Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, today it is going to be the chicken. We are looking at livestock considerations with going cage-free in Iowa.
Audio: Agribusiness Matters 9-27
So far, we have talked about definitions and facilities in our cage-free discussion. Today, let’s talk about the birds. Iowa Poultry Association President JT Dean says there was a reason birds were moved into the caged environment years ago.
Dean says we need to keep bio-security for the animals at the highest standards, no matter which way eggs are produced.
Another aspect to consider is the genetics of these birds. Chickens are naturally aggressive and establish the pecking order. Bernie Beckman of Hy-Line North America says we must have birds suited for a cage-free environment.
Beckman also says while genetics is a big factor in the transition, behavioral management of the flock is the strongest asset producers will have.