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Jools

Is this true?

Quote:
Because of current government guidelines the birds, who currently live at Betty's Farm, in Willington, can only live until the end of August.

The farmís office manager, Becky Brooks, explained the situation to the Burton Mail:

"The DEFRA standards do not allow us to keep the birds past 72 weeks, so at that point we either sell them or they go off to chicken heaven and become part of the food cycle.

"As the bird gets older the quality diminishes so DEFRA tell us to do it early to ensure the quality of all the eggs remains the same.

http://quirker.co.uk/story/how-you-can-take-part-in-the-great-chicken-rescue

I've not heard of that rule before. It was my understanding that the birds were sold/slaughtered at that age because egg production started slowing down and wasn't economically viable.

If it is true, what does this mean to those who adopt these girls and sell their surplus eggs at the gate/to friends/family?
dpack

id not heard of the defra standard but 72 weeks would be an old bird in a battery or barn egg unit.

chances are they dont look like the ones in the photo

£2 a bird is somewhat more than the prole and petfood trade would pay.at point of collection they are often free ,if they have had a bit of tlc for a few weeks a charge would be appropriate.

if you want say five getting ten is probably sensible ,there will be a few who dont thrive (or lay well but make soup)

with older birds a couple of eggs a week is probably a good average laying rate in summer ,less in winter,so work from that as to how many one requires.

replace some every year if you want a constant flock

the dirty four dozen were quite educational in such matters
Tavascarow

It's got bugger all to do with DEFRA just the industry standard.
They are 20 to 26 weeks before they start laying & they keep them for about 50 weeks.
Egg quality does suffer after that but only shell, size & numbers.
It's pure economics not government regulation & they are deflecting that by trying to blame a non existent regulation.
vegplot

Unlikely. There's no evidence to suggest there is a chicken heaven
dpack

there is ,it is called a chookmobile,however it is hell for the wildlife Rolling Eyes
Bodger

Never known a chicken to come with a birth certificate or an ID card. Rolling Eyes
Jools

It's got bugger all to do with DEFRA just the industry standard.
They are 20 to 26 weeks before they start laying & they keep them for about 50 weeks.
Egg quality does suffer after that but only shell, size & numbers.
It's pure economics not government regulation & they are deflecting that by trying to blame a non existent regulation.


That's what I thought. Trying to make themselves sound good, I guess.

I'm not looking for more chickens myself, but it popped up in my Twitter feed and as I'd never heard of that Defra ruling, thought I'd ask here.
Rob R

Having been interviewed by newspapers before and finding what I was quoted as saying and what I actually said to be two different things, I think it best if you contact them directly to confirm this information.
Jools

It's now made the news on the Beeb.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-33457704
Nicky Colour it green

It's now made the news on the Beeb.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-33457704


no mention of Defra in the beeb article.
Jools

No, the Beeb article says that it's because of the packing plant. Rob R

I do wonder how often 'regulations' are blamed for things that are a consumer issue. Tavascarow

I do wonder how often 'regulations' are blamed for things that are a consumer issue.
The consumers buy what they are given. extra large misshaped eggs would sell like hot cakes if they where presented. But the supermarkets want a uniform product that stacks neatly on the shelf.
They are still blaming 'rules' but saying industry not DEFRA.
There is nothing stopping them keeping the birds till they drop dead from exhaustion AFAIA other than economics.
This is just a ploy to get sympathy in order to offload the birds & it seems to have worked.
Rob R

I do wonder how often 'regulations' are blamed for things that are a consumer issue.
The consumers buy what they are given. extra large misshaped eggs would sell like hot cakes if they where presented. But the supermarkets want a uniform product that stacks neatly on the shelf.
They are still blaming 'rules' but saying industry not DEFRA.
There is nothing stopping them keeping the birds till they drop dead from exhaustion AFAIA other than economics.

What a load of absolute rubbish - I have been doing this job long enough to know that this scenario only exists on River Cottage. Supermarkets are the masters of providing people with what they want, when they want it, and that includes eggs that aren't broken when you get them home. If it was a simple as offering something and people would buy it then they wouldn't do it.

This is just a ploy to get sympathy in order to offload the birds & it seems to have worked.

Yep.
Tavascarow

I do wonder how often 'regulations' are blamed for things that are a consumer issue.
The consumers buy what they are given. extra large misshaped eggs would sell like hot cakes if they where presented. But the supermarkets want a uniform product that stacks neatly on the shelf.
They are still blaming 'rules' but saying industry not DEFRA.
There is nothing stopping them keeping the birds till they drop dead from exhaustion AFAIA other than economics.

What a load of absolute rubbish - I have been doing this job long enough to know that this scenario only exists on River Cottage. Supermarkets are the masters of providing people with what they want, when they want it, and that includes eggs that aren't broken when you get them home. If it was a simple as offering something and people would buy it then they wouldn't do it.

This is just a ploy to get sympathy in order to offload the birds & it seems to have worked.

Yep.
Chicken & egg Rob. An egg farmer here in Cornwall can't sell his extra large eggs because they don't fit in the standard size egg boxes. He sells them by the tray to locals & they sell fast. It's the supermarkets that don't want them not the consumers.
If supermarkets sold the misshaped eggs as novelty they would sell at a premium.
The only ones they can't sell by law are the broken & soft shells which have always gone to the liquid egg market for processed foods.
& obviously as birds get older they lay more of those.
Rob R

I do wonder how often 'regulations' are blamed for things that are a consumer issue.
The consumers buy what they are given. extra large misshaped eggs would sell like hot cakes if they where presented. But the supermarkets want a uniform product that stacks neatly on the shelf.
They are still blaming 'rules' but saying industry not DEFRA.
There is nothing stopping them keeping the birds till they drop dead from exhaustion AFAIA other than economics.

What a load of absolute rubbish - I have been doing this job long enough to know that this scenario only exists on River Cottage. Supermarkets are the masters of providing people with what they want, when they want it, and that includes eggs that aren't broken when you get them home. If it was a simple as offering something and people would buy it then they wouldn't do it.

This is just a ploy to get sympathy in order to offload the birds & it seems to have worked.

Yep.
Chicken & egg Rob. An egg farmer here in Cornwall can't sell his extra large eggs because they don't fit in the standard size egg boxes. He sells them by the tray to locals & they sell fast. It's the supermarkets that don't want them not the consumers.
If supermarkets sold the misshaped eggs as novelty they would sell at a premium.
The only ones they can't sell by law are the broken & soft shells which have always gone to the liquid egg market for processed foods.
& obviously as birds get older they lay more of those.

So the egg farmer is keeping his birds for multiple lays to harvest more of the premium eggs?

The supermarkets sell what sells, they have very sophisicated computer systems that match supply & logistics to sales. They're not going to pass up a premium market on oddball eggs without good reason and their buying power allows them to commission packaging to suit, if that was a thing, they'd do it.
Tavascarow



So the egg farmer is keeping his birds for multiple lays to harvest more of the premium eggs?

I haven't asked him but I doubt it. He might get more extra large eggs if he keeps his birds into a second lay, but he will also get fewer eggs overall & more soft shells as well.

Supermarkets are all about bulk, they aren't interested in novelty or small quantities.
They want uniformity, standardisation.
If they had their way their would only be one size of egg, one colour & one type because it's easier for them that way.
& easier means more profit.
Rob R

Exactly. Easier means more profit, and it's easier because (the majority of) people want them! Ty Gwyn

The Majority of people want extra large,Real Free Range eggs at the price of the smallest battery eggs. Lloyd

It's got bugger all to do with DEFRA just the industry standard.
They are 20 to 26 weeks before they start laying & they keep them for about 50 weeks.
Egg quality does suffer after that but only shell, size & numbers.
It's pure economics not government regulation & they are deflecting that by trying to blame a non existent regulation.




This.
Rob R

Heard them on BBC local radio today, apart from annoyingly billing it as a chicken 'giveaway' they were very clear that it was because the packers didn't want the higher level of breakages that affects hygiene, costs and presentation.
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