Sunday, February 26, 2006

We're all doooomed

When I was training to be a counsellor I used to get told off for making jokes about serious things that had happened to me. 'You're laughing Stacey, but that sounds very painful.' No shit Sherlock, why do you think I'm laughing!

Anyway - something I may have to joke about or I'll start getting slightly hysterical is bird flu. The talk on the agricultural grapevine is that within 2 week it'll be here. It leaves us with somewhat of a dilemma. The reason we got into this lifestyle is that we needed to be absolutely certain that the meat we eat had lived as good a life as is possible. I abhor battery farming and feel that it represents the worst aspects of humans. We want it now, we want it cheap, we want it in excess and as long as we can shut our eyes to how producers are able to sell us chickens for £2.99 it's all justifiable. I was no longer able to shut my eyes to the methods used to provide cheap food and so, when we came to this smallholding, one thing we were both 100% agreed on was animal welfare. Our chickens are completely free range, the ducks have a large enclosure and a lovely pond and the new geese have a large enclosure ( they used to be out in the yard but the gander saw it as his personal responsibility to attack anything that came within a bus ride of him and the postman wouldn't get out of his van so into an enclosure they went - not the postman just the geese - lol)

The dilemma we have is safety versus animal welfare. We obviously have to follow any guidelines set down by Defra and are willing to do so. However, I'm not willing to compromise the welfare of our birds beyond a certain extent and if the only way to keep everyone safe is to keep them in conditions which we feel are too restrictive what do we do?

Anyway - all too serious for a Sunday morning

We apologise for the loss of service - normal sock related chat will resume soon :)


Blogger dottyspots said...

(((hugs))) - I've a lot of friends who have chickens and/or ducks and all of them are worried about compromising their birds' freedom - keeping fingers crossed for you here as it is a tough call!

9:24 AM  
Blogger sborja1 said...

Ladies, the bird flu has come in France, and the governement says all the chicken, geese and ducks have to be closed.One of my friends, who lives in a farm, is very bored with that. Another one, an old woman, had to build a shelter for her 3 or four hens...On TV, they say when you find a dead bird, you have not to touch it and call immediately the 18 (firemen)
I am afraid of this flu, even they say the virus dies when you cook the chicken. Now, we have to wait the end of the month of march.
Good luck for the shelters of "basse-cour" if you have to do it!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I know exactly what you're going through. We were right on the edge of the " danger zone" on the Cornwall / Devon (near Launceston) border during foot and mouth and lived in fear for months that we might lose our animals.

We had chickens, ducks and geese when we were in Cornwall, free range like you. We found homes for them all before we moved, but I really don't know what we'd be doing now if we still had them. They'd have to go in the barn with the goats I guess!

I really dread to think what will happen if bird flu gets here - I'd have absolutely no faith in DEFRA or the government acting sensibly or being of any practical use whatsoever.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Carnival said...

Hi, I was surfing the internet and here I am at your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how you have put it all together.

I'll be coming back again.


how to birding

5:55 AM  

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