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Know Your Food: Chickens and Eggs

If you are concerned about healthy nourishment for you and your family, then it starts with you supporting farmers who practise sustainable agriculture, which improves the land, soil, and animal health.

chickens1How do we know that a particular food is a wise and healthy choice? Talk to the actual producer of the food, ie. the farmer, and ask relevant questions:
Where do you keep your chickens? Are they kept in a coop, barn or cages? How regularly do they get moved on to new pasture? Chickens are meant to live outdoors to scratch and peck for bugs and other food Pastured chickens control insect pest problems, fertilize the soil with their excrement, and enjoy life doing what they were created to do.Chickens that live indoors are much more prone to diseases as they cannot behave in their normal way and bugs are circulated and passed on much more easily in enclosed spaces.

Do you use non-GM /organic feed?

Think: If the animals we consume have been fed a GM-based diet, we consume those GMs when we eat those animals. The health consequences may be grave: immune system problems, allergies, toxins, accelerated ageing, gastro-intestinal problems and many more unidentified ones.

Like all creatures, chickens need a good balanced diet containing protein, calcium, grit, vitamins and minerals, and no matter what diet source they are on, they need plenty of fresh greens (weeds, vegetables, grass) every day. They also absolutely love earthworms and no wonder! They provide a rich source of high quality protein as well as good fats and other nutrients.

In the UK, anything that is labelled 'organic'must be certified by an approved organisation, such as the Soil Association. Farmers and manufacturers are subject to annual inspections, plus spot checks. With manufactured feed, there may be instances where it is impossible to obtain certain organic ingredients - often protein or oil sources such as soya, linseed or maize, or vitamin and mineral sources such as yeast, limestone flour or salt - in sufficient quantities. To accommodate this, the regulations permit manufacturers to include a small proportion of non-organic ingredients, and still label the product organic. However, there are some companies that will offer natural vitamin sources rather than synthetically made ones.

Do your chickens have a place to nest before laying their eggs?

Chickens will lay eggs anywhere, even in conventional facilities, chickens will produce eggs on cold metal slabs. In nature, however, chickens prefer to make a comfychickens2 nest out of feathers, bits of straw, etc., and then lay their eggs inside. This is how God created them to behave. Sure, chickens will lay eggs anywhere, but allowing chickens to act according to their design respects the animal and leads to happier chickens. Conscientious farmers provide and allow their chickens to nest so they can create an ideal egg-laying environment.
Do you wash the eggs?

Sounds silly, but when eggs are cleaned in chemicals or even soap, the outer protective membrane is destroyed, allowing bacteria into the egg. Instead, a wipe with sand paper or a quick bath in clean water will eliminate the grime and keep the egg structure intact.

Ask pertinent questions to get answers before committing to buy.

(Based on an article by Jenny Cutler)

Read 2289 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 14:26
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Tony Betts

Maker, programmer and ageing geek.

Website: www.lostelements.co.uk

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