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Poultry farming
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egh    Posted 08-11-2004 at 07:23:52       [Reply]  [No Email]

number of sentient animals being subjected to intolerable living conditions and untimely deaths is on the rise, largely because consumers are replacing red meat with poultry, and birds provide less flesh per carcass than mammals. Of the nine billion farm animals born in the U.S. annually, the vast majority are birds. American consumers have doubled their consumption of chickens and turkeys over the past two decades, and this pattern is expected to continue, elevating the number of farm animals raised in the U.S. to unprecedented levels. Chickens and turkeys raised for meat suffer from severe genetic manipulations, overcrowding, and filthy living conditions. Hens kept for egg production are packed in cages so tightly that they cannot even stretch their wings.
Although birds are by far the most tragically affected victims of the poultry industry, they are not the only ones who suffer. The poultry industry is notorious for exploiting and mistreating human workers. Its labor force, composed largely of immigrants, suffers from cumulative-trauma disorders far above the national average.

Individuals not directly employed by the poultry industry are also harmed by it. Poultry meat and eggs are commonly contaminated, and millions of cases of food-borne illness are attributed to poultry products every year. The environment is also adversely affected as hundreds of millions of dead birds and millions of tons of manure are generated and discharged every year, polluting land and water, and threatening fish and other animals. A watershed that helps supply Tulsa's taps would hold excess phosphorous for decades, even if all land application of chicken waste there was stopped today, a new study says.

The Oklahoma State University study found that 74 percent of the phosphorous flowing into Lake Eucha is coming from non-point sources such as chicken litter. Another 24 percent comes from the city wastewater plant in Decatur, Ark., which is fed by a chicken processing plant.

The study found it would take five years to see a reduction of phosphorous levels in the Lake Eucha watershed with no land application of waste.

After 30 years, the levels of phosphorus in the soil still would be significantly higher than normal agricultural crop production levels, the study showed.

The study is the third commissioned by the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority indicating that lakes Eucha and Spavinaw are being degraded by phosphorus. The lakes combine as one of Tulsa's main drinking water sources.

Too much phosphorous fuels voracious algae growth, causing taste and odor problems in the water.

With current application practices, which have been limited since 1998, the phosphorus could easily double by 2023, said study author Dan Storm, an associate professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

The phosphorous would slowly leach itself from the soil if all non-point sources of phosphorus are eliminated from the watershed, he said.

The Lake Eucha watershed lies in both Oklahoma and Arkansas and encompasses a proliferating chicken industry. The highest phosphorus levels are in Arkansas, which has 40 years of chicken production to Oklahoma's 25, officials said.

``Give Oklahoma another 10 years, and it will be in the same place as Arkansas,'' Storm said.

Mixing alum with chicken litter before land application could help reduce the effects of phosphorous, he said. Alum also could be used to treat the lakes.

Such lake treatment would cost the city about $1 million annually

Joel    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:02:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I grew in in North Georgia in what at one time was the number one broiler producing county in the nation and is now still the number one broiler producing state in the nation. (arkansas a close second).

While it is true that the poultry industry has challenges regarding waste management, these challenges are being met through many scientific advancements. The article also does not examine any other point sources of phosphorous runoff in the region. The poultry industry is incriminated because they are in the region without adequate investigation of other point sources of P contamination.

Reminds me of the compaints about contamination of the river in eastern north carolina from hog lagoons. At the same time they were blaming it on the hog farmers, the city of Kinston waste treatment plant had had two failures resulting in the release of raw sewage into the river.

Passing along propaganda is easy, so what are your solutions to the problem? That is a bit more complicated.

Larry806    Posted 08-11-2004 at 12:00:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well Joel you sound like a Farm Bureau member Factory farms are a lot worse than people know! For every time you hear about a load of manure getting in to a creek there's 50 more that no one ever hears about.
What about death loss are you going to say they have less? I know better
Can you tell me why most of the biggest factory farms are owned by foreigners??? I'm not saying there all bad just have way more problems than a family farm Big farm have BIG problems Small farms have SMALL problems

Joel    Posted 08-11-2004 at 12:54:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
There are approximately 6 million broilers per week raised and slaughtered within 1 1/2 hours of my house. That is hundreds of broiler farms as well as the pullet farms and breeder operations. The companies don't own those farms. Those farms are owned by families. They are family farms. They are my friends and neighbors. Just regular people, not some faceless corporation to me, I know them.

Why would anyone dump manure in a creek? That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard. More propaganda. Chicken litter is a commodity worth money. It is a valuable product of poultry production and is used as an organic fertilizer for the cotton, peanuts, corn, oats, wheat, rye and pasture land in this area. Would you take your money and dump it in a creek? No farmer is going to stay in buisness very long if he takes a valuable product he is producing and dumps it in a creek.

Larry806    Posted 08-11-2004 at 18:33:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Why would anyone dump manure in a creek? That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard. "More propaganda"
That's where your WRONG!!! And by the way it is not organic unless the farm is certified
Around here they just need to get rid of ths of tons when & how ever they can. They haul it by the semi load If they have to cross a creek & the truck boggs down they just dump it. When the 660,000 gal egg wash tank gets full not to worry the tile goes to the creek We now have German egg factories & Dutch milk factories.
By milk factory I mean they milk the cows FOUR times a day & pump them up with BST. Only 40% of the cows live 2 years When they pump lagoon's they move millions of gallons

Paula    Posted 08-11-2004 at 13:35:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well Joel - reaching into the recesses of my mind to access years
of info on waste management and factory farming on the
delmarva peninsula from back in the day when I was pursuing a
masters in environmental biolog - waste management and never
did the thesis.

1. The problem with the huge amount of waste generated by this
intense farming practices is not always immediate. Not that
there's usually a pile of crap just sitting outside, but that its use
as fertilizer on farms causes nutrient run off into rivers,
watersheds, etc. As a consequence - nitrification of the
potomac basin. There are of course other sources of nutrient
flowing into the river - up to a time detergents from residential
use, pesticide use on lawns, various factory systems, etc. But
nutrient production from factory farms packs a heck of a wallop.

2. It is a reasonable projection that as these systems grow, the
problems will increase.

3. Practices such as buffer strips between the farm and the water
are being used to try to literally soak up some of this nutrient
before it hits the potomac.

4. You're right, farmers are sitting on a goldmine but not like
you think. Forget about fertilizer, these farmers have an
unending, cheap source of energy with which to run their
farming systems. BIOGAS. Methane! Why is it that in the US, a
farmer with the thinnest of profit margins has to pay someone
to haul his waste and buy energy from the municipal source? In
other countries, even developed european countries, biogas
(Anaerobic digestors) plants take methane rich waste like pig
manure, chicken litter and manure, and make enough energy to
supply electricity to these farms AND sell electricity back to the

So why is this not happening here? Is the technology too basic?
Maybe - until we burn the last tree and suck the last teaspoon of
oil out of the ground we obstinately refuse to consider changes.
By we I mean those who could help make the initial capital
outlay for these alternatives competitive. The thing is, a farmer,
or a coop can hardly lay out the cash to engineer a biogas plant.
But the returns are astounding.

Instead we play this foolish game of generating energy-rich
waste, putting it in a hole, while digging another whole to make

See this was my passion at the time.

Joel    Posted 08-11-2004 at 14:31:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Good points Paula. And the Delmarva situation is a definate problem area with the confined space of the peninsula not being compatible with the amount of waste generated. However, nutrient management plans have come a long way, especially in the area of litter application based on phosporous content of the soil vs. nitrogen needs. The Delmarva area is also leading in some of the research needed to solve the problems. For example, there is an industry there (I will call it a pelleting mill for lack of a better term) that is concentrating the nutrients of the litter so that is is feasible to ship it back to the midwest and use it as a pre-emergance fertilizer for corn production. The problem with P is that it comes in as feed from the midwest, is fed through the chickens, and then the litter is too low in nutrient content (about 2-2-2) to be feasible to send it back to the midwest to be used where it is needed.

There is also work going on in the Delmarva area on using the litter as biomass just as you suggested as an alternative energy source. I have not really seen much to suggest that the europeans are that far ahead of us in that area. I don't think any contries are using it as a major energy source that I know of at this time.

An intersting point, I once worked on a hog farm that had a large piece of equipment behind one of the barns that was designed to remove methane from the waste and use it to heat the buildings. This would have been in the late 70's or the 80's. It never really worked, but just goes to show that most ideas aren't really so new as they just keep getting rehashed until someone gets it worked out to be successful.

My point in all of this is that it is easy to put up some propaganda like the original article but not suggest any solutions. This type nonsense is a direct threat to the majority of the family farms in my area. Broilers are the number one commodity produced in my county. I think as people have gotten away from the farm they have lost touch with what a family farm is. A family farm is not 2 pigs, a milk cow, a few steers and brood cows and a flock of laying hens for the table. That is a hobby farm. A family farm is a farm family raising a family while feeding the rest of us. This type of article being circulated with no facts to back it up are a direct threat to the family farms who are depending on the industry too keep them going. I think the people saying the companies mistreating animals should get out and actually meet the individual animal caretakers and the farmers who actually own the farms. They are families just like ours, good ones and bad ones, except instead of going to the office every day they are going to thier chicken houses. Generalities and lumping an entire industry together such as this article did is what is annoying.

Sorry for the

Paula    Posted 08-12-2004 at 06:34:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Wrote a paper on waste management and energy recycling at
Hood years ago. I think European countrys like Denmark and
Norway are heavily into biogas (I think those were to the two
countries I cited) simply because they don't have the room for
the luxury of things like landfills.


Joel    Posted 08-11-2004 at 12:34:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
More propaganda.

The biggest poultry producing company in the United States is Tyson foods, started and owned by an american (the Tyson family of Springdale, AR) and their stockholders. The next is Pilgrims pride owned by Bo Pilgrim (an American) of Pittsburg, TX. The next is Perdue farms owned by Frank Perdue (an american) from Maryland. The next is Goldkist which is a farming cooperative based in Atlanta, GA. I'm not sure how far we would have to go down the list before we got to a poultry company that is a major producer in the US and is foreign owned.

Livability is about 95%. I don't consider 5% in culling and mortality excessive.

Like Ron said. People too often believe what they read with no questions asked.

Paula    Posted 08-11-2004 at 09:11:29       [Reply]  [Send Email]
That's why I don't buy factory farmed animals or battery eggs. I
get my chicken free range (not cage free) and my eggs from a
guy at work who has chickens. Factory farming is bad for
everybody from an ethical and health point of view. HOWEVER it
is financially feasible in that it reduces labor and housing costs,
makes the conversion of food to product more efficient and
optimizes the skinny profit margin when animals go to market.

Personally I find it reprehensible so I do my part not to support
it. Had to write a paper on an aspect of factory farming and
read numerous published articles regarding the stress these
animals are under. I think food animals deserve more respect
than this.


big al    Posted 08-11-2004 at 17:11:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
so the guy you buy yours from is involved in best farming practices give me a break liberal!!!!He is probably fighting roosters to the death on the side. Just becauase you have never been tested does not mean the disease does not exist in you-goober

Paula    Posted 08-12-2004 at 06:32:24       [Reply]  [Send Email]
"so the guy you buy yours from is involved in best farming
practices give me a break liberal!!!!He is probably fighting
roosters to the death on the side. Just becauase you have never
been tested does not mean the disease does not exist in you-

And the name calling was necessary why? And btw I'm a proud,
card-carrying, bleeding-heart, tree-hugging LIBERAL so

The guy I buy my eggs from is a chemist with a small hobby
farm on the side. He has a few chickens and they produce
enough eggs to keep us at work happy so again PFFFFFFT.

I don't even get the disease reference, try again.


Paula    Posted 08-13-2004 at 13:37:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I bet you praise God with that mouth too don't you Al?


big al    Posted 08-12-2004 at 17:45:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
not smart enough-just like the rest of the baby killing bunch

joel    Posted 08-11-2004 at 08:57:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]

egh    Posted 08-11-2004 at 09:50:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
joel, its sad to say but its not propaganda. i
live a hour away from where this farming is taking
place and 30 minutes away from the lakes that it affects. i was raised on eucha lake and have witnessed the effects first hand. and being originally from arkansas most of my relatives still live in north east arkansas and i worked
summer jobs in these brooder houses and served time on the production line of hudson foods in
noel,mo. trust me, its not propaganda.

Ron/PA    Posted 08-11-2004 at 09:17:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
You betcha, if folks would visit those farms instead of forewarding the propeganda they'd come away with a different point of view.


Joel    Posted 08-11-2004 at 09:52:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
I personally find free range farming on a large scale reprehensable. How much land would it take to feed the world with it's current population if we went back to free range/organic farming. I personally enjoy the forests and wildlands too much to want to put them all back into agricultural production. The other option would be to go back to free range and organic production and decrease the amount of food made availible, but I don't want to be the one who decides who gets the food and who doesn't.

Also, what is the feed conversion ratio of a free range chicken? It is no where near the 1:1.8-2 or so of a commercially bred broiler so that is that much more land that must be put into cultivation in order to feed the free range chickens which means that much more wildlands lost.

Free range and organic farming have some techniques that large scale agriculture can and do use and learn from, but to take the science out of farming and go back to "the good old days" comes at too great a cost to our wildlands for me to want to consider it.

Paula    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:55:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree Joel - factory farming is much more effiecient in
conversion and management. You are also correct that organic
and free range farming practices could not meet the market
demands high density farming easily accomplishes. shopping
for organic and free range is a luxury of the wealthy, or the good
fortune of someone with the time, means and inclination to raise
his own. I have the luxury of shopping organic and free range,
and vegetarians don't even have to think about all of that. So I
can only speak for myself when I say I'd rather pay extra not to
go factory.


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