Poultry farming

Topics: Poultry farming, Chicken, Agriculture Pages: 4 (1278 words) Published: December 31, 2013
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'.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. 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. 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. 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, although chickens will naturally live for 6 or more years. In some countries, hens are force moulted to re-invigorate egg-laying.Environmental conditions are often automatically controlled in egg-laying systems. For example, the duration of the light phase is initially increased to prompt the beginning of egg-laying at 16–20 weeks of age and then mimics summer daylength which stimulates the hens to...
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