1229 views 18 commentsupdate:May 12, 2010

Global warming

Al Gore received the Nobel Prize for his work on Global Warming awareness. The Kyoto agreement, which got a follow-up at the Climate Conference in Bali, initiated a lot of actions including research projects to better understand the cause and contributing factors to global warming. Carbon reduction became the magic word and everybody was told that they should take measures to reduce the production and release of CO2. The poultry industry is not exempted from this obligation.

Al Gore received the Nobel Prize for his work on Global Warming awareness. The Kyoto agreement , which got a follow-up at the Climate Conference in Bali, initiated a lot of actions including research projects to better understand the cause and contributing factors to global warming. Carbon reduction became the magic word and everybody was told that they should take measures to reduce the production and release of CO2. The poultry industry is not exempted from this obligation.
Here I am not only referring to poultry growers but also to all links in the supply chain as well as processing and sales chain. Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs), no matter whether they deal with environment or animal welfare, have adopted the opinion that livestock production is the main cause of global warming.
The farming community, especially the livestock sector, does not receive much sympathy from city dwellers, when it comes to environmental and animal welfare issues. The majority of these people still believe that the old fashioned way of small scale (backyard) farming is better for the environment, the animals and the farmers. How wrong can they be and how easy can they be misled by unfounded statements by NGOs.
Unbiased researchers at the Cranfield University in Silsoe , UK, released a report last year on the impact of various agricultural commodities on global warming. Their conclusion were very interesting and positive for the poultry industry.
Not that poultry does not contribute to global warming, but it is the least contributor of all animal products, and significantly less than most greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables.
In-door poultry production better for the environment
From the conclusions, one would expect that indoor poultry production is an unfavourable system. On the contrary; free range and organic production contribute up to 10-30 % more to global warming than indoor production, while in addition it requires 65% to 200% more land for keeping birds and producing feed. This conclusion should not lead to the opinion that organic is bad for the environment.
Most importantly the Cranfield researchers have clearly proven that the modern poultry industry is a much less global warming burden than many environment and animal welfare movements would like the general public to believe.
The 'positive' outcome should not be seen as a call for satisfaction and rest, but an encouragement to make further improvements in reducing CO2 and N2O release, so we can have the lowest possible CO2 and N2O footprint for poultry meat and eggs.


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    Brad Arnold

    It is very unlikely that mankind will cut their emissions so fast and drastically that either abrupt climate change or runaway global warming will be avoided.

    A rapidly growing population and world economy means much more poultry, which means more greenhouse gas emissions. There has been a rapid increase in chicken production world-wide, and is dramatically increasing since meat and eggs are a preferred source of protein.

    Any feasible planetary rescue plan must include a method of removing CO2 from the air-I suggest the low cost method of "biosequestration." Read my blog at for more information.

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    Chris F

    This whole scam is such nonsense that the media should just ignore it.

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    Beryl P.Russell

    More garbage, but what else can be expected from the intensive factories? I hesitate to call them farms.
    I don't believe in Global Warming. If this was going to be a problem it would have been at the start of the Industrial Revolution - Dark Satanic Mills and all that, not now.
    With the Clean Air Acts we no longer have smog in the UK.The rivers are the cleanest they have been for centuries. Yet we are still nagged to do more.
    The Ice Age wasn't caused by Man. We hadn't been "invented".
    More damage was done to the atmosphere by the fires in Greece and Australia last year than all the animals of the world put together, not to mention the wanton destruction of the rain forests. There has also been volcanic activity leading to air pollution.
    We are, I gather, entering a period of sunspot activity which affects the planet far more than anything we do to it. Intensively reared chickens require heat to make them grow fast for dispatching. Compare that to a free range flock like mine, that need no heat, and grow at the rate Nature intended, and I only use Solar panels and lights to check they are OK when I shut them in at night. I would say that most free range keepers are the same. A recent load of garbage insisted intensively reared chickens were "happier" than free range birds. Oh perlease!!!
    My hens are happy doing what comes naturally, not sitting in their own excreta with the stench of ammonia and hock burns.
    PS I have worked in a Battery Farm and a Broiler Unit,so I do know what I am talking about. At the Broiler unit we had to wear breathing apparatus as we went in to check and remove dead birds, or ones that weren't making the grade. The first job in the morning at the battery unit was to remove dead and dying birds from the cages. There were a large number which was considered "acceptable".

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    global warming is not real

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    Patrick B

    There's been global warming since the ice age. It didn't start with the industrial revolution.

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    I just can't understand why raising birds in buildings emits less greenhouse gasses. Where does the gas emitted in the building go? Doesn't it have to be exhausted to the outside. I raise birds on the pasture in movable pens. T he manure is scratched into the ground, where it soon becomes available to microbes and plants, fertilizing the pasture. We feed the chickens organically grown feed, which in itself has a smaller carbon footprint than conventionally grown grain. Our poultry litter from the brooder is all composted, which eliminates leaching and off gassing of ammonia, etc. But I am still puzzled by those buildings and the smaller amount of gas. Can someone tell me why?

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    Macyn Patey [age 9]

    Globing Warming is a topic that matters to me because it is a terrible thing happening to our enviroment. once it gets real bad, it will be too late. Whoever is elected president should declare that the citizens must ride bikes or walk to places. The gases in the air are really hurting the artic. I believe just because of my age that people shouldn't ignore me. we oculd die just not caring about it. Whoever is reading this, please help by doing as much as you can to save the animals, the enviroment, the planet, and us! I'm trying to do as much as I can around my community, but it's not enough. I need someone people know better, worldwide, to talk about how dangerous this matter is. If we don't do anything we will end up like the dinosaurs.

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    Every chick requires about 1.0 W of electricity for maintenance and operation of various systems in farm.
    Amazingly the litter excerted by every chick gives out this power on gasification/power generation mode.
    If this were adopted in every farm, no CO2 comes from any farm.
    Further the ash is a very good manure.
    Poultry farms become Greener.

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    I'm surprised that the link to this report isn't included in the original post. The manner in which the trials were performed, the fabric of the research, and the methods of research could effect the outcome. For example, raising the carbon sequestered in soils eliminates some of the carbon emissions: the movement of manure directly to the soil in pasture production adds it directly to the soils where it can be sequestered. Could the link to this report be mentioned in a World poultry update, please?

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    Web editor

    Steve the link to the report is in the blog. 4th paragraph.

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    Peter Hunton

    The folks who award Nobel Prizes should be ashamed of themselves. The Americans can thank their lucky stars that Al Gore didn't become their President! The OECD report on biofuels etc. got very close to the truth when they concluded that using crops like corn, soybeans and canola to produce fuel is going to do noting to reduce carbon emissions but will greatly increase food and feed costs for consumers. The Panel on Climate Change is really a hoax.

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    Joko Prihanto

    the contribution of poultry production on causing a global warming is less significant when litter management is well understood by the farmer or producer

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    Dave B

    Your statement "Not that poultry does not contribute to global warming" supports Gore's misdirected hypothesis on Global warming - I am still waiting for the science to prove it. So please think before making such statements. They only help to “sustain” this mania. This nonsense has more doubled the cost of food for the majority of the world's population. Politicians owe it to us all to understand the science and consequences of their actions

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    R A

    I have to say that global warming is all just a big hoax. Al Gore is encredibly dumb if he thinks that we are all as stupid and naive as to believe all that junk. I think that it is just all leftist-liberal political propaganda aimed at innocent children like the 9yr. old kid who posted and dumb people who have no experience actually in nature and think that Al Gore is some sort of prophet ."ha" I think he should be put in a mental institution not given a "Nobel Prize" By the way have you heard about that thing that they were trying to sell, if you plugged it into an out-let in your house it was supposed to cut you households green gas emmissions in half! Ridiculous! It's all a money-making bunch of trash and gives us common-sense people some good laughs. How 'bout this(it's true, believe me): Al Gore emit more green gas (or whatever he calls them) than just about any other American. I thank God he didn't become president and hope that this election doesn't put some other yayhoo in office!

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    D Alejandro

    Well why not suggest PUT TECHNOLOGY OFF... Do not use computer and other techno things... no energy usage from Powerplants, coal plants, thermal plants, no nothing... UHMp... And do not breathe as well.. people emits carbon dioxide when breathing... BLAME all the scientist, from Da vinci the genius and so on... for they make the world technocraze... Evolution of technology deemed hurtful for the world and environment... Common now, Get your monkey tails and proved that Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution is real... is that what they wanted?

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    Get Educated

    There are some out there that think they have a right to their own opinion whether it is based in scientific fact or not. This is the real problem we are facing - uneducated people making decisions that affect all of civilization Unfortunately, global warming is real. This is true whether you want to believe it or not. It is not something open to discussion or debate. What is open it discussion is what to do about it. If not eating a cow helps, why is this so difficult?

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    Macyn Patey [age 11]

    Well, I see that we have our new president, but the global warming still hasn't gotten any better. About a year ago, I posted a comment on my opinion on global warming. Now, just today I heard that they were taking beams to the artic to measure how much ice is left. I live on the eastern shore of the US and if all the ice melts, the eastern shore and western for that matter, will soon dissapear. Sooner or later, Earth will be nothing but water. But we can stop this! If you are reading this, please try to do anything you can to save the enviroment.

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