters), will eat grass through the bottom of the cage, dispose of all your garbage that you would normally put down the disposal, converting it to eggs (with enthusiasm). It will also provide a high quality protein at very little cost. It will make you more self sufficient.
     
  9. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for that information. It was really nice of you to take the time to explain.

    I have been asked before and I have often wondered myself why some eggs are white and some are brown. As a kid growing up we had brown eggs from our chickens and as an adult I can hardly find brown eggs and always wondered why.

    Seems to me we should just all eat brown eggs except at easter. I dont know if I will change though because brown eggs cost more.


    Thank you also Popeye for the thread :)
     
  10. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    That may be the intent - about which I don't care. I do think that humane treatment is a worthy goal. And the quickest way to kill any chick destined for fertilizer should be the way chosen.

    The dumpster sounds like a bad idea. The grinder would be the best as I can't think of any method quicker.
     
  11. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I hope you enjoy your lifestyle but don't impose it on anyone else please.

    Removing the beaks does sound bad. The grinder still is quickest.

    They should be permitted to walk around.
    I stated my opinion (no really a fact) of what would be the most compassionate way to kill chicks. Your characterization of me is unwarranted.
     
  12. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I don't care what kind of egg one buys but since you have championed one side I will present the other:

    Large egg farms are the only ones that do not expose their chickens to wild birds and therefore to their diseases. Right now the world is in the grips of a very innocuous flu pandemic. Should the H1N1 virus mix with the bird flu virus which presently kills about 40% of the people who get it (almost all chicken handlers right now) this present pandemic will take an astounding turn for the worst. The best way to maximize the chance that h1n1 will mix with bird flu and then become common in the human population would be for lots of people to start raising chickens in backyard farms. Presently even the zoos in this country have suspended their chicken exhibits so that people do not have unnecessary contact with chickens.
     
  13. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    Large egg factories only make economic sense if there are large concentrations of humans who are not raising their own chickens. Back in the day of less human population and that population was more subsistence farming, there was less chance of a pandemic (the reason for the 1918 flu pandemic was that there were millions of young men living together as soldiers through which the pandemic could spread.

    Therefore, if we would reduce the human density (population) of the world there would be less chance for a pandemic and we could get rid of the factory egg farms. Of course, we would have to use abortion even more liberally than it is practiced now, along with tossing new borns into a grinder (most humane) to even further reduce the human population. The bright side is people would be more self sufficient on their farms and would not be exploited and underpaid by factory egg farm owning capitalist robber barons.

    By the way, Bird Flu moving from birds to humans is extremely rare to the point where we would be many times more likely to be struck by lightning than contacting flu from birds. Even if there were to be a pandemic with raising chickens in one's back yard, one could allways pray for God to save us.
     
  14. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    But there are large populations of humans so I guess we need egg farms.

    Packing tired soldiers together was clearly a factor in 1918.

    Yet the world typically sees a pandemic three times every 100 years. We are in one right now.

    That would not be my solution.
    It is rare. But it presently has killed 63% of all who have contracted it. Right now the danger is not that bird flu will spread human to human rapidly but that it will mix with the present strain of flu which does spread human to human and gain the abiliyt to spread human to human.

    Imagine what will happen if a flu that kills 63% of the people who get it mates with a flu that spread at pandemic rates like the one that is pandemic right now.

    All that it takes is for a single person to have both versions of the flu at the same time. so far just about everyone who has had bird flu has been a chicken raiser usually in places like indonesia.

    http://www.fluwiki.info/pmwiki.php?n=Main.ConfirmedCasesUpdated

    Backyard chicken farms pose a real threat to humanity at this point in time which is why many other countries have engaged in mass culling of chickens.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_..._bird_flu_to_create_even_deadlier_strain.html
     
  15. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    I don't even remember the last time I bought brown eggs.

    When I go to the supermarket, if white eggs are $.99/doz, then brown eggs are $1.59/doz. If white eggs are $1.59/doz, brown eggs are $2.39/doz.

    I agree there is no difference in taste or nutrition. Just basic consumer economics.
     
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