Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's Getting Political Up In Here.....


Well we have successfully reached and passed the one week mark of weasel safety. I say this because the weasel attacks were basically one week apart. This morning was the true test, and I am happy to report that all 11 survivors are still with us. I am not, however, ruling out that the weasel(s) will never succeed again, but with each passing night, I am feeling better about the chickens' safety.

Last night I was again questioning the point of owning chickens when Dan and I were outside after dark trying to get three hens out from in between the walls and of The Fortress and the old coop. We were throwing rocks, using sticks and I was debating if I could fit between the walls myself in order to go in after them. Chickens are crazy and so are the people owning them! (So poor Dan spent part of yet another a cold Sunday making coop adjustments.)

Now to take a different course. I found an article in a publication that Dan gets called Ohio Country Journal. An article about egg production caught my eye. In summary, Congress wants to pass a bill called H.R. 3798 that makes changes to living conditions for laying hens in big commercial egg productions. Did you know that Ohio is the second-largest egg producing state?

These changes include larger spaces for laying hens, giving them luxury items in their cages to allow them to act like chickens, all egg cartons will have to be labeled as to how the egg was produced, such as free-range, cage-free, caged hens, etc. Other changes include sanitation changes and euthanasia standards.

This sounds a lot like what Issue 2 was dealing with a couple of years ago. This is the agricultural world allowing government, and other groups, to come in and set standards for livestock. The National Pork Producers Council isn't very happy about the idea of allowing federal government to decide such regulations. They fear that it wouldn't end with just the poultry world, but would eventually lead to pork, beef and dairy industries.

Personally, I think the government needs to stay out of the agricultural world. I think it would allow other groups, PETA for instance, to start butting their noses in an area that they don't know anything about. For example, more than once in the month of October people ask me if Jimmy and Charlie have a nice warm barn to live in during the winter. I say yes, of course, if they need the barn. Everyone ASSUMES Jimmy and Charlie would be better off with a warm blanket, hot mash dinner and 65 degree heat all winter long. What those people don't know, is that the ideal living conditions for a horse are outdoors 24/7. Keeping them closed up in a barn all winter long is begging for respiratory problems and probably colic too.

Accordingly, we can't let groups come in who don't know the animals and their sciences and tell us how to raise something we probably spent either our whole lives studying, or at least 2 to 4  years studying at universities. Not every animal out there is a house pet, yet A LOT of people out there think they are. It's really scary to think these things can happen. If so, the prices of raising these animals will most definitely go up, and so will food in general. Not everyone out there can afford a $10.00 broiler chicken at Kroger's....Oh wait, we won't be able to afford GETTING to Kroger's because gas will be too high, but that's a whole new blog in and of itself.

I don't want the government to tell me how to do my job if I know more about it than they do. I don't believe in animal cruelty, and I was heart-broken to find my massacred chickens. BUT I do believe God made animals different than us for a reason. Please just be educated about the issues and topics out there that we get to vote on!

                                                                          ...cluck... cluck... cluck... cluck...

Reese, Matt. "Have the United Egg Producers cracked under political pressure?" Ohio's Country Journal Mid-February 2012: 6.

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