Our loyal customers stand by the freshness and tastiness of our hand gathered eggs. Diemand Farm wants to thank our loyal customers who continue to support us in this difficult time, where we have been attacked by a HSUS lead initiative to ban caged laying hens.
Our laying hens arrive at the farm at a day old and raised free range on the barn floor until they start to lay eggs. At that time they are put in one bird to a cage where they can stand up, lay down and turn around. They receive constant access to fresh well water and all natural fed. The birds and eggs are kept clean and out of the droppings and kept safe from cannibalism and crowding in corners that are issues with cage free birds.
The Human Society of the United States is pushing Ballot Question 3 to eliminate caged laying hens. The following video shows the condition of our birds and explains our view on the issue.
Massachusetts does not have a problem with factory farms, that is why HSUS has gotten the bill on the ballot. And there isn’t push back because we are the only farm could possibly effect. We do not in any way condone the cruel treatment of animals but feel that this bill isn’t needed in Massachusetts.
The cost to keep our current egg production amounts and convert to cage free would be in excess of $250,000. This is just not feasible for a family farm where it is not certain that the next generation is going to want to stay in the egg business. If the question passes we would remodel our barn and reduce our laying birds from 3000 to 500. This would mean that we could no longer wholesale eggs. We would still sell them at the farm store.
This is because of one requirement that is written into the cage specifications and how it is interpreted when it is made a law. Our cages fit the size that they are calling for except where it says that the chickens must be able to “fully spread both wings without touching the side of the an enclosure.” Chickens do not spread their wings side to side like eagles. They spread them to the back one at a time.
Our chickens are one per cage, can stand and move around. A few years ago we were inspected by MSPCA and ASPCA and were told that our hens are treated humanly. There are a number of benefits to caging the hens – it keeps them safe from predators, it helps in not spreading disease and chicken will peck (and cannibalize each other).
Another thing to be aware of is that this bill would prohibit the import of eggs or meat produced by caged animals. There are not enough free-range chickens in MA to supply the millions of eggs purchased by consumers. This would lead to a price increase and probably a shortage of eggs.