CAFO’s: Pigs, Chickens, Ducks and Geese

What is the conventional model for these creatures? 

Did you know that most pigs, meat chickens, egg laying chickens, ducks and geese are also raised in CAFO’s?  Their life can be even worse that grazing animals like cattle, sheep and goats.   

Would I feed eggs from these hens to my family?  Not a chance!

Would I feed eggs from these hens to my family?  Not a chance!

They are usually packed so tightly into cages, sheds or pens that they don’t have the opportunity to express their natural behaviors.  There is no room for them to sit, roost, scratch or root.  Years ago we purchased a male pig from a large confinement farmer.  That pig was in such a small pen with many other pigs.  They were packed so tightly into that pen that when one animal wanted to move they were forced to move as a group.  The stench was absolutely unbearable also.  Without adequate ventilation this causes them to suffer many respiratory illnesses.   

To facilitate this style of housing these birds and animals are kept in bio-secure buildings.  Because of the depressed immune systems of the animals in these conditions, the operators must not allow visitor access to these barns for fear of bringing in diseases that can spread like wild fire.  

But many small scale farmers and ranchers are coming to realize that there are options to this unnatural animal husbandry model.  They are moving their animals back to a natural pasture-based form of production.   

Free Ranging to their heart's content!

Free Ranging to their heart's content!

Many studies have shown that meat from grass-based, pasture raised animals is much higher in many key vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.  Plus we say without a doubt that the meat also tastes so much better. 

Next week we will look at some alternatives to the unnatural production model of CAFO’s. 

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