Reader: Euthanizing 250,000 chickens IS a big deal

Editor:

The same press release was published in my local paper about the Ohio Fresh Eggs fire that you published in your April 1, 2010, edition, Fire destroys Ohio Fresh Eggs facility in Wyandot Co.

Don’t you want to know how you euthanize 250,000 laying hens? That’s about 800,000 pounds of Leghorns. That’s a pile of chickens 10 feet high by 250 feet square.

What happens to those chickens? Bury them? Compost them? Burn them?

Even for an egg “farm” that is a lot of dead bodies all at once.

Don’t dismiss this. This is a big deal. The air conditioning fails and 250,000 chickens die.

Next November you are going to have to defend this stuff when the Humane Society of the United States comes back (with real money this time).

I am a full-time farmer and this kind of thing makes me cringe. All of us in animal agriculture have to deal with mortality, but nothing on this farm dies when the air conditioning fails (we don’t actually have air conditioning).

Real farms have the heart and soul of the farmer, not the climate-controlled machine of a corporation, to whom animal death is just another entry on the balance sheet.

By the way, how many chickens does Ohio Fresh Eggs “euthanize” each year — “euthanize,” of course, meaning remove from the balance sheet because their feed cost exceeds the value of their egg production?

Bruce Rickard

Fredericktown, Ohio

4 Comments

  1. mary gibson says:

    At last a real farmer responding to this tragedy. I do hope he takes the time to realize that this is how factory farms operate, treating animals as though they were ball bearings. It is a road that Farm Bureau has taken and that is the disgusting part of this whole scene. Ohio can and should be doing better for the animals that are raised for our food!

  2. Chuck Murray says:

    I agree whole heartedly with Bruce and Mary’s comments. It’s time we all stand up to Big Ag destroying this country’s food supply. Thank you Farm and Dairy for posting these comments. I hope they make it into the regular paper.

  3. Any comments intended for use in the print Farm and Dairy are welcome via our Letters to the Editor forum.

    http://www.farmanddairy.com/submit-letters-to-the-editor

  4. Linda Hatton says:

    Folks, we need to realize it’s not just the chickens (in these “factories”) who are being treated badly. Yes, it’s disgusting and disturbing that so much of this kind of activity can go on and we think nothing of it, but we need to know that the chickens in an “egg farm” are ill all the time. They are in horrid conditions even on a good day. That translates directly into sick eggs which are then bought by us at abnormally low costs. We should care how our food is produced, if for nothing else but the health of ourselves and our children. Find a farmer you can trust, who’s chickens can get outside and live like chickens should, then buy eggs from him or her.

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