Saturday 21 January 2017

Thoughts on Saturday - Bird Flu and Goodbye Obama

Thoughts on Saturday - Bird Flu and Goodbye Obama

Bird Flu

For as many years as I can remember we have only eaten free range chicken and eggs. We decided a long time ago that we would rather eat less, as it was so expensive, than eat battery reared produce. At the beginning of December there was a bird flu outbreak across Europe, none had been found in the UK but DEFRA ordered that to keep our flocks safe, chickens and other birds must be housed indoors and their food and water made inaccessible to wild birds. The virus, H5N8, is spread by wild birds and although it is not a hazard to humans it would decimate our poultry stock.

British free range birds are inside, safe from wild birds. This was initially for thirty days then extended until the end of February. We are now in the middle of January and I can still buy British free range chickens and eggs. Until I read about this I didn't realise that free range birds can be kept inside for twelve weeks and still be sold as free range. I thought they would be Barn, or some other label. It seems that free range chickens are about fifteen weeks old when they are slaughtered so many will have spent most of their life in a barn or other enclosure. Even though this is not the farmers fault I do think consumers should know exactly what they are buying.

Goodbye Obama

When Obama won the Presidential election eight years ago he came with hope and made history, he was the first African American president. Obama wanted to make America great not just for the rich white but for the poor and for black people too. He wanted to give everyone access to free health care and to reform politics. He was thawrted at the beginning by a congress that was Republican and made it their goal to oppose everything Obama tried to do.

Obama may not have fulfilled all his promises but he was always gracious and statesmanly.

Donald Trump is the new President of the United States and we really do not know what to expect. He has made promises that the people of the US believe he can deliver. He is not a politician but a business man. He has promised to change the political system and revoke Obama's policies. He wants to be friends with Russia and build a wall to keep Mexicans out. He has said he will add 45% tariffs on all Chinese imports and ban Muslims from entering the country. He believes that climate change is made up by China to damage the US economy and that women should be punished for having abortions, regardless of the reason.

He may truly believe he can make US great but at what cost?

Goodbye Barack Obama I am sad to see you go.




  1. I didn't know that about hens, I always buy free range too. I guess I can see why my friend turned vegan after doing research on hens and eggs.
    I'm really worried about the changes ahead for all of the world, not just America. It's a changing time we live in, I can only hope that not all the change is bad and some good things can come out of it all.

    1. I agree, it's not started well with Trump claiming the media lied about the attendance at the inauguration either. I just hope he doesn't do any harm, it will inevitably affect us too.

  2. I own chickens many of which are ex commercials. Chickens don't start laying until 16 weeks so your slaughter age of 15 weeks is thankfully wrong. They are slaughtered around 18 months as from this date even free range chickens start not to be so productive in egg laying.

    Fresh start for hens is a charity that try's to save as many chickens from slaughter as possible. Sadly, in order to halt avian flu this 'lock down' is essential. There is always the possibility it will mutate to a human form like it has before

    My chickens free range and I can assure you they aren't happy but it is what is needed right now. DEFRA haven't said what will happen after 12 weeks only free range status should be list. Whether special rules will apply I'm unsure or if farmers have to wait ex number of weeks before they can be classed as free range is very unclear right now

    As from him over the pond, I don't want to think about that!

    1. I've never owned chickens so thank you for putting me right but I did research it and I may be confused. I read that chickens for eating were slaughtered at 15 weeks plus (battery hens much earlier). I do feel sorry for farmers and I agree with the measures put in place. I was just surprised when I did my shopping x


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