Inside A Cobb Pullet House

I spoke of this video in a previous post. This is the best view most of us will ever get inside one of these operations. While I am confident this was filmed in a brand new, spotless clean chicken house, it does reveal many of the practices which seem to make this industry more of a factory than a farm. This is a segment produced by America’s Heartland for PBS. While the show features top-notch production and some excellent segments on subjects with which we agree, their sponsors reveal a bit of an agenda. Here it is, judge for yourself.

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  1. To show how completely ignorant you guys are, I’ll try to help you out. The farm shown was a hen house not a pullet house. Before you oppose any and everything, you might want to educate yourselves.

    1. Sounds like you have a personal stake in this thing. What is driving your passionate defense of Cobb? We are trying to learn here, and if you can supply accurate, first-hand information (as opposed to corporate rhetoric), I am all ears.

      Water tests cost money, soil tests cost money, lawyers cost (a whole lot of) money, and taking time to learn about all this when there are other things to do on the farm, is money.

      In America, we the people can hold a fundraiser for any cause we choose, but ironically this cause chose us. We didn’t ask for this fundamental change in the character of the community. And frankly, unless you are a member of the community, how the money offered freely by supporters is invested is none of your concern.

      As for the farm, we have food to grow, and our customers expect our food to continue to be free of antibiotic residues, chicken manure, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, disinfectants, and sanitizers. Where do you think the vented air, smell, and dust from these houses is going to go? We don’t believe it possible that 40,000 chickens just up the hill from us will have no negative impact on our lives, in fact, due to the threat alone, it already has.

      “spread lies and rumors in an attempt to gain something”? In my experience, people who suspect such duplicity in their neighbors are the very people who would lie to you for personal gain. Kirbytown is filled with good people whose quality of life is at risk. The motive here is simple: to protect happiness. You know, the pursuit of which is guaranteed by the Constitution. What is their to gain other than the feeling that your home and health are secure.

      You are free to disagree and to support industrial agriculture if you wish, but if you insist on being disrespectful, you will get no further responses.

    2. Pullet- a young hen; specifically : a hen of the domestic chicken less than a year old.

  2. These were young roosters for meat. I have only heard young hens called pullets. These were certainly not hens!

    It was crowded, but not horrible. I can’t achieve this level of cleanliness with my chickens, that’s for sure.

    For people to have cheap chicken to eat, there is going to have to be some kind of mass production. I don’t think there is any getting around it.

    Right now I only have chickens for eggs, and a couple of roosters because they are nice to look at. I once raised 25 barred rock roosters for meat. The chicks (males of an egg laying breed but heavy enough to use for meat) were given out by the local feed store for free. (They otherwise have no use and these days are usually fed straight into a fast grinder, for dog food or something like that.) After the chick stage, I fed them free old bread from a local Pepperidge Farm outlet, kitchen scraps, weeds from my garden, and a minimum of expensive feed. I collected armloads of weeds from a wet place which had little snails on them (although the snails had a tendency to drop off when you picked up the weeds.) It seemed like a lot of space that I gave them when I started, but in the end they were nearly as crowded as the birds in the video, and their nice grassy space was a muddy mess.
    They did taste better than store chicken, but the task of picking off all the feathers was smelly and tedious. It isn’t all that easy to do things well on a small scale either.

    If you are saying that these folks are not nearly so careful about the comfort of their neighbors, or about the the purity of nearby water, as they are about cleanliness where it impacts their bottom line, I’d be willing to believe that, upon evidence. But I would not romanticize small farming, and I certainly wouldn’t be willing to make folks in cities eat less high quality protein in order to give some roosters a higher quality during their 16 week lives.

    Susan Peterson

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