Playing CHICKEN….the yolk’s on US

chicken dwelling

I think when luxury for CHICKENS is more important than the cost of feeding PEOPLE, we have more problems in this country than even WE think.  Check this out:

The new year is expected to bring rising chicken egg prices across the U.S. as California starts requiring farmers to house hens in cages with enough space to move around and stretch their wings.

The new standard backed by animal rights advocates has drawn ire nationwide because farmers in Iowa, Ohio and other states who sell eggs in California have to abide by the same requirements.

To comply, farmers have to put fewer hens into each cage or invest in revamped henhouses, passing along the expense to consumers shopping at grocery stores. California is the nation’s largest consumer of eggs and imports about one-third of its supply.

Jim Dean, president and CEO of Centrum Valley Farms in Iowa and Ohio, said one of his buildings that holds 1.5 million hens is now about half full to meet California’s standards, and another building may have to be completely overhauled.

Farmers like him in cold climates will have to install heaters to replace warmth formerly generated by the chickens living close together. Dean said that’s something people in sunny California didn’t consider.

“You’re talking about millions upon millions of dollars,” he said. “It’s not anything that’s cheap or that can be modified easily, not in the Midwest.”

California voters in 2008 approved the law backed by animal rights advocates to get egg-laying hens out of cramped cages and put them by Jan. 1, 2015, in larger enclosures that give them room to stretch, turn around and flap their wings.

State legislators followed with the companion piece in 2010 requiring the out-of-state compliance.

In anticipation, egg prices have already risen, said Dave Heylen of the California Grocers Association, adding that the holiday season, cold weather across the country and increased exports to Mexico and Canada also contributed to a year-end price spike. He said he expected that supplies would remain adequate to meet demand.

Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economist at the University of California, Davis, said prices initially could rise dramatically this year but he expects them to eventually settle anywhere from 10 and 40 percent higher in California and return to their normal price elsewhere in the country.

If farmers cut back the number of chickens so they can comply with California’s cage law, Sumner said that could reduce the number of eggs available.

“When there’s that much uncertainty, I’m thinking there may be some disruption in the market,” he said.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said he believes the costs to consumers will be minimal and worth it for the welfare of chickens, which provide enough eggs for each person to consume on average 250 a year. For decades, he said, farmers have crammed six to eight chickens in small cages without room to move.

“This is the last bastion of cage confinement in industrial ag,” said Pacelle, whose organization led the reforms. Starbucks in December said it will eliminate the sale of eggs from caged hens, he said, following the lead of Burger King and Whole Foods.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, independent of the voter initiative, implemented rules that give chickens 70 percent more room, which Pacelle said is better but not enough.

Low-income people who rely on eggs as an economical source of protein may be hurt the worst by California’s cage law, says a report this week by the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University. Anticipating a 15 percent increase, the cost of a dozen eggs could rise by 27 cents, and a family of four could pay $15.93 more a year, the report says.

California has prevailed in lawsuits, including six from major egg-producing states that argued the state is dictating market prices in other states in violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Appeals are pending.

Ken Klippen of the National Association of Egg Farmers said California’s egg law, in addition to driving up the cost at the grocery store and putting pressure on egg supplies, will result in more injuries to chickens because housing them in larger pens means they are more likely to run, breaking a leg or wing.

“You’re not going to help the chicken,” he said. “You’re not helping consumers.”

Z:  Do you fear chickens might break a leg or wing?  I’m not a heartless animal hater, but HEATERS for CHICKENS, too?  It just seems to me that we’re so lost in ridiculous stuff like this that if we don’t wake up and escape this nonsensical thinking, we’re LOST.   Do you agree?  

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32 Responses to Playing CHICKEN….the yolk’s on US

  1. Test. I’ve been unable to post comments to WordPress blogs since yesterday afternoon.


  2. Farmer John says:

    If animal lovers want free range chicken, then they should pay more for chickens so designated… but they don’t, so they force their rules on everyone for cost-sharing from poor people who want the cheapest chicken. Fascist chicken for Everyone!


  3. Like Farmer John said.
    also, I’m no lawyer, but I wonder how this plays out with interstate commerce law.
    An egg is a commodity. How does one state ddictate how another state produces that egg?


  4. Impertinent says:

    FJ: Wait until PopEyes raises it’s prices for their chicken! A Ferguson PopEye revolt? Looting of the supermarkets to shoplift chickens?


  5. Impertinent says:

    “California voters in 2008 approved the law backed by animal rights advocates ….”

    Well…California will just have to wait for some chicken shit judge to come along and declare it unconstitutional as with DOMA, no to same sex “marriages” and whatever else the people vote for.

    “…will result in more injuries to chickens because housing them in larger pens means they are more likely to run, breaking a leg or wing.”

    No problem…next they’ll pass a “law” that requires chickens to wear helmet, shoulder and knee pads. And then the chickens can form a union or a league to protect them.


  6. Testing WordPress cocmments.


  7. Mustang says:
    I too have grave concerns about the welfare of chickens and have often wondered how these poor critters end up on the chopping block. Was there a fair an impartial hearing? Did an attorney represent these animals? Did a jury of their peers condemn them? Was there an appeals process? And more importantly, were Halal chickens provided with a prayer rug and foot bathing facilities before a jihadist chopped off their heads?


  8. Impertinent says:

    @Mustang…..change a few words to the present and send it mother Earth or the Onion. Better yet…the LA Times.


  9. Testing the functionality of comments.


  10. Baysider says:

    “If animal lovers want free range chicken, then they should pay more for chickens so designated.” I agree. And that’s the ‘free market’ solution I follow! For years I have refused to buy a chicken or egg raised in these despicable CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) farms. They’re not healthy. When I buy them from the farmer I enjoy fantastic eggs with deep yolks full of the rich B vitamins and good oils that are AWOL in ‘supermarket’ eggs. But I didn’t run whining to Sacramento to do it. And notice the bureaucratic dictum. Disgusting! I see some chains won’t buy CAFO eggs now. That’s the solution, when it comes from consumer demand.

    I’m amused about the handwringing over higher prices. Where is this writer with the 10-cent/gallon carbon tax California just tacked onto gas this year? Maybe THAT is affecting low income families just a tad more than a few cents more for eggs which, to be clear (in case it wasn’t), I don’t agree with.


  11. For some strange reason, I can’t comment by using WP — except at my own WP site. Is anyone else having a similar problem.


  12. John M. Berger says:

    Hey, if it makes for tastier chicken and eggs, I’m all for it!


  13. geeez2014 says:

    This is hurting those who can’t afford a normally pretty cheap protein and that’s just plain wrong.


  14. AOW : Are you trying to comment from a different device with a fifferent rmail address entered?
    That was my problem.
    The default was different on my pad than my pc.


  15. Z. Get my email from a couple days ago?


  16. Baysider : Eggsactly.


  17. Chicken, Schmicken…….Don’t we have more pressing concerns facing us with Jihadists running loose around the globe? If we worry about whether or not a chicken is happy while nesting eggs or being prepped for KFC chains or being zapped with unhealthy microwaves and dozens of other pollutants daily, ……………well, you get the idea. Besides, its a risky world out there and none of us are going to get out alive.


  18. Ed,
    Are you trying to comment from a different device with a fifferent rmail address entered?

    No. I was posting comments to WP from my computers just fine — then the comments quit posting.


  19. I’ve also had that happen to me, particularly here. But not all WP.
    Z said Bob is a WP expert. Contact him?


  20. geeez2014 says:

    Ed “eggsactly”:…I love that.
    No, I don’t think I did get an email from you; I usually respond, so please send again! and thanks for trying to help AOW.

    Mal, isn’t it crazy? LIke we have nothing else to concern ourselves with?!!


  21. Kid says:

    I’m going to take the other side of this.

    I’ll kill and eat animals but I won’t torture them first. I’ll never eat foie gras for example (I notice that once again, some judge has cancelled out the voters choice in California by making foie gras legal again)

    Animals should be treated with a minimum of respect and humanity and let the chips fall where they may. I’m viewing this whole thing as lazy farmers, concerned with profit, going for the easy win as opposed to putting some effort in. And in the end if eggs are more expensive, then fine by me. The Earth is over-populated anyway.


  22. Kid says:

    Baysider, I’m with you.


  23. Mustang says:

    I’m not reading a lot of support for the idea of Chicken Imams regulating Chicken housing projects. Get with the program, people.


  24. Silverlady says:

    If the leftist Peta California loonies want free-range chickens then go to a health food store, or Whole Foods & pay through the nose for it. Chickens are one dumb cluck. If they fall off the truck they just stay on the side of the road where they fell until they get picked up or run over. These do-gooders are a royal pain in the tail feathers.


  25. Farmer John says:

    Obama needs to appoint a “Chicken Czar”. There has to be a larger government solution to every problem!


  26. Kid says:

    Farmer John. I’ll bet a hundred it happens – in some form of federal animal protection activity/legislation


  27. Mustang says:

    Okay … all of you people who are not enthusiastically supporting Chicken Imams or Czars report to the first sergeant for extra duty.


  28. Kid says:

    I don’t recognize the authority of any imams, only clerics can officially demand that one reports to a first sergeant.


  29. Does anybody here know why my caught-in-the-ether comments suddenly published at this thread and previous one?


  30. woodsterman says:

    Look, if it improves their times in the 100 yard dash I’m all for it. There are two major issues here in California, A 68 Billion Dollar high speed rail to nowhere and Chicken Happiness. I praise Governor Brown for his leadership.


  31. Farmer John says:

    Kid…no bet. That one’s a sure loser!


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