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Real Environmentalists Eat White Chicken Eggs

9/17/2009 11:49:02 AM

Tags: chickens, poultry, eggs, Community Chickens

I’ve been telling people for quite a while: Real environmentalists eat white chicken eggs. That’s because white-egg layers are almost always more feed efficient: Hens that lay white eggs are lighter weight and eat less feed to produce the same amount of eggs as brown-egg layers. So, brown chicken eggs require more resources to produce.

Here’s an Example

Hy-Line is a large poultry genetics corporation. Their website says that Hy-Line W-36 hens (the “world’s most efficient egg layer,” according to the site) consume 1.82 pounds of feed to produce a pound of eggs (white eggs). Hy-Line Brown hens eat 2.02 pounds of feed to produce a pound of eggs (brown eggs).

For reference, a dozen large eggs weighs about a pound and a half. So if your family eats 50 dozen eggs a year, it would take 15 pounds less feed to produce the same amount of white chicken eggs as brown chicken eggs. (See calculations below.) Multiply that by all the families that eat brown eggs, and we could produce much less grain to produce the same amount of chicken eggs.

Then, I watched this video:

 

 

Whether we eat conventional, industrial brown chicken eggs or conventional, industrial white chicken eggs, the male chicks of these egg-laying strains are destroyed at the hatchery because they’re not good meat-producing birds — they’re inefficient at converting feed to meat.

I’m not prepared to become a vegan, for a bunch of reasons I won’t mention here. So, what’s a meat-eating environmentalist to do? Buy eggs from a farmer who raises dual-purpose heritage breeds. Heritage breeds aren’t as specialized as commercial breeds of egg-layers. They’re pretty good at producing eggs and pretty good at producing meat, so raising the males for meat and the females to produce eggs makes sense — without discarding half the chicks.

Some of these heritage breeds lay white eggs and some lay brown eggs, but the biggest factor is management. It’s time to start telling people that egg color doesn’t matter. Real (omnivorous) environmentalists eat pastured poultry from heritage-breed, free-range production systems.

Using pasture farming methods, giving the birds room to roam, access to sunshine and all the bugs and seeds they can eat (in addition to necessary supplemental feed), produces the most healthful eggs and meat. And, if heritage chicken breeds are involved, you can enjoy the eggs knowing that half the birds weren’t simply discarded.

For more information on egg labels and the benefits of pasture farming methods, read Free Range vs. Pastured: Chicken and Eggs and The Amazing Benefits of Grass-fed Meat.

Calculations

50 dozen eggs x 1.5 pounds = 75 pounds of eggs

75 pounds of eggs x 2.02 pounds of feed = 151.5 pounds of feed to produce brown chicken eggs for your family for a year

75 pounds of eggs x 1.82 pounds of feed = 136.5 pounds of feed to produce white chicken eggs for your family for a year

151.5 – 136.5 = 15 pounds of feed saved



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Post a comment below.

 

shanna
9/21/2009 11:46:37 AM
Yeah, That's pretty cruel, but I'm not about to turn vegan like that video is trying to convince people to do. Chicken and eggs are to good of a source of protein and frankly, tofu gives me gas. We simply plan to raise our own chickens. They'll definitly taste better.

Patricia Kraybill_1
9/20/2009 1:57:42 PM
I am so appalled by the wonton cruelty shown in this video, that I will NEVER buy eggs or chicken EVER AGAIN !!! There's got to be something wrong with people who can treat living creatures like this. I think there will be a special place in Hell for people like them. Thank you for producing and showing this video.

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife
9/17/2009 2:28:12 PM
I fail to see the logic in this argument, which is basically an appeal to cheap emotion. How are dead 16-week old cockerels better than dead male chicks? Dead is dead, last time I looked. And an instant death (even via grinding) is probably better than being grabbed by a large animal (a human), stuffed in a cone, and left to bleed to death. And just as dual purpose heritage breed hens are less efficient layers than those of a layer breed, cockerels from a dual purpose breed will put on meat very inefficiently, compared with designated meat breeds, as pointed out in the video. Why raise the issue of efficiency in converting feed to food when your conclusion is so easily shot down? Don't get me wrong - I'm all for heritage breeds. And I'm totally against beak trimming. My tiny pastured backyard flock of layers consists of five heritage breed hens. I also take the responsibility to slaughter my own hens humanely when the time comes; I've long since reconciled myself to the realities of the diet I eat. But this article is both muddled in its aim and rather imprecise in its arguments.







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