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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Sac Arrow, Feb 16, 2015.
It's making me hungry.
Sausage & cheese omelet in the morning
Yes, that is food for thought. (Pun intended) Whether you realize it or not the efforts of hens to bless us with high protein alternatives should result in acknowledgement of their efforts.
Now now, you're assuming the chicken's gender! We've warned you about that!
Haven't we also shown that organic foods have a higher incidence of foodborne illness? Maybe I'm crazy but I like knowing that my fruit didn't have who knows what crawling all over it and that we can engineer corn to be more efficient, use less water, resist insects and disease, etc... Why not use tech to lower costs and drive efficiency??
Because science is scary.
The other week eggs were 38 cents a dozen in Wal-Mart, grade A large. How can one beat that? I bought two dozen.
18 for .97 cents here in FL at Target. Or I could spend almost $6.00 for the organic, free-range, get to know your chicken and their life eggs...
I'm all for supporting good practices but seriously..it's just getting stupid expensive.
Whenever I hear that word free range, a picture pops up in my mind of monkeys dressed as gauchos riding dogs and rounding up chickens for branding.....
Well, I see your organic competition made it into the news today...
“Why the hell am I paying more for this?” Major egg operation houses “USDA Organic” hens at three per square foot
Yeah.... The cost of the feed to make those eggs was about $0.33. Great deal for the consumer, not so good for the farmer. We rolled from AI which caused record high prices in late 2015 to a bust the likes of which the industry hasn't ever seen. The farm door price for a standard dozen of Grade A large has to be nearly $1/dozen for the farmer to break even. It hasn't been a very fun 18 months.
However, the supply will get right and these low prices will hopefully serve to increase our share of the consumer calorie budget. The AI situation was a giant shock to a stable system and will take years to sort out in addition to this cage free discussion. We will be a better company at the end of it all, but probably smaller.
There is a huge battle raging in organics right now between those that want small farms and those that want to produce organic on a big scale. That "three birds per square foot" quote is terribly misleading and is the equivalent to saying that if 50,000 people work in the Willis tower they each have to pack into the ground floor lobby to figure out how big their cubicles are. Total BS and is being pushed by those who think that organic can only mean 20 birds running around a pasture.
I buy jumbos exclusively, and therefore get three eggs for the price of two. Walmart's current price is $1.08 a dozen. It's the best protein deal available. Organics, in my mind, is just another fantasy. The bywords of those who advocate it are nothing more than a way to suck one in.
In this day and age I wonder how farmers/egg producers make a profit given the market price of eggs. It has to be a tough game to compete in given the small profit margin of each egg. The education you have given us into your course of action and direction in life is invaluable and informative. Thank you for your insight.
I did my part, I just had 2 aigs fer lunch.
Aigs is how rural folk pronounce eggs....
A friend of mine stopped by.
Dja eat yet..??
yep. Got some bacon..??
We spend a metric crap ton of time trying to get the housing temperature uniform and precise nutrition to produce as few jumbos as possible. Same for mediums although a good chunk of those find their way into hard cooking and export markets.
So what do you shoot for, L and XL?
Well, that's what his chart seems to be depicting.
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That "chart" is 'orrible.
A few questions if you do not mind.
1. I used to live in Maryland, Tysons and Purdue both have massive chicken farms on the Chesapeake bay. The nitrogen run off from the chicken waste was killing the bay, so the state put in rather draconian regulations (which ****ed off other farmers too). Is this really just a local issue, or is/has it become a national problem? (I know other farms add nitrogen to the soil, just to confuse the issue).
2. The local grocery store has started to carry eggs which are labeled antibiotic and pesticide free. The price is usually 5 cents more the generic ones. I thought from a USDA and industry perspective, pretty much the whole industry has already gone antibiotic and pesticide free. Is this correct? And if yes, is just a good marketing scheme to make more money?
3. I know the storage of eggs in Europe and the States use two completely and incompatible methods. Logistically or certification wise, can you produce eggs for both markets from the same farm?
If I could get all large that would be great.
1. Manure is just fertilizer. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for the bulk nutrients. Row crop farmers will apply, based upon their state laws(hopefully), fertilizer to maximize their yields and/or economic returns. We sell manure for roughly 80-95% of the value of the bulk nutrients that replace commercial chemical fertilizer to farmers. Even with all the animals in Iowa the manure on makes up 30% of the fertilizer applied. The runoff problems that impair water quality are actually worse for commercial fertilizers and are tied to poor application timing and method and/or poor timing of rains. It is a problem that modern agriculture is going to have to get better at. We use extensive soil sampling, gps application, and variable rate applicators to maximize the value and minimize runoff, but these things are not yet universal.
2. I'm going to get on my soapbox on this one. General usage of antibiotics for growth promotion is stupid. Antibiotics used when necessary for health of the animals in our care and under the supervision of a vet is humane and safe. 'No antibiotics ever' is stupid. Btw, none of those claims are really regulated.
3. Give Eggman a magic wand and I would switch the US over to the European system tomorrow. It is safer and lower cost. We started washing eggs here 70+ years ago and it got built into the regulatory framework. We taught consumers that it was better and it has stuck. 99.99% of eggs you buy in the grocery store are washed.
Being an early 1940 model I can relate to the days of manure spreaders fertilizing farm fields. Though likely outlawed today it was common practice when I was young. Beware the effluent from the spreader was the mantra tractor drivers had to heed unless they liked being covered in guano of one form or another. There were times I declined to be in such a situation. It was my uncle's farm but I spent much time there in the summers of my youth.
Manure happens for good reason. Bats guano is valuable as fertilizer for good reason.
There are a number of large chicken farms in western AR which have been linked to higher nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the Illinois River and related watersheds in Western AR and eastern OK. It gets quite contentious at times when people are arguing over the water contaminants in OK after moderate rains. As James said, I think it has more to do with the timing/method of fertilizer application and runoff remediation than anything.
Actually in MD, the big chicken farms were dumping the majority of waste untreated into shallow pools that overflowed and ran into the bay. Because of the way MD law works, which is not allowed to target a single company, the draconian response required the chicken farms to create adequate storage for all waste and dispose of it in a manor which does not include runoff into the bay (eventually Purdue and Tysons put in some plants to covert the waste to bulk fertilizer). This forced a lot of farmers to give up some land as a buffer zone, and invest capital to apply fertilizer more carefully. e.g. forced change... The state did provide funds to assist the farmers; but I did not pay close enough attention to the details to know if it came close to the costs; or if it solved the problem.
Slaves collecting bat guano literally kept all of the early wars going. Gunpowder and explosives in the pre-cheap-nitrogen-synthesis world. 12.5 million tons of the stuff from Peru... grab a shovel.
Fritz Haber changed all that.
I have serious reservations about how true this is as it would certainly be a violation of the Clean Water Act that would've had the Fed EPA coming guns blazing no matter what the state had to say about it.
I had it wrong, not Nitrogen but Phosphorous:
From 2010 (this was roughly the time I recall)
2013, some concepts, but doubt on solution (I had already left the area)
2015, and maybe solved?
Edit: Google search criteria I used: md nitrogen runoff bay chicken
Round 2 of the legal effort: http://www.americanagriculturist.co...-responsible-maryland-poultry-litter-9-137117
That has been my experience in CWA actions. And the fines are huge.
Do you do anything to prevent this? (the whole carton was like that, BTW; 12 eggs, 24 yolks)
I'd eat 'em. Bonus yolks!
Young birds probably 26-30 weeks of age that are firing off yolks out of the clutch faster than the rest of the process can go. It can happen if they are light stimulated aggressively and has negative consequences later in the lay cycle.
Me too, which is why the pic was from the frying pan and not the sink.
Interesting. I thought perhaps one of the plant employees was feeling in a jovial mood.
Wow... I have only seen one double yolk egg in my life..!!!!
I did see one duck egg that had another egg inside.