Tuesday, May 15, 2007

chickens and genetics and plans, oh my

Thanks to StatCounter (my blog metrics tool), I discovered someone had linked through to a post on my other blog (HVY TK) from last May.

And wouldn't you know, it's about chickens. More specifically, a reminiscent post about the Bull Run Mountain Vegetable Farm CSA we belonged to back in Virginia and the proprietor's own blog post about the USDA's (un)wise decision on how to deal with Avian Flu striking the commercial chicken industry. If you're too lazy to click on your own, it's a lesson on how to dilute the gene pool by way of exterminating small-flocks farms (those would be my hens) instead of the caged birds in the food manufacturing chain. If this doesn't smack of lobbying prowess by Big Ag, I don't know what does.

Speaking of genetic diversity, in my blog surfing last night, I came across the Liberty Farms blog (they bought 15 Barred Rock chicks as meat birds) and this curious entry:
The broiler chicks have been our biggest disappointment. Eight of them have either died or had to be put down because their legs simply gave out. It's not all that uncommon to see older birds hobbling around because their legs no longer support their fast growing bodies but these chicks are barely a week old. My friend recently told me that all her turkeys and geese from the same hatchery died within twelve hours of being brought home. I wonder if the hatchery is having some quality problems with their breeding stock genetics.
Now that's a concern I didn't think I'd need worry about. Hopefully our hatchery is keen on keeping the gene pool diverse so that Sophia and ZsuZsu aren't hobbled.

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