Farming Practices

Raising Farm Animals Humanely

Are you aware of the rising concern in the society regarding welfare of food-based and farm animals? Consumers and animal lovers across the globe are concerned about the way farm animals are treated. Whether it is animals like chickens, goats, pigs or cows, raised primarily for meat and dairy or horses raised on farms for the breeding business and horse riding enterprises.  There is a growing trend towards raising farm animals humanely.

Inhumane farm animal raising trends

Unfortunately, there are some scary and inhumane practices currently used to raise farm animals.
1. Cows involved in milking, are forced to stand 24/7 in their stalls, especially if the farm is associated with a factory that produces milk or milk products.
2. Instead of pen stalls, pigs are crammed in gestation crates.
3. Then there are overcrowded barns, with tightly spaced stalls for horses.
4. Chicken consumption is off the charts in US, but forcing them to live their lives in small battery cages for at least half a dozen birds, with no space to move around is inhumane!
5. And finally, there is the craze of raising healthy looking farm animals at all cost, even if it requires steroids and chemical enhancers for the animals in their charge.

Why Humane Farming

While there are of course simple humane concerns of people regarding their emphasis on humane farming, for the entrepreneurs, there are also business reasons. Not only is the produce of organic farming healthier for human consumption, it adds value to your product, since you can claim to be part of the value-added chain supply. It is important for the consumers of this era to know that the supply chain was free of all kinds of moral and legal violations, be they human exploitation or animal violation. Organic farming, in this way adds value to the final produce of the farms.  Here are some more reasons to choose humane farming.

Organic Farming

Fortunately, there is a more natural and humane way to raise farm animals, and there is a movement regarding it which is called “Organic farming”. What it means is that farmers and hopefully food companies engage in unharmful and responsible tactics to raise animals from birth to slaughter or sell. The certification dictates, that livestock on the farm should have access to shade and outdoors, pasture and an open space to allow free movement. Depending on the animal type there are certain rules that should be enforced to raise the animals in an organic and humane fashion.

• Free range: This terminology applies to hens raised outdoors or allowed to patter outside on average of 6 hours per day, instead of dark pens. Thus, the chickens are provided access to open air and are free to roam.

• Cage free: This means no gestation crates for pigs or battery cages for chickens. Depending on numbers, small open spaces, mud based preferred for pigs to allow full movement, some running and easy flapping of wings.

• Pasture raised: Based on the principle of soil association, also commonly applied to chickens, raised in fixed or mobile outdoor housing, with the option to go inside at night from protection from predators.

• Open doors: weather permitting, barn doors for larger animals should be open at least once a day. The farmers can decide on how long depending on the needs of the animals.

Farming Practices

Farming with Integrity

So what exactly does farming with integrity mean? It involves applying farm practices that are good for the environment, animals and are healthy for you as the consumer. This means the food produced from this style of farming is free from chemicals and does not deplete resources in the environment. Today we will look at one style that is quickly gaining fame all over the world for its simplicity and quality of food produced.  This farming style is commonly referred to as Organic Farming.

What is Organic Farming?

This is a system of farming that uses fertilizers that are organic in nature such as manure and compost among others to enrich the soil and provide nutrients for the growth of crops. In addition to that, techniques like crop rotation, biological pest control, and mixed cropping are practiced. On the other hand, substances that are synthetic are eliminated to provide room for crop maturity in an entirely natural atmosphere.

Characteristics of organic farming include:

  • Conservation of natural habitats and wildlife by paying attention to the techniques used
  • Protection of the soil by recycling back organic residues produced on the farm
  • Using resistant varieties of crops
  • Proper livestock care which includes providing proper housing, nutrition, and breeding thus promoting the animal’s health
  • To stop a cycle of pest and diseases, a variety of animals and crops that are rotated constantly are kept on the farm

Why the need for organic food?

Purchasing organic products as the consumer is a way to show your support in environment conservation right in your locality. Additionally, you get to consume food that is completely natural not to mention totally fresh and tasty.

This has the ability to boost your health as eating right is a major part of keeping fit. This, in turn, can save you from a long list of possible health complications that are brought about by the presence of pesticides and chemicals in crops or animal products that could be harmful to the human body.

Summary

When all is said and done the choice lies with the consumer. Organic foods are considered more expensive and this is because of the extra efforts that farmers make to get the produce. However, an alternative might be to invest in an organic farm and be part of the revolution. Remember challenges are bound to come along but take heart in knowing that since other farmers have thrived, so will you.