Factory farming is the production of livestock and poultry by large commercial enterprises in confinement. According to the 2012 national agriculture report, 73 percent of all meat produced in the United States is factory farmed. This high percentage reflects the fact that most farmers who raise livestock are themselves small operators who supplement their income through raising chickens, pigs, or other animals on a small scale. Factory farms produce eggs, milk products, and flesh from mass-produced animals raised in unnatural conditions under close watch.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) estimates that factory farms create 116 million tons of global carbon dioxide emissions each year—more than what countries like China and India combined emit. Factory farming also contributes to deforestation; because these farms rely so much on feed crops grown on land converted from forests—corn, soybeans, cotton—they are major drivers of deforestation around the world. Additionally, factory farms generally confine male and female animals together in cramped quarters where they can damage each other sexually and spread disease. The degradation ofactory farm habitats has been linked with declines in populations of several animal species, particularly avian predators such as bald eagles and cardinals .
One demonstration project aimed at creating sustainable standards for pork production is being undertaken by Biologic Associates International (BAI). In partnership with NYU’s Langone Medical Center , BAI has developed a proposal for biosecurity guidelines for swine operations capable of meeting regulatory requirements while maintaining animal welfare objectives. If successful this initiative would represent a paradigm shift in how we produce our pork supplies while mitigating environmental impacts

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When it comes to naming farms, you have a lot of options. You can go with something alpine or rustic like Silver Lake Ranch, or something traditional like Bush Hill Farm. There are plenty of farm names that incorporate humor and make fun of agriculture, like Gross National Product Farm and Cropocalypse Farm. You could also choose a name that reflects the production style or ingredients used on the farm, like Blue Moon Dairy or Riverbend Farms. Or maybe you’d prefer something that evokes a certain aspect of farming life such as Field to Table or Heartlands Farmsteads. At the end of the day, there’s no wrong answer when selecting a farm name – as long as it captures your interest and conveys what kinds of farming operations take place on the property.


Worth knowing

When most people think about California greys, they typically think about the mass adoption of these birds by bird lovers in the state because of their unique coloring. However, this color is not exclusive to California greys and can be found across many different types of birds.

One popular bird species that commonly lays eggs with a pale blue or greenish-blue color is the barheaded goose. These funky looking eggs can be seen all over Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as parts of Alberta and Colorado. Surprisingly enough, nearly half of allbarheaded geese wintering in warm climates in Mexico are also greenish blue!
The other prevalent species that tends to lay eggs with a slightly more traditional egg coloration is the American robin. Again, these colorful eggs can be spotted pretty much anywhere in the eastern U.S., but are especially prolific along the Gulf Coast Oklahoma and Texas where they will stack up on telegraph wires like pieces of candy! Other notable egg-layers include purple gallinules (a shorebird), yellow crowned warblers (a songbird), Townsend’s solitaire (an passerine), tawny sparrows (a passerine), Canada jay (an avian) as well as various eagles such as bald and golden eagles. So next time you’re on vacation spot hunting for egrets or studying your backyard flocks for Cooper’s hawks – just remember that there’s potential rainbow bakers lurking amongst them all!


Worth knowing

Chinchillas are a small, furry mammal that is native to the Andes mountains in western South America. In recent years, chinchillas have become rare and endangered due to human activity, such as hunting and deforestation. There are now estimated to be only around 29,000 adult chinchillas left in the wild. If this trend continues, by 2022 there may be no more chinchillas remaining in the wild.

Chinchilla populations are mainly declining due to habitat loss from deforestation and hunting for their pelts which are highly sought after in Europe and Asia. Some conservation groups believe that captive breeding could help save these species from extinction but until now little has been done to try to reverse the population decline on a large scale. Measures being taken include creating protected areas for chinchilla populations and restricting the hunting of these animals. However, much work still needs to be done if we want these adorable mammals roaming free once again!


Worth knowing

Cur dogs are rare breeds of domestic dog that have a tuft of hair on the top of their head. The breed was specifically developed in England to help farm animals and hunt foxes. Cur dogs are considered one of the oldest types of working dogs and are still used today to help ranchers herding livestock, protect farms, track rodents, search for lost persons and more.

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