Comment: The family farm, from a farmer's point of view

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The family farm, from a farmer's point of view

Live on a small farm. Bought several hundred chickens to free range. New coop with all the right things to ensure healthy chickens. Love animals and held, petted all of them to the point they followed me around. 50 of them were named! Sold the free range eggs with contracts to supply restaurants in town. No hormones, no antibiotics with no pesticides on my pristine farm. All invited out to see the great set up, cleanliness and happy, healthy chicks. Of course the hens wanted to be held by the visitors. Just when enough hens were old enough to get the quantity of eggs needed to be profitable, the Board of Health [Gov ruling] stopped all sales in the state. Restaurants were told the eggs were only to be bought from big egg producers.The only market open to farmers like me was the Sat. 3 month long Farmers Market. I was out my investment and had to stop. Every farmer with eggs sales went out of business in the state. IF you signed up to supply with one of the big conglomerates, you were OK, but it wasn't profitable giving part of your profit away. I cried when the chickens had to be given away, not because of the money but because they were all pets too.
The Gov became involved when large producers with filthy conditions and sick chickens made people sick. Not one case of free range chickens on small farms EVER causing illness. The disease came from chickens squeezed up in small areas, only able to scratch in their own feces. The antibiotics had to be added to their water because of the filth and strained living conditions. The hormones were given to make them lay a lot of eggs shortening their lives and another strain on their health. Also, unknown by most in this country, eggs are imported here from CHINA. Can't have the farmer treading on the toes of China imports or big Agra.