[rant]Cage free eggs[rant]

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Sac Arrow, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So I'm listing to this classic song by Kool Moe Dee as I'm getting dressed, except I'm not strapping on my Gucci watch and synchronizing the time, rather, I'm strapping on the riding shoes and throwing on the jersey. Do you know, do you know, do you know what time it is? It's... time to ride! That right, I'm planning an eighty miler. For a ride like that, pre-ride nutrition is important. But I don't do pancakes and crap like that, I like eat some tuna, or maybe an omelet, or maybe make a lettuce wrapped sandwich. I might... might possibly eat an energy bar during the ride if I feel like I'm imminently about to pass out. And I'll plan a burger stop somewhere near the last third of the route.

    Alright, soooo... I go to make a sammich right. Pastrami, Swiss, tomato, onion, sprouts, all between a few loose outer leaves of iceberg lettuce. Whoops, forgot the mayo. Gotta have the mayo. Where the hell is the mayo? Must be out. No, wait a minute, here is a big jar sitting here in the pantry. That's interesting. This looks new. Kirkland. Must be from Costco or whatever that volume discount place carries. I think it's Costco. Anyway, something catches my eye. "100% cage free eggs."

    Cage free eggs. WTF. First of all, buyers of Kirkland products don't give a damn whether their eggs have been stored in cages or not. I won't say they are cheap per se, but let's just say that they are buying this stuff for "value." In fact, I'm fairly sure the average Kirkland purchaser doesn't even understand the significance of cage free eggs. For that matter, I'm not sure even I do either.

    So, which pop cultural advocacy group is it that promotes cage free eggs? It doesn't immediately jump out at me. The vegans? I don't think so, pure vegans don't eat eggs to begin with. The global warming crowd? No obvious connection there. The organic people? They are about hormones, steroids and pesticides, not methods of transporting and storing fragile media. PETA? It's... an egg. Maybe, just maybe strict Catholic PETA members might consider the egg to be a chicken. But, my experience with most strict Catholics is that they tend to avoid association with most fringe extremist groups anyway.

    Let's break this down. First of all, I KNOW it's an excuse to charge more for an attribute that adds no value to the product. But just how and why is insidious. It seems to me that the base, existing, historical condition is that eggs are not caged. Generally, they are gathered by migrant workers wearing sombreros, who place them in special gathering trays, send them in for processing to make them look white, and another set of migrant workers wearing hair nets and gloves places them in corrugated paper or foam cartons. Small ones if they are going to end consumers, and large ones of they are going to food processing plants or food service distributors.

    I'm not sure the cage thing would even WORK. See the second picture below. That is a disposable cage, intended for the purpose of transporting a kitty cat or a small puppy dog. Or, perhaps it could be used for transporting a couple hamsters or gerbils, and maybe even a bunny rabbit. But not an egg. It doesn't take a large stretch of imagination to figure out what might happen to the egg as it rolls around in the cage in the back of your minivan on a trip to the vet. But, now, if you're transporting your egg in a cage to the vet, you probably have other issues at play that I can't help you with. Your best bet is to contact a professional. Quickly.

    I have a theory though. Think about.... Kirkland's corporate department.

    "Smithers, we have a problem. The FDA is coming down hard on us. We got nailed big time last inspection at the mayo plant."

    "What happened?"

    "Same damn thing as always. Procurement buys eggs from the cheapest vendor, who is too cheap to use cartons to transport the eggs, so most arrive broken in cages. Production is too cheap to pull out the broken ones."

    "Well, then I would suggest we start using suppliers that package the eggs in proper containers then."

    "It's gonna cost us."

    "We can justify it and sell it. Think like a marketer. Think of this slogan: We will only use 100% Cage Free Eggs."

    "Damn you're a f** genius! Most people will have no idea what that means but it sounds really good!"

    It kind of reminds me of an analogous situation. "Free range chickens." In Southeast Asia, most of the locals prefer to eat what is termed as "free range chickens." They are considered a delicacy. But so are sheep eyeballs and goat penises*. So you can basically expect to see an occasional eyeball or a penis if you order a free range chicken then. The chickens that are raised in coops are known as "American" chickens or sometimes "Korean" chickens. The "free range" chickens are scrawny, dry, tough and stringy. Americans (and Koreans) like big fat juicy chickens with lots of meat on them. Which chicken has the better lifestyle? The one that has to fight for its food with other starving chickens, endure cold freezing nights, rainstorms, windstorms and attrition due to predators, or the fat and happy chickens that get to eat lots of food in a warm comfy environment? Does the answer really even matter? THE DAMN THING IS GOING TO END UP IN A FRYOLATOR EITHER WAY!

    Anyway, to me mayo is mayo. It tasted the same as that Kraft stuff that usually gets bought that apparently can't be labeled as mayo for whatever reason. But I like mayo. Drink a fifth of Jack, get the drunk munchies, and slather the stuff all over green looking cold cuts left way in the the back of the fridge that started out as either beef or turkey. There you go. Instant Cinco de Mayo, every day of the year.

    *This is actually true about goat penises. I didn't just throw that in just to give a penis reference for 6PC.
     

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  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
  3. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When that pet rock fad ended, I wonder how many were released into the sewers. They could be HUGE by now!
     
  4. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    Cage Eggs - Standard for about 80% of the layers in the US. Birds get a minimum of 67 square inches of space per bird. $1.00/dozen baseline farm doc price in a carton.

    http://www.unitedegg.org/AnimalWelfare/


    Enriched Cages - Standard that many in the industry are working towards. Gives more space per bird and enhancements such as nest boxes, perches, and scratch areas to let birds express more natural behaviors. There is a large study going on right now by the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply that is researching different systems and initial findings are pointing in this direction as being optimum for animal welfare. $1.20 - $1.40/dozen depending upon space per bird.

    http://www2.sustainableeggcoalition.org/

    Californian Prop 2 compliant - Similar standards to Cage Eggs except birds get a minimum of 116 square inches per bird. $1.25 - $1.35/dozen depending upon utilization

    Cage Free Aviary - Cage type system where the doors open during the day to allow birds floor access. $1.60/dozen http://www.bigdutchmanusa.com/eggproduction/aviarycagefree/aviarycagefree/natura70.html

    Cage Free Floor - No cage structures. Birds are on a slat type floor with feeding system and nest boxes for automatic egg collection. $1.75/dozen.


    Free Range - Cage Free and the birds must have access to the outside and a specified amount of pasture area. ?$/dozen. I'd guess $2.50 but our company doesn't do this type of production.

    Organic - Must be Free Range and be fed an organic diet with restrictions of synthetic amino acids and certain vaccinations. $+2.50/dozen.


    In all cases if the flock is over 3,000 birds the producer must be compliant with federal egg safety laws. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM232271.pdf


    P.s Egg laying chickens have a useful commercial life of 90 - 120 weeks. They have very little meat on them and will never end up in a fryolator. Most of them end up in pet food.

    P.p.s The color off the egg is determined by genetics and you can tell what color the shell will be by the color of the birds ear lobe. Feather color is not always indicative. There are no functional or nutritional differences between white and brown eggs.

    Eggman
     
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  5. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    OK. Is it the freshness that influences taste, or maybe what the chickens are fed? When we can, we buy eggs from a friend who raises chickens as a hobby, he loves the birds as pets. These taste SOOOO much better than the Eggland's Best or whatever from the supermarket.

    Freshness or feed?
     
  6. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting. (Disclaimer, I'm no expert in the subject. Should be fairly obvious.)
     
  7. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    I have also, on occasion, bought eggs from a friend and have noticed this too but I chalked it up to the fact that the breeds of chickens are different, in fact the eggs in the carton are all somewhat different from each other.
     
  8. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    Well..... What they eat certainly can influence the taste of the egg. Hobby birds tend to have access to many other things that birds like to eat like bugs and worms. Great for taste, but I personally wouldn't eat them unless the yolks are firm for a good food safety margin.

    Eggman
     
  9. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I used to get eggs from an old lady who fed a high lysine feed, the yokes were orange (regardless chicken type or shell color, she had a yard full of a variety of hens) and they were the richest, tastiest, eggs I've had.
     
  10. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    If you feed chickens fried feed will the eggs taste like fried chicken?

    I see an unexplored product line here
     
  11. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    Lysine won't color the yolk. Traditionally it is done with marigold or paprika, but the bugs and insects will do it also. Sorghum will darken the yolk, corn is neutral but DDGS will darken it some. Wheat causes a very pale yolk.


    We are a producer of these for Walmart.

    http://www.goldricheggs.com/#the-goldrich-standard
     
  12. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Be sweet if we could get potatoes with a hint of bacon too.
     
  13. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The feed was also a high molasses content from the look/taste of it, maybe that was what gave the color, or like you said, the bugs., they were beyond free range.:lol: They sure were yummy.
     
  14. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    That's good to know. When you mentioned penises, I immediately thought of myself.
     
  15. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Apparently it boasts male fertility.
     
  16. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    ROcky Mountain Oysters anyone? :D
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I eat duck eggs....
     
  18. Speed

    Speed Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another observation. 90-120 weeks for commercial hens; the hens on the farm I grew up on lived and produced for years! They aren't producing eggs as often I would guess. Wonder if that has something to do with it?
     
  19. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    It's all about feed conversion and asset utilization. As the bird ages it takes her longer and longer to produce an egg and it becomes more difficult to control her feed consumption. At the peak production around 35 weeks of age when 100 hens will give us 95 egg it might take 2.5 lbs of feed per dozen eggs produced. Towards the end of the cycle when we are getting 80 eggs per 100 hens per day it might 3.5 lbs per dozen. Additionally due to animal welfare issues it isn't practical to restock a flock of hens as birds die. It is normal to lose 8% of the flock during its life. A third factor is shell quality - as the bird ages it becomes more challenging biologically for her to put a sound shell on the egg. Those factors combine to make it economical to change flocks on a regular schedule.
     
  20. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What is the welfare issue? Do the older hens harm the younger ones?
     
  21. eetrojan

    eetrojan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hmm. With some embarrassment, I confess that I never noticed a chicken's ear lobe until now. Fascinating. I feel like you have given me the keys to the universe:

    [​IMG]

    Source: Chicken Blogger
     
  22. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    Mainly this is where the term "Pecking Order" comes from. The existing socialized birds will tend to pick on and potentially kill a new entrant. So much so that the practice is specifically prohibited by our animal welfare policies.

    We also have to do specific testing for salmonella at certain flock ages per the FDA. Mixing flocks becomes very problematic.
     
  23. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    Given the useful life cycle of a hen, and the pecking order you mentioned, how do you determine when to make her into pet food? Are they separated into age groups in different sections of the hen house?

    Spent my time on the farm when I was a kid, but not familiar with a mass production operation.

    Oh, and we all know what becomes of those fowl unfortunate enough to be born male.
     
  24. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dammit, the next time I drive by the chicken ranch I'm stopping to check that out.

    Oh wait a minute. That's in Nevada. I think they do something else there.
     
  25. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Don't forget the chicken ranch that was once in Lagrange, Texas.....:lol:

    Thank you Marvin Zindler...:mad:
     
  26. catmandu

    catmandu Line Up and Wait

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  27. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    All the birds of a flock are hatched with a few days of each other and are kept as one group in a house throughout. Our smallest flocks are 15,000 birds and the largest single flocks are 375,000. The attached picture shows a farm with five completed houses of ten permitted. Each house has two flocks of 340,000 birds. We can move the old birds out, clean, and repopulate one of these flocks in ten days.

    For scale, those buildings are each 500 ft x 130 ft.

    Eggman
     

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  28. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    Still holds true, brotha...:yesnod:
     
  29. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So what's the functionality of that second, smaller set of treatment ponds?
     
  30. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude

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    That facility is one where all the eggs are broken and turned into liquid products. The larger set of ponds are treatment for the waste water from the egg processing operation. That water is treated with aeration and flocculation and is land applied to crops through center pivots for irrigation and nutrient application. The smaller set of ponds handle the human waste and other grey water sources and is direct discharged when testing says sufficient treatment has been achieved just as cities do. A facility like this will use about 350,000 gallons per day for the birds and 50,000 for all other uses. It will produce about 600,000 lbs of liquid egg products per day when fully built out.


    Eggman
     
  31. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    Is it time for the weekly Sac Rant already? lol

    David
     
  32. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    The new grocery store here opened up last month.... Mostly a gorper /tree hugger store... Had an ad for organic eggs............ 8.99 a dozen...... I did a double take on the price....:yikes::yikes::yikes:..
     
  33. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Makes sense. Segregating the septic waste makes reuse a lot easier. I take it you can irrigate with secondary? Looks like some E/P ponds below for discharging the septic waste?
     
  34. narchee

    narchee Line Up and Wait

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    Interesting thread. Besides my surprise that Sac Arrow didn't make a reference in this latest rant about hot latinas or asian girls, there is a lot of interesting trivia on eggs.

    So Eggman, when I travel in Europe I am often surprised by how reddish or dark colored the yolk is especially in Germany. US egg yolks are far more yellow. Why is that? Do they feed the chickens something different over there?
     
  35. Clark1961

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  36. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Yeah, we could probably create a chicken/egg sub forum. Interesting stuff.
     
  37. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Which would we post about first
     
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  38. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    I wondered who'd be the first to ask :lol:
     
  39. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Information came first. With information you can have a reaction with dark matter to create cellular matter. Since this information can be produced at any point in time, it can also be introduced at any point in the time cycle of that first organism.
     
  40. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm on the west coast. Im only slightly more sober than you guys.