Sunday, November 1, 2015

free range v battery chicken

A free ranged mother hen.

When I was young, we lived in suburbia, Mum and Dad always kept some chicken and ducks. We had mostly free ranged ducks and chicken. But we also had about twenty caged hens for laying eggs.

I was in charge of feeding the chickens and ducks for many years. So I know about battery chicken and animal cruelty. Chickens have weird personality. If one chicken gets pecked, the others will peck her too.

One Sunday, I watched a program on TV. There is a group of SAFE activists going round the country to expose egg farmers. There are some "bad" eggs among the farmers.

My friend Rachel Yang snapped this photo at Spencer Hotel in Takapuna in Auckland. Rachel is my facebook friend. We both belong to the Auckland University Chinese Alumni.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) in February released a draft welfare code for hens which would phase out the use of existing cages for the nation's 2.88 million battery hens, which each lay about 25 dozen eggs a year.

New "enriched cages", which feature a nest box, perch and a scratch pad, have been proposed.

The proposed colony systems would require 750cu cm per bird. A piece of A4 paper is equivalent to 623sq cm.

Would you pay a lot more for a free ranged egg?

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