By Patti Jo Edwards
August 21, 2013
Featherless chickens, to anyone who loves their chickens, doesn't seem like an improvement. When I saw a picture of the strange red-skinned bald bird, I was compelled to do an internet search to learn more.
An article in NewScientist brought insight, "'The new chicken would be lower in calories, faster-growing, environmentally friendly, and more likely to survive in warmer conditions,' claims Avigdor Cahaner, the creator of the featherless chicken."
Critics say that past feather-free chickens "suffer more than normal birds and are more susceptible to parasites, mosquito attacks and sunburn."
One of the critics, Joyce D'Silva, of Compassion in World Farming, has this to say: It [the featherless chicken] is: "a prime example of sick science and the suggestion that it would be an improvement for developing countries is obscene. Factory farming is such an inappropriate technology for developing countries because it uses scarce resources like water, electricity and grain that could be used for human consumption."
The selling point for featherless chickens is that you can house them indoors in hot countries like Nigeria where being crammed into little cages make feathers fatally hot. The spin is that GMO chickens in factory farms will feed the starving people. I am certain that factory farmed chickens are not an improvement for the poor of any country. Chickens running around free in the streets are an expected element in photographs of poor neighborhoods from Mexico to Italy to Africa. According to D'Silva, the factory farmed chickens will go to feed the wealthy, not the poor. The poor can barely afford rice.
BIG AND LARGE CHICKENS
Here is another type of genetically modified chicken. The big and large, six weeks to slaughter chicken. In this case the birds have been genetically modified to grow larger faster and fed with hormones, carcinogens, GMOs, corn pills, arsenic and drugs so they become so large they often cripple under their own weight. They suffer with ammonia, bronchitis, weakened immune system, failed organs and respiratory problems.
Everything the chickens eat, we eat when we eat the chickens. In other words: consumers of factory farmed chickens partake of the same hormones, drugs, antibiotics, GMOs and carcinogens fed to the chickens. These birds are also fed caffeine to keep them awake and arsenic to calm them down.
It is a fact that two thirds of chickens in the grocery stores are contaminated with arsenic, dangerous bacteria or salmonella. The FDA finally admitted to the presence of arsenic purposefully fed to chickens in factory farms and passed on to us on our dinner plates. Amazing as arsenic is a toxic chemical proven to cause cancer and sometimes death. To deal with the bacteria, television icon, Dr. Oz recommends washing your chicken in chlorine to kill the bacteria. Chlorine and arsenic! Are they insane!? I'll eat organic and save the chlorine for cleaning the toilet.
It is not hard to believe that happy hens lay healthy eggs. The research on eggs from pastured hens says they are good for you; whereas, confined factory farm hens fed hormones, GMO feed, antibiotics and stress produce eggs that are bad for you.
As of this writing, 14 flocks were tested by an accredited laboratory in Portland, Oregon. The flocks ranged freely on pasture, were housed in moveable pens so that they could be moved to fresh pasture daily and were released on that pasture to freely graze. Organic chickens are given no GMO feeds. The test results show organic pastured eggs are 4 to 6 times richer in vitamin D. They also contain:
1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta caroteneÂ
FDA AGAINST THE CONSUMER AND THE FARM
I am dismayed that our FDA released "guidance" for egg and chicken farmers in July 2013 that may certainly end any large scale organic free range farms. This new law will affect any farm that has more that 3,000 egg-laying chickens. Farmers will be required to cover their outdoor pastures with roofing or netting and add walls. This new "guidance" would make it illegal to have pastured happy hens and force caring organic farmers to raise unhealthy unhappy factory farmed birds. The reasoning is that consumers must be protected from getting salmonella. The fact is salmonella is mostly passed out from factory farms. This new "guidance" is also in violation of the current law.
THE TESTER/HAGAN AMENDMENT
In stark contrast to the FDA, not all of the people in our government are turning a deaf ear to our concerns. There is an Amendment that protects organic farmers.
S. 510 Food Safety Modernization Act - Healthy Local Foods Amendment, written by courageous Senators Jon Tester and Kay Hagan states:
• All of the well-publicized incidents of contamination in recennt years – whether in spinach, peppers, or peanuts – occurred in industrializeed food supply chains that span national and even international boundaries. The food safety problems in this system can and should be addressed without harming the local food systems that provide an alternative for consumers.
• The growing trend toward healthy, fresh, locally sourced vegettables, fruit, dairy, and value-added products improves food safety by providing the opportunity for consumers to know their farmers and processors, to choose products on the basis of that relationship, and to readily trace any problems should they occur.
• Farmers and processors who sell directly to consumers and end users have a direct relationship with their customers that ensures quality, safety, transparency and accountability. In addition, small-scale food producers are already regulated by local and state authorities, and the potential risk their products pose is inherently limited by their size. For these farmers and processors, new federal requirements are unnecessary and would simply harm both the food producers and their consumers.
PETITION TO SAVE FREE RANGE HENS
The Alliance For Natural Health has a petition that I have now signed and encourage anyone who loves chickens and good food to consider. It can be found here.
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I used to have five chickens and referred to them as my "Girls." This is common for people with backyard chickens. We love our chickens they are intelligent and caring and consistently greet their people with enthusiasm and affection. The girls and I would have long conversations out on the porch where they would tell me about their day and then listen attentively as I shared my day. Chickens can fly, and run like crazy with their heads out-stretched, then come to an abrupt stop at your feet. They are amazing intelligent birds.
I loved my chickens. Most people who own backyard chickens feel much the same about their birds. The sight of a featherless chicken is obscene to us. The idea of one to five chickens per cage is terrible and the sight of thousands of chickens in an enclosed room with no light or ventilation is beyond words.
There are some things that are fine the way they are. Happy healthy chickens should have their beautiful feathers that shine in the sun. They should be running around free on pasture where we can enjoy them as they enjoy us.
chicken creates a flap.
2. Genetically Modified Chickens
3. Food Inc: Chicken Farm part II
4. Welcome to the Chicken and Egg Page!
5. Where the Salmonella Really Came From
6. Pew Commission Says Industrial Scale Farm Animal Production Poses “Unacceptable” Risks to Public Health, Environment.
7. S. 510 Food Safety Modernization Act.
© 2013 Patti Jo Edwards - All Rights Reserve
Patti Jo Roth-Edwards has been producing, recording, performing, writing and teaching for nearly 50 years.
Her television show, "Patti Jo Roth's Songwriters' Soundstage" was aired over stations located as far away as England, Australia and Brazil and included a yearly live awards show, "The Rothies". During that time, Patti Jo also produced and hosted a television show out of Berkeley called, "Live at LaVals", an interview and performance show that went out to Oakland, San Leandro and the rest of the East Bay.
Beyond her productions that featured music, Patti Jo produced and directed two telethons for PCTV Channel 8 in Pacifica, a series for Midcoast TV Channel 6 titled, "On the Go With Patti Jo" taking viewers to back-roads destinations along the Midcoast of California, and the weekly TV series "Whales of Tales" for the Peninsula Library Association, a children's show featuring a librarian sharing books with young children to encourage reading.
Patti Jo has had six of her original songs receive radio air-play including, "Line in the Sand", "No Kissin' Just Talkin", "She"s So Strange, She Don't Like Sushi", "Temporary State of the Blues" "Shakin' and Slidin" and "The Electric Car Song".
Two of her albums: "Two Friends and a Chair" and "Kitchen Floor Blues" were written and produced by Patti Jo Roth/Edwards and her then partner, Linda Tringali.
Patti Jo's third album was entirely self-produced consisting of songs written, arranged and performed by her and titled, "River".
Besides performing on television and radio, Patti Jo has entertained at festivals, theaters, coffee houses, wine cellars, clubs, private parties, weddings, colleges, preschools, high schools ~ for audiences of all ages and walks of life.
The last 6 years, she averaged thirty shows each month for seniors in retirement homes and convalescent facilities as an entertainer and music therapist. The favored style of music was 1940's Swing.
Patti Jo Roth retired from the concert and live performance scene in 2002 after injuring herself dancing. She has since healed, married Russ Edwards and lives in Southern Oregon. Since marrying, she has added Edwards to her name becoming: Patti Jo Roth-Edwards.
Patti Jo is a prolific song writer completing and recording 53 songs in. She has written 33 songs in 2013 as of this update in August 2013.
Patti Jo currently lives in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, writing and teaching. She is the director of MAOCOJ (The Many As One Chorus Of Joy) for which she writes and arranges all of the songs that they perform. She is an organic gardener and chef, growing many of the ingredients used in her culinary creations. Her articles and commentaries are widely read globally.
Patti Jo's Websites: