Showing posts with label Layers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Layers. Show all posts

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Did you hear that ?

Egg Cholesterol is moving lower in Eggs...

In an age where being first is best, sometimes rediscovery of what is known makes for a better result. Recently, a press release about the cholesterol content of eggs made for a big splash. True, news about lower cholesterol content and higher vitamin D3 in eggs is a good thing. When I asked Dr. Jacob Exler from USDA/ARS for a copy of his findings, he sent his original report from - September 2010. While publically released, this did not make top media notice until AEB made a recent press release and media push.

What this means is that it is true, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. We need to take the opportunities presented to us to tell the story of how good our poultry and egg products are for a balanced diet. It also means that we should thank scientists like Dr. Exler and his team that routinely tests foods for their correct composition. It does change over time. Because of his research, dietitians and other human nutritionists will have the most recent data in order to formulate diets for their clients who for some may be at a risk from dietary cholesterol or in need of nutrients. Dr. Exler and his team will repeat this testing over time to correct nutrient levels for the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. This is certainly a good program.

These latest values for egg nutritional components can be attributed to feed formulation and breeding lines used for our modern poultry layers. With further adjustments to the diets of layers we may expect the cholesterol content to further drop.

For More Information:

Link to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cage or No Cages - You Decide !

Going Back in Time

Much of the rhetoric surrounding the push for for enriched and cage free layer systems surrounds the idea of supporting repressed common poultry behavior. The question that should be asked is "Do we really have to support every behavior that the birds possess? Humans used to be hunter gatherers that would move in groups to hunt, kill and maintain territorial bounds by force. We obviously no longer do all that, but are we frustrating ourselves as other groups feel we are imposing on chickens in cages?

If we are placing birds on wire, not in dirt do they really need to bathe in dust? In my years of work I have seen most behaviors exhibited in both cage and cage free systems. Yes, layers will simulate dust bathing, wing & leg stretching and so forth. I have also seen gang picking in larger aviary and range situations as well.

The answer to housing poultry is to look to bird behavior that we wish to support, and more importantly pay to support. If US consumers wish to have cage free production, they will need to support all the requirements of such production. If humane caged (e.g. UEP) systems are important then consumers should financially support those activities as well. There is no free lunch and each system has both positive and negative aspects. What is needed is choice; pushing for markets without choice in the US is against the tenets of capitalism itself. The market will ultimately tell the consumers choice of what is important to them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aftermath of Proposition 2 in California

For those who are maintaining flocks in California, Prop 2 will certainly create some confusion as to how they will continue to produce eggs in an efficient way. The Poultry Science Association ( went on record stating that there is no scientific evidence that current production practices are detrimental to poultry flocks. Other studies have determined that due to this passage major losses in farm revenues will be seen as production leaves the state.

IMHO I think that cooler heads need to prevail. Nobody I know who cares for these animals wishes to see animals abused. It is a fact that farm animals that are stressed in any way are very unproductive. So, it is in the interest of producers no matter which system of production used to do the best job possible.