Tag Archives: Chickens

The truth about caged chickens

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The truth about caged Chickens

Cheap meat usually comes at a price – one paid by the farm animals and often the environment too, you can make a difference by choosing wisely before you spend your money. “Approximately 900 million chickens are reared for meat in the UK each year and a staggering 86 million are wasted” – Dr Tracey Jones, Compassion’s Director of Food Business

When chickens are kept in cages, it is brutal and so far away from their natural behaviour, imagine living your whole life squashed in an A4 (size of printer paper) size cage, having your feathers plucked out by your neighbours because they are so bored, having your beak chopped off to stop you pecking, standing on wire mesh which hurts your feet and breathing in 30,000 other chickens poo, dust and urine. Not nice at all.

Not only are the conditions bad for hens, it’s even worse if you are born a male chick.

The vegetarian society says “All egg production systems involve the disposal of unwanted male chicks because they cannot be used in the industry. Male chicks from selectively bred egg-laying strains are not suitable for meat production and so are killed at 1-3 days old. It is estimated that around 30 million male chicks are destroyed annually by a number of permitted methods. These include the use of mechanical apparatus producing immediate death (such as a homogeniser which minces up chicks alive), exposure to gas mixtures, dislocation of the neck, decapitation, neck-breaking or suffocation. A limited number of the dead chicks are used as low-priced animal feed-stuff for zoos and wildlife parks, with the remainder usually going to landfill”

All EU eggs have to be labelled for identification, although local farms where you can go and have a look at the conditions the chickens live in would be proffered, especially when you read case like this one about an RSPCA freedom food farm

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Low impact living in a town – what can be done?

We live in Blackpool which is a seaside resort in the Northwest of UK, population of roughly 142,000, so we are a large town. Contrary to popular belief from my photos, we live in a terrace house surrounded by neighbours and the normal trappings of large town life. So until we get our dream home in the countryside what do we do to have a lesser impact on the environment and to live a ‘back to nature’ way of life. A simple guide to our low impact living.

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Allotment and chickens in winter catch up

It has been pretty frosty here in Blackpool, UK for the past few nights and a little flurry of snow fell but by morning it had disappeared, we go up to the allotment about once a week at the moment to collect veg and clear up the dead leaves, have a general tidy up and get the beds ready for spring. This is the first winter having the plot and we started quite late planting as we got our allotment 31st May 2014.

We still have sprouts, kale, curly kale and cabbages growing and are ready for eating, the garlic we planted is growing nicely and should be ready for early spring.

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How to build a chicken coop…sort of

About 5 years ago my girlfriend arrived home from a day out in the countryside with her friend. She looked at me smiling and presented me with a box, a box that was making a “cheep cheep cheep” sound. When I opened the box, there looking at me were 3 baby chickens. Oh no! What had she gone and done this time?chicks 2

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Vegetarian budget breakfast recipe

eggs and shroom

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

We really enjoy a big breakfast before a day at the allotment and this recipe is just the ticket!

Omelette from our chickens eggs, chestnut mushrooms cooked in coconut oil on a bed of rocket and spinach on granary toast

Take 2 or 3 eggs depending on size, we use our on free range chickens eggs but I know not everyone has chickens at hand so if you do buy eggs please make sure they are free range and organic, local is even better if you can find a farm nearby as you can go and visit the farm and see how the chickens are treated. I think eggs are one of the main things to spend the most money on because the welfare of the hens are at stake and you can vote with your money.

If you have an area where you can keep chickens I would wholeheartedly recommend it, after the initial set up, 6 chickens only cost 12p per day to keep.

Back to the recipe, add salt and pepper into the eggs and some herbs if you have them, thyme is always nice, whisk them up add 50 ml water and leave to one side.

Slice up your mushrooms and shallow fry in coconut oil with sat and pepper and a chopped up clove of garlic, I like mine quite crispy but cook them to your taste.

When the mushrooms are ready cook your omelette, I always put a pan lid or a big plate over the top of the frying pan, this makes the omelette rise and become fluffy. At the same time grill your toast, on this occasion we used granary bread from the bakers.

Serve your meal with some organic rocket and spinach, this is really quick and cheap to grow in a container and you can cut it and it regrows a few times so is very economical. You can also buy it in a mixed bag from the supermarket!