10 OCT

Denham: Ethanol policy closed Turlock farm

— Rep. Jeff Denham is citing the state’s policies in the closure of Fulton Valley Farms of Turlock, set to happen by mid-January because of rising feed costs.

The high cost of feed is a direct result of ethanol mandates and subsidies, said Denham, R-Atwater, and has forced many job creators in California to shut down. Fulton Valley Farms employs 185 people. Read Full Story

27 SEP

USDA Bird Health Awareness Week

Bird lovers, poultry owners, students, and teachers from across the country are invited to observe a week-long salute to bird health from October 30 – November 5. Click here for flyer. From coast to coast, all week long USDA wants to let everyone know that raising poultry is fun and keeping your birds safe and healthy is important. Bird Health Awareness Week is part of the USDA’s Biosecurity For Birds campaign to promote awareness about the diseases that threaten bird health and the ways to prevent the spread of infectious poultry diseases. Read More

22 SEP

Welcome to New CPF Members

Power House Energy has joined the California Poultry Federation as an Allied Member. PHE uses a non-combustion zero emission gasification process to generate a fuel gas for boilers, engines, turbines and fuel cells. The company sells, engineers, installs and services turn-key plants. The system turns poultry waste into fuel gas and electricity. The company is located in Pasadena. Please contact David Moard at (626) 683-3338 or dmoard@powerhouseenergy.net or Pete Bonacic at westernenergyllc@aol.com for information.

Gemperle Enterprises, headquartered in Turlock, CA, is a producer and processor of conventional and organic eggs. The company, founded in 1950, also manufactures certified organic feed. Gemperle Enterprises has joined CPF as an Allied Member. The Gemperle Enterprise phone number is (209) 667-2651.

01 SEP

Bill’s Blog: Folks… Make it a Habit to Eat California Grown Foods, Especially on Sundays!

“Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day” is now officially every Sunday following unanimous decisions in both the state Assembly and Senate. They approved Resolution No. 42 supported by almost 25 agricultural organizations, including the California Poultry Federation. Family-owned Foster Farms marketing department supported the effort as well, and helped kick off the resolution’s introduction during Sacramento’s Ag Day in March, passing out t-shirts emphasizing that when you buy California Grown, you get your chicken within 48 hours of processing. Read Full Blog

01 SEP

Council OKs up to three hens in city back yards

Chickens are no longer backyard outlaws in Sacramento.

With a unanimous vote Tuesday night, the City Council passed an ordinance that will allow city residents to keep up to three egg-laying hens in their back yards starting Nov. 1.

The new law was lauded by advocates of the slow-food movement and environmentalists.

"Allowing people who have a home and a yard in our city to not only grow fresh produce for themselves but also to have chickens goes a long way toward addressing food security," said Councilman Rob Fong.

Households that want to keep chickens will be required to pay $15, plus an annual fee of $10 per chicken. No roosters will be allowed.

And for those concerned that the new law will lead to chickens roaming city streets, the law requires that hens be kept in pens, coops or cages at all times. Those holding areas must be at least 20 feet from a neighbor’s home.

Chickens will be tagged for identification.

Despite the overwhelming support of city officials, not everyone is sold on the keeping of hens.

Land Park resident Ken Caldwell wrote in an email to the council that he was concerned by the noise, smell and regulation of chickens. He also said backyard chickens could become health hazards.

"It is a bad idea to allow barnyard animals in an urban environment," he wrote.

Dr. Glennah Trochet, the county’s public health officer, said she has spoken with state health officials and poultry experts at UC Davis and neither recommended striking down a backyard chicken ordinance because of concerns over disease, including the bird flu.

While some residents still have their reservations, one person who has changed his mind and supports backyard chickens is Mayor Kevin Johnson. And all it took was a chat with one of Northern California’s best-known chefs.

Johnson spoke Monday with Alice Waters, founder of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse restaurant. Waters is a chief member of the slow-food movement, which advocates for locally-grown products and healthy, organic food.

Waters told Johnson there should be "a strong commitment to healthy food and understanding that a community can raise its own food and eat its own food that’s healthy and affordable, and her point is that Sacramento should be leader (in that movement)."

As for whether Johnson will keep backyard chickens of his own at his new digs in east Sacramento?

"Let me be really clear," he told reporters, "my house will not have any hens in the backyard."

The number of chickens already residing in Sacramento backyards is unknown, but city officials hear from as many as 500 residents a year complaining about chicken noise, chicken smells and other chicken-related effects. Those calls are expected to continue, even with the new law.

However, for east Sacramento’s Irmagaard, Magdalena and Elvira and what could be hundreds more chickens across the city, the ordinance provides amnesty.

Sarah Weaver, who keeps the three chickens in a pen in her backyard, couldn’t be happier.

"They’re cheap, easy and fun," she said. "And our neighbors love them. We give them all eggs."

Weaver considers herself a responsible chicken owner, having traded in a rather noisy bird for the much quieter Elvira recently. Elvira, who Weaver said lays "chocolate brown eggs," had ended up in an Oak Park backyard from points unknown and is now a rescue chicken.

Said fellow backyard chicken supporter Randy Stannard, "This isn’t really just a fad anymore. This is something we have an opportunity to lead on."

12 AUG

Fresno County Board of Supervisors adopts Eat Local, Buy California Grown Resolution

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors has adopted the Buy California Grown resolution and proclaimed Sundays as "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day." Families, restaurants and grocers are encouraged to buy California grown products, because buying California grown products will result in higher food quality, improved food safety, higher environmental and animal welfare standards, and significant economic benefits. Read the Fresno County resolution here.

04 AUG

San Diego County looks to curb cockfighting

A week after Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two animal protection reforms, San Diego County will seek to curb illegal cockfighting by limiting the number of roosters residents are allowed to keep on their property. A steady drumbeat of raids on cockfighting operations has demonstrated that the illicit blood sport remains a problem in rural areas of the county despite the efforts of law enforcement, said John Carlson, deputy director of the Department of Animal Services. Supervisor Dianne Jacob said the draft ordinance before the board Tuesday was only a starting point. Read More