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Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 14 11:25 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Hairyloon wrote:
Has anybody here actually looked at their welfare statement?
They are one of the most important organisations in the country and they are supposed to be trying to change for the better.
If everybody ignores the efforts they do make, then what is the point in their trying?


When I worked in that sector there was a set of production & welfare standards that amounted to about four inches thick of paper in a lever arch file. This was 16 years ago, and very little has changed, structurally, to the buildings now. I tend to base many of opinions on what I see, rather than what I see written down. They may well have changed for the better, but until I see some evidence for it, I'm going to take any assurances with a pinch of salt.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4346
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 14 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The pellets thing is a fair point, but I see it more like this: A healthy animal can cope with sub-optimal diet. A healthy animal can cope with sub-optimal housing. A healthy animal can cope, to a degree, with sub-optimal handling, or overcrowding, or any other stress nature or man can throw at it.
However, no living being can (or should) cope with bad diet, AND bad housing, bad breeding, bad handling, bad flock management........

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15051
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 14 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
This was 16 years ago, and very little has changed, structurally, to the buildings now.

Is there a problem with the building structure?
I'd understood the main issue was stocking density.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 14 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hairyloon wrote:
Rob R wrote:
This was 16 years ago, and very little has changed, structurally, to the buildings now.

Is there a problem with the building structure?
I'd understood the main issue was stocking density.


Well yes, stocking density was a problem, as wading through birds that can hardly move, and hardly have space to move makes the process of picking up the dead ones difficult. With a door at each end it was a long old walk with each sack.

Burst water pipes were also pretty grim to deal with, as a sealed floor meant there was nowhere for the water to go - good from an environmental point of view, less good for the clean up process.

Chickpea



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 208
Location: Buckinghamshire
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 14 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In this case Rob, maybe you can breed chicken for the table and I'll have a few with my lamb and beef order???

By the by, I was talking to a lady last week in Norfolk, her husband works at a poultry factory, and has done for 30 years, and they NEVER eat the chicken, even though it could be free. Says it all I think.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 14 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you ever go past the chicken processing plant (Vion) in Llangefni you'll know about it a mile or two before you do, because of the stink.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14964
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 14 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am very tempted to breed some chickens for the table next year. Just need to get freezer space organised.

Mutton



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 1508

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 14 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

One of the problems I have with commercial chicken, in addition to the points mentioned above, is the breeds. Years back, at the start of chicken keeping, we accidentally bought a Cobb trio at market when we wanted laying birds. We kept them free range with the laying birds, as laying birds (and they were OK incidentally, occasional double and once a triple yolk, but good big eggs). They had what they found plus a share of the evening corn. So not massive feeding and plenty of exercise. At five months old, despite all of that, the cockerel was struggling to stand when four months old - legs collapsing under him. He came in at 6lbs dressed.

I disagree with the idea of breeding birds that grow really fast and whose physique is such that they cannot walk before they've even finished growing however healthy their living conditions.

Now the smaller of the two hens - and still a whacking great bird - lived until she was three (killed by a predator) and was stomping around merrily all that time and we are delighted to have some of her very recognisable daughters in the flock. (Half silver sussex, half buff sussex.)

Graham Hyde



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 365

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 14 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They have for sale here 5 to 7 day old chicks @ 50 uk pence each. These are called '45 day chickens', I don't know the breed but always all white. Fast growers, almost too heavy for their legs after 60 days. I bought 5 one time, killed the three cockrels between 45 and 50 days around 6 kilo live weight each. The two hens we kept to try for eggs. Never produced eggs and both died naturally around 18 months (abnormally enlarged breast, difficulty walking).
The cockrel meat was tender but tasteless. These are the birds the commercial farmers use.
We prefer the local breeds, smaller, tougher but tasty. The locals do not have ovens so chicken is normally cooked in various types of stew so toughness is usually not an issue.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34295
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 14 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

white and fast growing sounds like sasso

fed on nice food and free ranged they can be grown to quite big and very tasty organic birds in about 90 days rather than the force fed in a big shed style of pastey ,unhappy but cheap meat

for meat birds it is hard to beat the genetics for conversion of feed to meat ,fast growth etc and diet and lifestyle do make a huge difference to both welfare and product

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34295
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 14 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re old breeds grannie had a rhode island red boy x big white things and the meat birds were the speckled boy children ,they took about 6 months on corn and forage and dressed out at about 6 lb of very nice eating

the girls were fair layers

the local birds are probably a good choice of stock to use wherever you are ,

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4020
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 14 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I presume the genetics of Ross Cobbs have changed since the late 60`s early70`s,then we used to by as hatched,cheaper than sexed,
The pullets like Mutton mentioned made good free range layers of large eggs,out of lay hens made 6 to 8lbs oven ready as boilers,
The cockerels were 8 to 10 lbs at 6mths oven ready,with breasts like turkeys,fed on proper fattening food they had a yellow fat inside when dressed,
A few left over from Christmas orders were 12 lb oven ready.

Not had these birds for many years now,i wonder if them weights to age could still be achieved with the old fashioned feeding we did then?

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19830
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 14 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Whereabouts are the sheds that grow these birds? I think Bodger's mentioned somewhere near Llangefni?

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