Friday, June 21, 2013

Are Small Flockers competent to care for live birds?

An anonymous visitor to Better Farming asked the following question:

Is it because most small flockers do not properly know how to look after their birds and the death loss is too high?  Most will think you just get them and let them run FREE !!!!

 On behalf of Small Flockers everywhere, I respond as follows:

Chicken Farmers of Ontario did a random survey & audit of small flockers, assessing them to the best practice standards and the regulatory requirements.  A copy of the CFO poster reporting on this study is available here, as that poster has been subsequently removed from CFO's website.

CFO received 238 mail-in survey responses, and did on-site inspections at 197 small flock farms.  The June 2012 report by CFC found that for SFG [Small Flock Growers]:

 "The majority of SFG surveyed  in Ontario adhere to biosecurity practices consistent with industry standard."

Since animal husbandry are one of the best practices covered by the audit, and there were no negative findings in the report on this issue, then I suggest that SFG's adequately meet these criteria.

In addition, I would suggest that SFG's success with the more recent biosecurity best practices would tend to indicate that SFG's do even better with the traditional animal husbandry issues.

Therefore I suggest that SFG's are equal to or better than the large commercial chicken factories for the care they deliver for their flocks.

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