Mike talks about egg farming in this video: “It’s a Tough Job!”
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In 1974, the British Journal of Nutrition found that pastured eggs had 50 percent more folic acid and 70 percent more vitamin B12 than eggs from factory farm hens.
In 1988, Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet, found pastured eggs in Greece contained 13 times more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than U.S. commercial eggs.
A 1998 study in Animal Feed Science and Technology found that pastured eggs had higher omega-3s and vitamin E than eggs from caged hens.
A 1999 study by Barb Gorski at Pennsylvania State University found that eggs from pastured birds had 10 percent less fat, 34 percent less cholesterol, 40 percent more vitamin A, and four times the omega-3s compared to the standard USDA data. Her study also tested pastured chicken meat, and found it to have 21 percent less fat, 30 percent less saturated fat and 50 percent more vitamin A than the USDA standard.
In 2003, Heather Karsten at Pennsylvania State University compared eggs from two groups of Hy-Line variety hens, with one kept in standard crowded factory farm conditions and the other on mixed grass and legume pasture. The eggs had similar levels of fat and cholesterol, but the pastured eggs had three times more omega-3s, 220 percent more vitamin E and 62 percent more vitamin A than eggs from caged hens.
The 2005 study Mother Earth News conducted of four heritage-breed pastured flocks in Kansas found that pastured eggs had roughly half the cholesterol, 50 percent more vitamin E, and three times more beta carotene.
Mike, I am so sad on this day.
I thought you were going to take an honest look at chicken farming, and instead it is an ad for bigag. I have no direct experience with factory farming of eggs. But that is mostly because getting into one without them “preparing” for you (or getting in at all) is like thinking you can go visit NK and expect to get the “real” story.
Free range chickens die. That is life, but every day they spend in the sunshine, rolling in the dust, and eating bugs is magnitudes greater in quality of life then being stuck in a cage they can’t even walk.
How “Quaint” that chickens should be able to walk and breathe fresh air. Perhaps you would like to spend time in a cage? I have and it is not fun.
If the industry has nothing to hide, why are bills like the following, introduced recently in Florida, necessary?
I have a question that seems to be getting ignored here. How can something be defined as a non-profit if companies or organizations that donate to it expect something in return? It seems like every company Mike mentions as making a ‘large donation’ to mrW gets Mike either in a commercial or as with UEP, narrating a video. These companies are paying him as a spokesperson on top of their donation to mrW. Why can’t companies just donate without the ‘kick back’?
Back on topic, 2 words: progress happens. You can stand by the old guard or you can get on board. This isn’t gonna stop. 8 states have already passed bills banning cages, gestation crates for pigs and veal crates. I was just reading about the latest state to introduce a similar bill in the legislature and the bill was co-sponsored by a REPUBLICAN.
Also Mike is incorrect in saying Californians will still be eating eggs from cages, just from someplace else. It’s my understanding the law includes a provision that says no eggs can be imported into California that have been produced using the old system.
Viva la progress! (No pun intended re: Mike’s latest ad campaign. He hawks so many products I’ve lost track).
“I can’t believe how pretty and white those birds in cages were!”
Krista – I think that’s the whole point. If you can’t believe it, maybe you should ask yourself how accurate it is. Does it make sense to you that that many animals on top of each other in wire cages (any animals, not just hens), who unless I’m missing something are urinating and pooping daily, are going to stay that clean? Do a quick google image search for ‘battery cage’ as a start.
The point is do your homework. Because at the end of the day, this is something that you are eating and no one is going to care as much about your health as you are. The egg industry that wants your money certainly isn’t, and our government doesn’t exactly have a stellar record of protecting us from harmful substances, either. Everything that is fed to that hen and the quality of the air she breathes, affects the egg and ultimately passes into YOU.
Caring what is in your food, where it comes from, and how it’s treated does not make you an extremist. Sure some people take an extremist view, but more than 20 countries have already decided this system is not only inhumane but bad for people, too. Those who agreed include vets, scientists, legislators – are they all crazy ‘extremists’ or been duped by extremists? Are they all, as Mike seems to suggest, gullible, ignorant and motivated solely by guilt? That is beyond insulting and highly unlikely.
Great information. One issue I always address when I talk to those who are concerned about how hens are raised is the issue of numbers. Every year each American citizen on average consumes roughly the equivalent of the production of one hen. Those eggs come on the breakfast lunch and dinner tables as well as in the various foods that contain eggs as an ingredient (bread, mayonaise, baked foods etc.). When we talk about raising hens in an “urban” environment and on the ground the scope of raising the 300 million or so hens required to feed this country starts to come in focus. Where will they go? America’s farmers do an outstanding job of providing us with a great nutritious product.
The latest news from USDA regarding cholesterol and vitamin D content in eggs continues to reinforce what we have known all along. Eggs are great and great for you!
The comments above regarding “we would all be healthier if we stopped eating eggs” exposes the true vegan agenda of the “animal rightists”. We can never lose sight of the difference between animal welfare (health related) and animal rights (an extremist agenda).
Thank you Mike for being the voice of reason and helping put forward an Honest Conversation about what it takes to be a farmer in America and being responsible for feeding its great citizens!
Great video. Thanks for telling this story. It is interesting to read the comments. This video helped me understand the care that farms take to produce food. Farming is different today than when my grandparents farmed. I am glad that I don’t have to raise chickens and eggs in my backyard (my neighbors are also happy that I don’t have livestock in a city). What’s important to me and my family is that we have safe food and that it is available, and at a reasonable price. I don’t want to be forced to pay the cost for organics/free-range/etc. I don’t believe that those types of food are safer or healthier. If society went the way of organics etc there would be hundreds of thousands of Americans forced into poverty and undernourished because of the cost and shortage of food. Mike – keep up the great work!
Thank you for sharing the story of egg production in the United States! I can’t believe how pretty and white those birds in cages were! This video further demonstrates that farmers responsible for producing this amazing protein source work hard to provide consumers with humanely produced, safe eggs. This story reassures me that the eggs I buy at the local grocery store are safe to feed to my family and friends!
Great work Mike. Thanks so much. You have added a much needed human element into this conversation/debate that speaks well to those that care about, admire and are engaged in modern agriculutre and all the good it does for people here in the US and across the world. In whatever way possible, I hope that your work will help both sides of this debate to be able to take a step back from each other, and responsibly ask of themselves the core questions that the other side is posing. For example, on the modern, commercial egg production side of the conversation, are they really doing all that they responsibly can be doing to practice good animal husbandry and give their animals more of what good welfare standards would suggest? And if not, what are you going to do about it? I know this doesn’t get to the questions the dedicated vegan wants answered — that is another conversation that needs to happen. On the other side of the divide lies local food movement supporters, organic food advocates, and activists for animal rights (again, leaving out for now the other important conversation that needs to happen with the vegan folks). To this side, one legitimate question is are you really taking seriously the factual, unavoidable and morally critical challenges of what it is going to feed 9 billion people–affordably, sustainably and safely? Literally billions of human lives and human livelihoods are at stake today, and anecdotal observations and incomplete examinations should not satisfy any one who is taking the issue seriously.
Mike — I hope your work can help us all get to that kind of conversation in a meaningful way. Thanks again for your efforts.
It is unrealistic to believe that we can, or should, raise most of our food in the back yard. Didn’t Pol Pot try something like that?
Interesting that not one of those on the side of the UEP has bothered to try to deny that little detail about all male chicks being thrown away – into garbage bags or live into grinders, neither a humane way to go. They don’t deny because they can’t – it’s true. Every. Single. Male. Chick.
Maybe Mike is okay with this, profit at any cost. But I think it’s further proof of what a throw away society we are. We throw away everything – our elderly, unwanted dogs and cats, and half the food on our plates on a daily basis.
It would seem to me that any society or system that is a-OK with live animals of any type being literally tossed away alive needs to look long and hard at itself and how selfish it’s become. Sorry but I don’t need eggs that bad. I eagerly await Mike’s defense of this practice. I won’t hold my breath.
What this says to me is that Mike is clearly not interested in facts. He sides with the factory system and they have given him money to do so. I say this not as some ‘crazy’ radical. I happen to be a level-headed Republican. But I make decisions based on evidence and facts, and I’m sorry Mike but I know a white wash when I see it.
I have seen countless looks inside of egg factories (and read first hand accounts from people who’ve worked in them), and they simply don’t look like this.
First, the birds don’t have as much room as this video shows. Each hen has less than a sheet of paper to live in. Second, and much more importantly, the birds and cages are covered in feces. The cage floors are wire; where is that feces magically disappearing to? And third, if this system is so good, why do the farmers routinely administer antibiotics to control rampant viral and bacterial diseases, drugs that are passed onto consumers?
Every hen I’ve ever seen come out of this system looks like she’s been through a war. The feathers are missing from rubbing against the cage, there are open sores and often broken bones. Then there is the highly unatural forced molting which requires deprivation of food and water. And the fact that male chicks are tossed alive into grinders or the garbage. Mike knows about this part, bc on a recent episode his comment regarding the fate of male chicks was, ‘Trust me you don’t want to know.’
Actually many of us DO want to know. We’re tired of all the secrecy. We have a right to know what’s in our food and how it’s made. Mike I issue you a challenge. Go unannounced to any egg factory in this country and ask to go in and film. They won’t let you bc they don’t want consumers to know the truth. I love my country and am a proud American, but I am embarrassed that the EU manages to produce eggs just fine with a ban on this type of system.
This is not simply an animal welfare issue. It’s a human health issue. How is eating anything that comes from a diseased, severely stressed animal who has never breathed fresh air EVER a good idea? Every instinct that god/nature intended for hens is thwarted by the fatory system. It is, quite simply, a perversion of nature.
I suppose next you’ll be hard at work convincing people that modern pork production is just fine and dandy, and that we should pay no attention to the football field sized lagoons of animal waste that pollute our drinking water, ground water and the air, and sicken residents unlucky enough to live near these monstrosities.
I strongly encourage anyone who cares about their health, animals, or their air and water quality to research this thoroughly on your own and get the facts, rather than relying on a television host who has never worked a ‘dirty job’ in his life.
Wow the hits just keep coming. I can’t say I’m too surprised given that during the Gulf oil spill crisis, Mike said on Larry King Live ‘I don’t know who the good guys are, I don’t know who the bad guys are’.
Yes, factory produced eggs are so much safer. That is why we recently had 500 million of them recalled for salmonella.
Thanks but no thanks. I’ll stick to the safer and healthier free range eggs.
Thanks Mike, All Modern livestock farming benefit from the same problems that free range animals endure. As a pork producer I raised pigs both ways. Death losses are much higher than modern raised pigs. Disease was the main reason we quit pasture raised pigs. People are concerned about antibotics. Pasture raised pigs were fed more antibotics than modern raised pigs. When you are trying to sell antibotic-organic meat, it is almost impossible to do. 2 out of 3 don’t make it. That is the reason the Grandpa farm picture left the country side.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen is in his own terms made to be controversial and not at all truly representative of the life of farm animals. Also he has no background in farming or science to make his book worth while reading other than to make him rich. His book was slander and nearly ruined the family that he used and abused in his book. Also studies now show that free roaming eggs are full of chemicals based upon where the chickens roam and what they eat is not at all controlled. Insects that are sprayed with chemicals or dirt that has chemicals from fighting fires, or just plain fertilizers. They also show more contamination from diseases in the dirt or from birds flying over. Anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid free ranged eggs as you have no one overseeing where these chickens roam nor has the ground been tested for carcinogens. When you don’t understand farming techniques then you shouldn’t be voting on emotions as chickens do not have a brain bigger than a pea nor do they enjoy free roaming. As for dusting their bodies if they are mite free then they do not have to do that. Caged chickens do not have mites.
New Studies show that eggs from Free Roaming chickens are contaminated with chemical pollutants and samonella. Free roaming hens die earlier and at higher rates than furnished caged hens. Furnished caged hens show less stress in cages with roosts and food. These eggs are cleaner, safer and show no contamination from chemical pollutants. Thai study demonstrates that for a community to have safe eggs they need to know where their chickens roam. Avian flue, samonella, giardia, numerous bacteria are shown to be in the eggs of free roaming chickens. Those states that use chemicals to put out forrest fires, or spray for pests in the last ten years show the highest rates of chemical pollutants found in the eggs of free roaming chickens.
I think everyone in Cali who is cheering the signing of the egg bill should watch this video. I only wish I could take back my vote. What’s going to happen when the egg farmers are forced out of the state? It’s not going to be “a few pennies” more. Gotta think these things through folks and not stop at the “it feels good” part.
It is interesting to me to read all the comments. There is some clarifications that need to be made. First, plants are living things too so if we consume plants we consume living things. People are at the top of the food chain and so we in the USA exercise two tennents: Dominion over food sources and Stewardship for all entrusted to us. Good welfare BMPs is just good stewardship.
Factory Farming? a misnomer. If we buy cars, toothpaste, TV’s, light bulbs, shoes & diapers from a factory why not food? By doing so we enjoy economies of scale that allow us to use less that 12% of our disposable income on food. Our vegetables (even organics) are harvested in much the same grand scale as our animals. This is how 2% of the population feeds the rest of us. I have seen chickens in almost total system collapse in free range and Salitin shelters so whether you speak about birds or berries how well they are managed makes all the difference. Go back into the scientific and popular literature (1920s-30′s) involving birds and you will see some of the challenges the fledgling industry faced with birds in cage-free production.
I have to disagree. God forbid a chicken get a cold from the evil migratory geese.
Let the chickens out in the sunshine, get a vet, get rid of big agriculture. If I ate eggs, I’d get them from a local farmer, not these giant companies anyway.
I am living on that ‘quaint’ farm like my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. We have always raised our own chickens. I hatch my own. I currently own around 50 or 60. Here are a few chicken facts. The reason chickens ‘dust’ themselves is to rid their bodies of mites. Yep, parasites. One method of helping chickens keep the mite levels down is to use the ‘deep litter method’ of manure. That means keeping the manure in the chicken coop with the wood chips and turning it so the hens can dust themselves in the manure/wood chip litter. Yep rolling around in their own excrement. One of the reasons chickens pick at each other or themselves is because the mites itch. This means I powder the hens with insecticide also. If you buy farm eggs and they have small reddish brown dots on them that is squished mites. The mites are blood suckers so when squished they leave behind the blood spot.
My grandmother’s method of stopping a pecking is to slather the raw skin with vicks vapor rub. Chickens are very cannibalistic. If one gets a wound the others will peck it to death.
Every hatch will produce approximately half cockerels and half pullets. I will judge the cockerels at about 11 weeks of age as to whether I feel they are good breeding stock. Those that fail to measure up will be butchered. As only one rooster per 7 to 10 hens is necessary for fertility. If I keep excessive roosters they will literally breed the hens to death. They use their toenails, beaks and spurs to control the hens for breeding and this is very harsh.
I keep chickens for eggs, meat and because free range chickens are great scavengers. They will eat just about anything. They are especially good at scattering the horse and cow manure. They will scratch and peck through the manure eating the partially digested grain that has already passed through the digestive system of the animal that left it behind. This saves me time as I don’t have to clean the barnyard pens.
Well, the sun is coming up, I’ll try to add more facts later.
Oh please! Many of the comments reference these breathing, with faces and feelings animals as inanimate objects. Why must we keep animals in such painful conditions? Would you like it for yourself or your loved ones? Veal of all things also! Oh my gosh, research it! Corporations only think of the bottom line, this and overpopulation will be our undoing. And, do not insult my or any other caring human beings intelligence by calling us extremist. See the reality, learn. That is a sign of intelligence.
I am a huge fan. Thank you so much for supporting the agriculture industry. People need to be well aware of the hard work and dedication it takes to care for livestock, and to ensure safety for America’s food.
First THANKS Mike for the video!! It is a great resource and I am going to show it to my urban students!! They are not agriculturalists in any way, and are easily swayed by the emotional tactics of animal rights organizations!! They have NEVER been to a production facitlity of ANY type and most have never spoken to a farmer,rancher or producer. They only know what they hear from the media and that it is “hip” to be a vegitarian or vegan. They don’t even know why they become “ONE”, only that it is “kinda cool”. I remind them however, that it is very hypocritical to continue to wear leather shoes, carry leather purses,or to use any of the other products that are made with animal by products. I “educate” my students about the realities of “production” agriculture, why some practices are done or not done, and just HOW much food has to be produced to feed our nation! I have a BS in Animal Science and an MS in Agricultural Education and have worked in the agriculture industry (sales), veterinary field (large and small animal), and education for many years. During this time, the “animal rights” people I have come in contact with have been 100% ignorant about agriculture of ANY type,the majority have NEVER been to a farm, ranch, or production facility and could not explain what agricultural practices WERE much less WHAT they were used/done for. EVERYONE has the right to eat what they want to…if you don’t like caged layers, raise your own. If you don’t like meat..don’t eat it. If you like organic.. grow your own (but believe me it is NOTTTT as easy as it looks!!)… but leave those of us that TRUST the American Farmers,Ranchers,and Producers,(that produce the best, safest food in the world food)…. ALONE!!!! And PLEASEEEE do some research of your OWN (go visit a farmer,rancher or production facility…talk to the people)…instead of relying on others to tell you “THEIR” story!!!
I really enjoyed this video. This is the world of work that I remember from the 70′s and 80′s when I first worked for USDA as a poultry and egg grader, and then for Rose Acre Farms as a Sales and Marketing Rep.
When I see the price of eggs at the supermarket, I am amazed that they are still so cheap. A pound and a half of high quality protein, nutritious food for less than the cost of a pound of ground beef. The price of eggs has barely increased since the 80′s compared to the price of gasoline for example.
Free-range chickens are great for home use. But free-range isn’t the answer when the world demands that the USA feed it.
Chickens are very inhumane to each other in free-range setting. They literally will kill the weakest, and when it is dead, they will start attacking the next weakest in the pecking order.
Americans need to make direct observations of animal and fowl behaviors before deciding that humans are inordinately cruel. Detachment from the farm & nature combined with reliance on charismatic orators has led to a lack of appreciations for how the ecosystem of food really works.
Thank you for showing the farm side of the story.
Thank you for your support of farmers. Our voices are being drowned out and many are not willing to fight any longer. We need all the support we can get.
With all the negative media about how factory farms are awful, I love seeing a video that represents the other side. Maybe if more people actual spent time on farms they would have a better understanding of the production systems and the problems facing them. As noted here, no production system is perfect but there are many good things about large farms.
If you’re interested, this is a fantastic link!
I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this?
I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your show, Dirty Jobs and your efforts to promote animal agriculture. My family has been in animal agriculture for several generations. I grew up producing hogs and beef in southwestern Pennsylvania. I have since left the farm to pursue a career in academia to teach today students about the animal sciences. Throughout your show, I appreciate that you are willing to expose your viewing audience to common farm practices that we, as producers, are embarrassed to show the public for fear of retaliation from opposing animal interest groups. Your show does a great job of explaining and educating the importance of such practices and why we as producers perform such duties for the betterment of the animals, producers and consumers.
Thank You for sharing the knowledge of American animal agriculture!
Thanks Mike for a view that the animal rights/welfare groups will not show. I grew up on a farm that raised 500 laying hens in an open barn system. It was not a system that I would not call sanitary or bird friendly. It was not uncommon to pull dead birds out daily or to have excessive manure (poo) on the eggs. Today’s practices are much more humane than anything dating back to the nostalgic days of farming.
Thanks, Mike for this video. Farmers do work hard and a vast majority do properly care for their animals.
Many of those providing feedback here need to remember that food animals are not pets and most certainly are not people – and should not have the same rights as people.
While I respect those who prefer not to eat eggs or prefer eggs produced in a certain way, just as I respect your willingness to open this up for comments, I cannot support efforts to force upon us all their notion of animal care or preferences.
Farming and food production is not like Green Acres. It takes work, ingenuity and more work by good and smart people.
Thoughts about food and animals in this article – http://www.mikeroweworks.com/2010/02/what-is-in-americas-future/ – are right on.
Great video segment. We used to raise eggs on our farm in both a free-range situation and in a converted barn in the 1960s. I can assure you that the chickens in egg facilities today are healthier and less at risk of harming each other and being harmed by predators than the systems today.
I have no problem with those that want free-range eggs, but the reality is that they are no better nor any worse than those raised in cage facilities.
From a social perspective, I think it is imperative that we produce food economically and efficiently. Technology is allowing us to do that and making nutritious food more available to everyone more affordable than ever.
Keep up the good work Mike. You tell it like it is and that is refreshing.
Great. It’s amazing how many city folk have no idea where their food comes from other than what they area programed to believe by activists and media.
We moved from California to Canada about a year ago and noticed a significant difference in the media, school classroom and public perception on farming. Our children’s school actually plans field trips to farms and show them the reality of agriculture, similar to what you have shown the masses here!
Keep up the great work
cleaner eggs come from caged birds.
‘free range’ eggs are laid in chicken poo.
When ‘free range’ cost rises high enough,
egg production will move to mexico or other 3d world country’s.
do you think you will get cleaner egg’s then ?
will chickens be treated better in Mexico ?
lets not ship more jobs out of our country – rick
Thanks for the informative, unbiased and to the point piece you’ve presented here. It was mentioned a couple that this is not a perfect system, but it is the best we have at this time. As time passes better and better systems are developed by animal scientist, farmers and nutritionist (all of whom care deeply for their animals). To call for the discontinuation of the ‘currently’ most humane and efficient system of egg production is a counterproductive
request from someone who wants to dictate that everyone eat like and believe like they do. Those who work in animal agriculture are very aware and concerned that they care for thier animals and the environment all while producing wholesome, nutritious, disease free food for the American people.
Awesome work Mike! Thank you for your continued support of agriculture. Without hard working farmers we would have a hungry and naked nation. Eggs are not raised in “factory farms”, but instead family owned commercial farms. We have increased the size of our farms to provide income for our families as well as provide safe environments for our livestock.
I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be. When I go to the store I have the option of buying all three types of eggs. I choose the caged eggs and will continue doing so. How can someone that does not eat eggs say I should not have that choice? Keep up the good work.
Mike – Good work! A fair and balanced report depicting one segment of American Agriculture. As a life-long pork producer, I can relate to the unsubstantiated attacks that are strewn about in this comment section.
For bucketgirl and other followers of tomes such as “Omnivores Dilema” (Michael Pollan), I challenge you to read a short article entitled “The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals”. Well written and I can say that I have walked in theb writer’s shoes…
To bucketgirl: It is realistic to say if we didn’t have hens in cages we would have to import eggs. Less than 1% of the nation’s population are farmers. How else do you think we are going to feed this nation. If farming resorted back to the old days of 10 hens, 20 cows and a few pigs, we would be a hungry country. No one wants to farm anymore, so 99% of the population is relying on 1% of the pop. to feed them. So if you do the math we need bigger operations. Not everyone wants to raise their own eggs like yourself.
Animals in confinement are healthier. They are safe from snow, rain, wind, cold and extreme heat. The cages are there so the animals do not fight. Did you know chickens will lay together and lay on top of each other thus smothering and KILLING the animals underneath them? Also they will peck at each other and pick on the smaller ones until they die. Then they will lay eggs all over the place, even next to other dead animals, and that creates bacteria and other germs which are then on and around the egg. It is better for the animals and consumers to have cages.
Also why would you call Mike Rowe biased? That is contradictive considering you are referring to Omnivores Dilemma which has a VERY biased opinion of the ag community. This comes from a guy who is a vegetarian and is talking about stuff he doesn’t even know. He is not a farmer and clearly does not know what is best for the animals, environment or food production. If he did then he would see how hard America’s Farmers work to produce a safe AFFORDABLE (which you will not get if we start importing) product.
I would encourage you to visit farms and see for yourself before you start placing opinions on here. You may also understand the system a little better and realize farmers are a dying breed and the new modern ways of production are the only ways this country will be continue to produce its own food.
Mike, thank you for your support of agriculture. Too many American’s do not have a direct tie to agriculture, and thus, are relying on the media for information. If they can all see this type of media, our industry’s story may be told in a better, truthful light.
Great segment Mike! I love how this presents the obstacles and realities to a ban that simply out-laws caged egg laying chickens. It’s vitally important that research and studies be completed to evaluate all the pros and cons to caged vs free-range as well as the opportunity given for more research into advanced housing systems.
This once again reinforces for me our problem with constantly trying to over-legistate issues!
Mike- Great video! Thanks for showing how hard the American Farmer works to provide a safe, affordable and abundant food supply.
PROP-A-GAN-DA. i have worked on egg farms…learn the truth folks.
Thank you for your support of the cage layer industry. The layer industry has enough chalenges and will try to continue raising one of the best low cost protien available.
I think it is immoral that we have people that have never touched a live chicken tell farmers what to do because they read something in a book. Especially, when our garbage diposals eat better than about one half of the worlds population.
After reading all the comments I suddenly realized how sorry I feel for the people that complained the loudest against Mike’s effort to get out a fair and unbiased commentary. These same people probably live in a small house or apartment, drive to work on a crowded highway in a compact car or worse yet a crowded bus or metro, work in a 20×20 office or 8×8 cubicle, eat lunch in a crowded restaurant, use a public restroom where other coworkers or customers have recently done what they needed to do, and returned home to stay in their own little world and read or watched tv. The only real choice they make all day is where to go for lunch. Sounds kind of like the life of these chickens, doesn’t it? And if these same people do get out to shop or for recreation they have to worry about being in a wreck or the possibility of someone doing harm to them. How about the homeless? They are allowed to be “Free Range.” These complainers think they know more about what the farmer should be doing but I don’t see farmers telling them how they should eat or live. Glad to get this off my chest! Thanks Mike
Reasonable priced safe eggs for me please. Produced within the USA. I am on a fixed income and cannot afford the agenda the liberal elitist would like to impose on farmers and my food budget. I have never gotten sick from an egg, and want to keep it that way!
It really disturbs me to hear the negative comments regarding today’s agriculture. I guess you could say I am biased since I am farming myself. Today we are feeding more people on less land, with fewer chemicals, less fertilizer and safer than previously. The same goes for our livestock producers, the animals are given the very best care in order to keep the animals cleaner and more disease free that at any time in our history. If we are to continue to provide a safe, clean and cheap food source, we need to use modern practices.
Mike, you are a brave man to speak positively about the egg production industry. The American Farmer has been feeding me and my family for generations, I am thankful for them and what production farming has done to help our nation become strong (not to mention healthy). Since farming is not my profession I leave it to the experts to determine how best to produce food. There are options out there for everyone, I won’t take away a person’s ability to purchase cage free eggs at a premium price, likewise I appreciate the fact that I can purchase eggs at a price that I can afford. Best wishes and keep up the good work.
Why are you guys so apposed to a different viewpoint about the egg industry? You should not delete them all. This site is too one sided.
Thanks for a great video Mike. You’re the best. Here’s some more great video footage about the good ol’ farmer raising his eggs for us.
Finally a TV personality who gets it. I don’t know much about egg production but I do know something about livestock production and we are all in the same boat. It’s not just the HSUS and other such groups that are after us, it’s the liberal new media that is out looking for a sensational story to break. Nothing sells news more than exposing a villian while doing something bad, even if they have to use one sided research to do it. I wonder how many people in the US just beleive what they’ve been told by the press and never get the whole truth.
Thanks Mike for not being one of those people and telling the truth about modern day american agriculture.
Good for Mike. The more pressure we put on already heavily regulated American food producers, the higher price we will pay. Foreign food producers will find opportunity in our food market based on price point. American consumers will be eating un-regulated food from other countries. These foreign producers will increase their production. The food animals in foreign countries will suffer far more than any american animal right now. The trade off is not worth it. Please continue to eat the safest, healthiest and best treated food source in the world. America is a strong country because of its ideals and because of what it eats.
Great Presentation Mike!
Thank you Mike and to folks like you on your efforts to get the truth out. We certainly live in the best country on earth and need to reinforce this with our citizens at every chance possible.
Unfortunately, some individuals and groups residing here do not realize how blessed we are in America to have our freedoms and to have such a bounty of food available 24/7. Further these same entities as fueled by our media find America to be a shameful place to live, work and raise a family.
American pride is all around us, yet rarely reported. The hard work of the American Farmer (corporate and individual) provides nourishment to us every day, yet their praise is unsung. The American Military provides us the safety and security to live our lives and enjoy our freedoms, yet they are sent off to serve us admirably with little media support.
The fruits, vegetables, grains and animals grown and raised by the American Farmer are done so with current best management practices & science coupled with a tremendous government regulation and oversight. The products grown and raised by the American Farmer are in most cases the farmers’ sole livelihood. Faced with Mother Nature’s unpredictability and variable economic conditions inflicting misery on them, the American Farmer gets up and tends to their operations every day and does everything humanly and scientifically possible to protect their investments.
Again, thank you Mike for your willingness to report the truth and to take the assaults now leveled at you by the activist community. Thank you to each American Farmer for taking on the risk of farming each day and putting up with the hypocritical activist community.
Do not despair for the tide in America is changing course as the silent hardworking common sense majority is awakening.
Mike, here is a “Dirty Job” series idea:
1) Publicly post names and photos of each and every animal activist; celebrity supporter; and media reporter who propagates the activist agenda.
2) As a nation band together and refuse those individuals identified, and their families, access to supermarkets and restaurants.
3) Follow these outcast individuals and report on them as they attempt to grow, raise, process and prepare their own food according to the activist handbook.
Thank you for your video; I now understand the effort and hard work egg farmers do on a daily basis to provide us with a wholesome product. Today I have a clearer picture of the caged issue versus free range. It shows cagged chickens are well cared for and again thank you for your willingness to take on a task such as this.
Thanks Mike for supporting the American farmer! I am in the egg business myself. I have seen the first hand difference between the caged birds verses the cage free bird. It is easy to see with your eyes that the caged birds are healthier and better taken care of than cage free birds. I would love to know just how the Peta group learned to talk to chickens so everyone could understand just how sad and miserable all the caged chickens really are because they can’t spread their wings while turning in circles. Humans and Animals are not equal. Humans are at the top of the food chain for a reason.In the law of the jungle only the strongest survive.Cage free birds live in the law of the jungle where dominate birds rule and the weak die. That’s why the bird mortality rate is higher in cage free houses. Science has proven over the years that caged birds are healthier for us and them. If you don’t like the way we farm them MOVE ! No one is making you stay here. I would love it for all of the Peta supporters to pack up and to move to China where no one gets a choice in what they say ,do or eat. The last time I looked at the flag pole the Beautiful STARS and STRIPES were still flying high so Thank GOD that we do get to make our own choices in which eggs we eat. Thanks again Mike for the great show. United we Stand or Devided we Fall ! Eat more eggs & chicken !
Great video. Mom had a hen house with a few hundred chickens & she worked hard at gathering eggs and keeping rats, fox, racoons out. What an improvement these controlled environments are!
At the end of the day its what the consumer is willing to pay. The gentlemen who discussed having enough space to free range all the chickens has a good point. What I would like to see and more importantly what the consumer needs to see is what would happen to the price of food if we ranged every chicken. Is the consumer willing to pay $20 for a dozen of eggs? Farmers respond to what the producer wants. Safe food for less money. I see farmers doing what the MAJORITY of the consumers want.
Mike, great video.
Anyone who bashes American Agriculture has no appreciation for the hard work and risk required to provide the safest, cheapest and most abundant food in the world.
If we keep restricting farmers in the US, we will be forced to buy our food from other countries, just as we do for many other products.
I loved the video and the honest proactive approach regarding the egg business. Cages are the way to go for wholesome practical egg production. Keep up the good work.
If I had a choice of which egg to eat, I’d for sure choose one from a commercial operation like Hickman’s Egg. If you knew all the concerns of free range chickens and their eggs, you would definitely agree, not just for yourself, but also for the chickens. I think Mike did an excellent job of not taking sides. I
Wow. When I found this video, I couldn’t believe that internet media was telling the true story about agriculture. I wish you would tell more stories like this. When is this show on TV? I would like to start watching it.
Thank you for a great video. As consumers become more and more removed from the farm it is wonderful to have educational tools that allow them to see how their food is produced.
You are right, the way that are grandparents farmed caused many of them to go broke and lose their farms. Even today because of tight credit markets and even tighter margins farmers are having a hard time staying in business, and this is even before the activists that are attacking us.
Modern agriculture production allows for a safe, wholesome, nutritious, and cheap food product to make it to the grocery shelf. My family used to raise pigs outdoors and I can tell you that we had more disease issues than those that are raised indoors. Also, being in the midwest and the brutal winters we are often subject too, animals that are raised indoors never know that it is 50 below and snowing outside, while those that are raised outdoors have to often be pushed outside to get something to eat and drink.
I am proud to say that I get to work with farmers everyday who work to protect the enviornment and care for their animals in the best way possible all the while still feeding the world.
Clint – keep up the great work. The more we can educate our consumers the more we can show them the hard work that goes into producing their food. Thank you for being a hard working American farmer!
Thank you, Mike Rowe, for the informative video.
It was a good explanation of the science and reasoning behind modern egg production. I’m grateful that American farmers have the ability to provide us with low-cost, safe, nutritious food, including eggs!
I really appreciate that Dirty Jobs demonstrates how hard working Americans keep the country going by providing food, fiber, energy and much more. I enjoying eating eggs for a good source of protein & minerals. I am glad that we have choices available for both conventional & organic eggs. Let’s not legislate some of the choices out of existence.
Mike, What a great piece on the realities of egg production and the world’s need for efficiently produced protein. As you indicate, there is ongoing need to evaluate our production systems, but for those opposed to modern agricultre to say that since they buy specially produced (say free-range)eggs, that is the only way eggs should be produced is an elitist approach. While specialty production is a good option for those that can afford to pay more for their eggs, the average consumer, much less the low income or poverty level consumer simply needs an economical, ethically produced egg to meet their nutritional needs. Modern egg production meets that need using the fewest resources to supply the greatest need. Free-range or organic production is more costly and can not even come close to supplying the world’s food needs, exacerbating the potential for malnutrition for those living in poverty.
Having grown up with a farm background I feel we have made enornous strides in raising the health standards of raising chicken & the eggs they produce. I have work in the feed industry all of my life & know first hand about improving the health of our poultry industry through the feed we feed them & the changes that have been implemented on the poultry farms that produce the eggs we eat.
This has been very well done. The American Farmer is amazing! We should have more respect and admiration for the people who feed us. I sometimes wonder if people understand the age old saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. In my experience the people in agriculture care very much for the well being of their animals. They have to it is their lively hood. If the land or the animals they are working are abused in any way they do not produce as well. They are always looking for ways to do what they do better. There is a huge difference between theory and reality. The people throwing stones should get a better understanding of what is really happening before they condemn the industry as a whole. Thank God for the American farmers and all they do for us.
After watching the video and having raised chicken in Missouri as a kid growing up on a small family farm, I’m a firm believer that confinement is a better way of providing a superior final product and able to maintain a healthier chicken. From a quality and Food Safety aspect, Eggs produced and the chickens that produce them are best off in a controlled environment. I don’t miss the days of cleaning out the chicken house, carrying water and feed. Gathering the eggs and selling them at the local country market was the fun part. I wish we would have had a little more automation and added improvements when I was growing up. I believe the farmers know best on how to treat their animals and how to do it the best way they can.
Cost of production/business sense will determine how this country is going to feed the world. Organic production may be fine for local markets but the practices do not allow for a healthy diet available to the masses. There are instances of poor husbandry practices within large farm operations. However, they are by far the rare operations. ONE NOTE: Kathy left a post about wanting eggs from vegetarian fed chickens. Yet a few sentences later commented that free-range chickens eat insects. Indicates to me a person not well educated on plants or a person with an agenda. Plus I prefer my eggs from chickens with properly balanced diets, not from “eating all sorts of nasty stuff”.
After viewing the events of hunger (vgr.Haiti..)and poverty the world over I would think our fellow humans would concentrate more on CONSTRUCTING solutions to feed the needy and not DESTROYING the advances in agriculture that enable the U.S.A. to be the factor it is in helping our fellow men.The video potrays Poultry Science at its best.Congratulations. As for the anti-cage activists…take a plane to Haiti and do something positive, for a change!
Nice to see someone taking the initiative to do something right and being consciencious. The production methods shown are the most efficient and humane means possible for maintenance of production and health of the animals. We exist by absorbing the life of others, whether plant or animal. It is who we are and we can not change it by being politcally correct. Thanks for being direct and forthright in your presentation. Kudos to the Hickmans.
I’m pleased to see that so many people have a great interest in this website. I’m just sorry to see the animal activist crowd using your site to attack United Egg Producers (UEP), egg farmers, and you. We suspect this may be the organized efforts of one group but hope that it is not. I’m reminded that just a few years ago that possibly this same organization launched 30,0000 emails over a two-day period upon a major retail grocery and in doing so destroyed the companies email service. I hope they do not launch this type of destruction upon your site, but then again they will use lots of means by which to intimidate people. I suspect that throughout the world, UEP is recognized as having been the most progressive of all of animal agriculture in establishing science-based animal welfare guidelines that have seriously improved the health and welfare of egg-laying hens. Shouldn’t these activists be applauding the efforts of hard-working farmers for improving the health and welfare of their hens no matter which egg production system they use? Instead they seem to have this narrow point of view and that is do it our way or go away (out of business).
“Animals Are My Friends…And I Don’t Eat My Friends.”
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Author, Playwright, Vegetarian (1856-1950)
I don’t eat eggs anymore. I don’t think of eggs as food. I can’t stomach the thought of something coming out of a chicken and eating it. I’m uncomfortable with the whole process of egg production, caged or uncaged. Look at the video at 4:07 and pause it. There are chickens as far as your eyes can see. They stretch into infinity. All those chickens exist solely to satisfy America’s taste buds, making America fat and sick in the process. Wow! Billions of chickens in barns because you like omelettes.
And it’s true, if all of America wants to eat eggs every day then we’re going to need barns (and hospitals) that stretch into infinity.
So why eat eggs in the first place? They are completely unnecessary for our dietary needs. The cost on our collective health is too high. I live in Houston. We have hospitals full of people who ate eggs all their lives. These people are prematurely dying of all kinds of health related diseases. My parents were two of them. We’re all paying for it. We have this huge monument to sickness in Houston. It is collectively called The Medical Center.
You said you were going to show the whole story, but you never even considered the thought of foregoing eggs altogether, as if it’s a necessary part of the diet when it is clearly not.
Give me my tofu scramble any day over the thought of infinite chickens in barns.