Factory Chicken Farming
Factory Chicken Farming is the practice of raising chicken in a confinement at high stocking density. A farm operates as the factory. The main product of this industry is eggs and chicken meat for human consumption. Confinement at this high stocking density is one of the emerging practices aimed at producing the highest output at the lowest cost by relying on scale economics, modern machinery, biotechnology and global trade. This type of livestock keeping at such high stocking density requires antibiotics and pesticides to control the spread of diseases and rapid multiplication of pests catalyzed by the crowding living conditions. These antibiotics are also aimed at killing intestinal bacteria; this stimulates livestock growth (Stanfield 2009)
Factory farming techniques are different in different parts of the world. Like any other type of farming practice, factory farming comes with its benefits and risks. These issues are perceived in different key perspective s including; efficiency of food production, animal welfare, whether this farming method is sufficiently effective for feeding the increasing global human population, the environmental impact and health risks involved.
In contrast to other farming methods factory farms are distinguished with their large number of animals which are mostly reared indoors at high densities. The aim of this kind of operation is to produce animal products namely egg and chicken meat at lowest possible cost. Food is supplied to chicken in their poultry houses where a wide variety of artificial farming methods are used in order to maintain animal health and to increase their production. Some of these artificial technics include the use of antimicrobial agents, vitamin supplements, and growth hormones. Physical restraints are used to restrain the birds from unnecessary or undesirable movements. Improved breeding methods are employed to produce animals with most suited characteristics and are able to produce consistent food products (Stephen Baldwin Twining 2009) Benefits of Factory Chicken Farming
Low monetary cost, by reducing other costs including land cost, managerial costs through contained methods, factory farming tend to produce food that can be sold at lower cost to consumers. However, critics argue that this seems cheap but the compromised cost is charged to the environment in form of pollution to the public purse in form of subsidies to conventional commodities, and to the public health in the cost of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. This also compromises the welfare of the farm and factory workers health and the well-being of the animals.
Standardization and efficiency; factory farming method permit improved consistency and control over product output. Animals in confinement can be supervised more closely hence more effectively than free-ranging animals. Sick animals can be easily identified and treated faster. Efficient production requires fewer animals to be raised for the same produce in other farming methods.
Food safety and animal health; according to Meat chicken farm sequence, reducing the number and diversity of agricultural production facilities may make an oversight and food regulations quality much easier. A large farm will not require greater resource to maintain a high level of animal health. A single animal farming expert can supervise a large number of animals contained in a small farm much easier. Industrial farming provides more mechanisms for the use of antibiotics to treat and prevent diseases as compared to non-industrial farming
Challenges of Factory Chicken Farming
Intensive farming may make the evolution and spread of harmful diseases easier and faster. Many communicable diseases spread more rapidly, and much easier through densely spaced population. Overcrowding of animals makes genetic re-assortment more likely. On the other hand, small...