Quite the busy day in my inbox for Animal Welfare updates as I had 2 weeks worth of "Gateway to Animal Welfare" articles to sort through. I'll start today with some continuations of previous discussions, including the well-being of cage-free birds and their feet.
Of course, Wayne Pacelle and his cronies continue to push cage-free systems as the only way to go for the future of egg production. As you recall, this included Kraft moving to 1,000,000 of its eggs being produced by cage-free chickens. Before you praise them though, go ahead and figure that that's really only 3,000 chickens. The big question here though is whether or not these 3,000 chickens will really receive any better lifestyle in their future environment. One thing to definitely consider is this new research stating that 40% of cage-free hens will suffer from foot diseases, which are much more readily prevented in a caged system. Things to ponder...
Also, of interest, the arrival of a new mega-dairy on the scene. I can understand that people think that animals lose the personal attention on a large farm, but if handled correctly, a large farm really just means ability to pay for more experienced and well-trained employees who can responsibly give even better care for their animals.
And finally some beginning research on hen-pecking from my Erasmus school in the Netherlands.