Biosecurity reflects a variety of measures and best practices relied on by U.S. egg farmers to assure hens are healthy and to prevent disease from entering egg farms. Egg farmers have put an array of biosecurity protocols in place on their farms; from limiting visitors and setting up perimeter zones to monitoring flock health and sanitizing vehicles and equipment.
While the biosecurity process is complex, egg farmers’ dedication to disease prevention is rigorous. To help customers and the public understand the stringent biosecurity standards implemented on U.S. egg farms, United Egg Producers has prepared a new animated video about the processes and protocols being used.
Click below to watch and learn more.
Small but powerful, eggs are an international sensation. On World Egg Day Oct. 13, events around the globe will celebrate the nutritious goodness of eggs – and the families who produce them.
Eggs play a vital role in feeding people around the world, in both developed and developing countries. Providing excellent hen care is a fundamental part of producing eggs. They are an excellent, affordable source of high quality protein. Eggs’ protein, vitamins and minerals are essential for fetal development, healthy brain development in young children and improved concentration at school, work and play.
World Egg Day is celebrated in more than 40 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe. Last year the campaign was embraced by organizations as diverse as international charities to premier league football clubs. A giant egg salad was assembled in India, setting a world record at 814.58 feet long. The dish used 7,000 boiled eggs and was prepared by more than 300 people.
Eggs are enjoyed with unique flavors from diverse cultures. Check out international recipes such as Huevos Rancheros, Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs, Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup and more at IncredibleEgg.org.
A fun twist has been added this year by the World Egg Organization, which has sponsored the annual observance since 1996. Young and old alike are invited to “crack them up” by sharing their funniest egg jokes through social networks and using #WorldEggDay.
“Over the past 22 years, we’ve communicated the positive impact that eggs can have on our lives,” said Julian Madeley, Director General of the World Egg Organization. “They are not only universally beneficial to our health; I’ve also discovered that they’re universally funny! In both developed and developing populations – a high-quality source of protein is a fundamental requirement; and that’s a very serious message. However, we also want engage with the widest possible audience, by encouraging children and their parents to share the more humorous side of the humble egg.”
You can explore some of the flavorful ways eggs are enjoyed around the world – such as Huevos Rancheros, Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs and Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup – and more recipes at IncredibleEgg.com.
Eggs are an excellent, affordable source of high quality protein, with the potential to feed the world. That’s reason to celebrate World Egg Day!
Even though the calendar says that it’s almost spring – it certainly doesn’t feel like spring right now in many parts of the U.S. In midst of blizzards, thunderstorms and other extreme weather, how do farmers keep their animals safe, warm and healthy?
Safety authori ties tell us to cope with harsh weather by staying indoors as much as possible. That’s good advice for animals, too. It’s one of the many reasons that the vast majority of egg-laying hens are kept indoors.
Some people believe chickens should be raised with access to an outdoor environment, and that’s understandable. It was routine for hens to be raised that way decades ago. But egg farmers learned over the years and through experience that climate-controlled barns provide warmth and comfort and improve overall flock health management, while also protecting hens from the spread of disease.
The term “biosecurity” refers to measures farmers take to protect their animalsfrom disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture emphasizes the importance of strong biosecurity with the “Defend the Flock” program to help raise awareness and promote disease prevention practices among farmers and others.
Defend the Flock focuses on biosecurity basics such as the importance of washing hands before coming in contact with animals; making sure farm workers don’t carry pathogens into barns on the boots they wear; changing clothes before entering areas of the barn where the birds live; and keeping tools and equipment clean and dry. It’s also important to keep visitors to a minimum and only allow essential personnel on the farm. Farms with strong biosecurity programs allow only people who care for the birds inside the barns.
Being indoors also protects hens from migratory waterfowl and other wild birds that can carry disease. Hens that are allowed to come in contact with bird droppings are at higher risk of disease that can strike quickly and have devastating consequences.
Another benefit of keeping animals indoors is keeping predators at bay. Chickens left unprotected are easy targets for dogs, coyotes, foxes and owls. The indoor setting also makes it easier to provide hens good access to food and water, as well as the conditions that allow them to lay clean, unbroken eggs. Finally, keeping flocks inside also enhances the opportunity for animal care workers and veterinarians to regularly monitor the health of the flock.
The different ways that hens are housed indoors has been addressed by animal scientists and veterinarians. A study supported by scientists, farmers, food companies and others looked at three different indoor hen housing environments and examined impacts in five areas – food safety, environment, hen health and well-being, worker health/safety and food affordability. The study concluded that no single housing environment is better than the others. They all have trade-offs and benefits.
Keeping animals safe and healthy through extreme weather is hard work but it’s a top priority for America’s egg farmers. There are many options for housing hens today, and all of them can provide for the health and well-being of egg laying hens. Regardless of the conditions in which hens are kept, consumers can be confident that the eggs they purchase are safe and nutritious.
Photo source: Minnesota Turkey Growers