Topics: Poultry farming, Agriculture, Chicken Pages: 13 (4565 words) Published: January 27, 2013
Poultry farming
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Poultry farming is the raising of domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. Poultry are farmed in great numbers with chickens being the most numerous. More than 50 billion chickens are raised annually as a source of food, for both their meat and their eggs. Chickens raised for eggs are usually called laying hens whilst chickens raised for meat are often called broilers.[1] In total, the UK alone consumes over 29 million eggs per day. In the US, the national organization overseeing poultry production is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the UK, the national organisation is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Contents [hide]

1 Intensive and alternative poultry farming
2 Egg-laying chickens - husbandry systems
2.1 Free-range laying hens
2.1.1 Organic laying hens
2.2 Yarding for laying hens
2.3 Battery cages for laying hens
2.4 Furnished cages for laying hens
3 Meat-producing chickens - husbandry systems
3.1 Indoor broilers
3.1.1 Issues with indoor husbandry
3.1.2 Indoor with higher welfare
3.2 Free-range broilers
3.3 Organic broilers
4 Issues with poultry farming
4.1 Humane treatment
4.2 Beak trimming
4.3 Antibiotics
4.4 Arsenic
4.5 Growth hormones
4.6 E. coli
4.7 Avian influenza
4.8 Efficiency
4.9 Economic factors
5 World chicken population
6 See also
7 References
[edit]Intensive and alternative poultry farming

According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry meat, and 68 percent of eggs are produced in ways that are described as 'intensive'.[2] One alternative to intensive poultry farming is free-range farming, however, this method of husbandry also uses large flock sizes in high stocking densities. Friction between supporters of these two main methods of poultry farming has led to long-term issues of ethical consumerism. Opponents of intensive farming argue that it harms the environment and creates health risks, as well as abusing the animals. Advocates of intensive farming say that their highly efficient systems save land and food resources due to increased productivity, stating that the animals are looked after in state-of-the-art environmentally controlled facilities.[3] The most intensive poultry farming methods are very efficient and allow meat and eggs to be available to the consumer in all seasons at a lower cost than free-range production. Poultry producers routinely use nationally approved medications, such as antibiotics, in feed or drinking water, to treat disease or to prevent disease outbreaks. Some FDA-approved medications are also approved for improved feed utilization. [edit]Egg-laying chickens - husbandry systems

Commercial hens usually begin laying eggs at 16–20 weeks of age, although production gradually declines soon after from approximately 25 weeks of age.[4] This means that in many countries, by approximately 72 weeks of age, flocks are considered economically unviable and are slaughtered after approximately 12 months of egg production,[5] although chickens will naturally live for 6 or more years. In some countries,...
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