Friday, September 10, 2010

The Great Egg Recall - Could it be - - just "Chicken Feed"?

Who says Chickens don't show emotions?  Click to enlarge!!
I was reading today about last month's Great Egg Recall of 2010, and how the USDA found chicken feed contaminated with dirt and mold in the Iowa farms that caused the salmonella outbreak, sickening many people.  The article I read reported that the Food and Drug Administration was not notified because of "regulatory gaps" that delayed THEIR department from finding out about the conditions of the feed.

Hmmmm.  Seems the USDA didn't alert the FDA because conditions at the egg farm were "routine".  Supplying and offering moldy feed is "routing".  That angers me!  The "regulatory gaps" mentioned in the story could well have been because they hadn't officially determined if moldy feed + chicken ingestion of said feed = disease.  A STUDY probably had to be conducted before the proper authorities were notified!  Geesh.

Come on, folks!  Common sense tells you that no one wants to eat moldy stuff!  That can be toxic!  Years ago, the Farm Reports were broadcasting the hazards of feeding corn contaminated with molds that were invisible to the naked eye.  Aflatoxin seminars were wide spread, and included demonstrations at local feed mills years ago, showing how an innocent ear corn positively GLOWED with the toxins when a black light was shown upon it!  I remember this from the drought years when living in Illinois, as any plant grown in stressful situations was subject to infestation - beans, corn, hay - anything!  Being a horse owner, we were all concerned.  Aflatoxin causes liver damage and can lead to liver cancer, never mind any other ills associated with it.  Imagine what VISIBLE mold can cause???

When I go to the feed store, I buy Purina Layena.  It contains all the nutrients, vitamins, calcium - everything that my girls need for healthy bodies and healthy egg production.  But, it is also up to me to inspect the contents of each bag I buy.  If I notice fine 'webs' with dust in them near the bag openings, that indicates to me there could be coddling moth infestation.  Bags that have been opened and taped shut are also a 'no no', even if they are offered at a substantial discount.  I don't want to risk life and limb to save a buck - who knows if the contents were exposed to fertilizer or other chemicals in the back room or warehouse storage before shipping.  When I bring the feed home, I empty it into closed storage containers, protecting it from moisture and creatures that could invade the packaging.  That way I can see if there is any sign of feed "clumps" that form when moisture or mold is present.  I hope all readers here take this advice, no matter what kind of animal you own.  Dogs, cats, horses, chickens - all deserve the best food to ensure their health.

Good Feed = Good Eggs!
the Chicken Wrangler


varunner said...

Your chickens look like they're glowing with health!

We use Layena as well. Plus they get their daily snack of air popped popcorn (whatever my son doesn't eat). They love that stuff and wait for it every afternoon.

Oh, and you're right about our blue egg layer. She's an Ameraucana and has the beard and red feathers.

Angela said...

I am outraged too about your findings that the USDA didn't report to the FDA about the chicken feed with mold problems! I think that they also wanted to see what if any damage it would do to the people who consume those eggs!

Your chickens look so pretty!


Chatty Crone said...

You know Monica - I wish everyone was as careful as you.
Sandie w/♥