Paula Deen

Six Million chickens. 6 MILLION. Think about that.

Hi-Q Egg Products wants to build a facility in Ohio for the purpose of commercially exploiting the egg-laying capabilities of hens.  Hi-Q, owned by two men in Iowa, wish to make “liquid egg products,” for use in food service and the commercial food industries.  Basically, they want to make a profit by slaughtering animals, polluting your environment, and hiring people to do heinous work for barely a living wage.

On February 22, the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Jim Zehringer (a former poultry and fish farmer), will begin reviewing the findings of a state hearing regarding whether or not Hi-Q should be allowed permits to proceed with a 6 million hen operation.

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Fact(s):

  • Hi-Q Egg Products, LLC (based in Johnston, Iowa) is proposing the construction of a new egg laying facility at 22450 Davis Road, West Mansfield, Ohio.
  • Hi-Q Egg Products, LLC’s draft Permit to Install (PTI) is to construct 15 layer houses with 400,000 layers each, for a total design capacity of six million layers.

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This would be the state’s second largest egg producing facility.  Ohio Fresh Eggs is the largest.  Google Ohio Fresh Eggs- there isn’t any good being said about them.

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Fact:

  • These barns would be constructed as belt-battery systems with manure belts installed under each cage row that transfer the manure out of the housing barns and into separate manure storage barns.

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Chicken Farms

It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s eggs are produced in industrial systems, mostly using battery cages, like these.

Battery cages are typically the size of a file drawer and confine five to seven hens, giving each bird only 67 square inches of floor space – an area smaller than a notebook-sized piece of paper.

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Fact(s):

  • Manure storage barns on the site would store 5,000,000 cubic feet of manure.  Each of the proposed manure storage barns are considered to be fabricated structures by Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) rules and are required to have 120 days of manure storage capacity.
  • In addition to the solid manure storage structures, this draft PTI also includes the proposed installation of a lagoon treatment system for the eggwash and process wastewater generated at the facility.  This system would consist of two treatment cells, each with a capacity of approximately 3,834,387 gallons.
  • The third cell would provide secondary aeration treatment, but would also serve at the storage cell for the lagoon system. This cell would have a storage capacity of approximately 15,563,940 gallons.  The predicted annual liquid manure production (including rainfall) is 23,500,747 gallons.
  • The facility proposes to generate approximately 74,157 tons of solid manure annually.
  • All of the approximately 23.5 million gallons of egg processing wastewater generated at the facility would be managed on approximately 268 acres of cropland adjacent to the facility and owned by Hi-Q Egg Products.

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The Ohio EPA believes that water will run off the property and contaminate streams leading to Bokes Creek, which drains into the Ohio River and ultimately affects all waters.  An EPA report has found that Bokes Creek  is already contaminated with pollutants from other nearby chicken farms housing  3 million chickens.  Hi-Q claims that their facility is designed for no discharge and will not leak contaminants into streams.  Yes, we’ve all heard that one before.

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Fact:

  • A Mortality Management Plan is also required for the disposal of dead chickens. Approved methods for disposal are burying, burning, rendering or composting. Hi-Q Egg Products, LLC has selected rendering and landfilling as their methods of disposal.

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Just a moment to remind you that these are chickens we’re talking about- animals- just like your dogs and cats- just like you.  Compassion should not be limited to a being’s perceived intelligence.

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Fact:

  • An Emergency Response Plan is the last plan required by the draft PTO to ensure accidents or emergencies are handled quickly and efficiently to maintain the safety of the environment, wildlife and water supplies. In the case of a liquid spill, a contractor would be called to mobilize equipment, a dike would be built in the most logical place to contain the spill, ….  An emergency response map is contained in the draft permit, which shows areas for a temporary dike, drainage direction, ….. In case of a catastrophic mortality event, either a rendering service or a sanitary landfill would be chosen for disposal of a high volume of birds.

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Sounds pastoral doesn’t it?  Ohio, the heartland, farmers bringing food to America’s tables.

What you can do:

Ohio residents (and non-residents too, because Ohio likes visitors and would welcome those who wish to relocate) can take immediate action by contacting  Director Jim Zehringer at [email protected] to let him know that Ohio does not need, nor want, yet another factory farm imposing cruelty onto animals, polluting our environment, and endangering human health.

Also, send your comments to the ironically named Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board at [email protected]

Finally, the single most effective method to shutting down Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFO) is to reject the use of sentient beings as food.

Voice your opinion soon, there isn’t much time. The Director begins his review February 22, 2011.

Watch this interesting video to learn more, like why the local residents are silently opposed to the egg producing facility, for fear of being sued.

via: agri.ohio.gov
dispatchpolitics.com, April 2009
dispatchpolitics.com, December 2010