Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Don't Use Antibiotics for Poultry and Resistant Bacteria Levels Drop

PictureAmerican consumers are becoming aware of the practices of large commercial farming operations and they don't like what they learn.

Here's a great example of proof. Not using sub-therapeutic antibiotics can quickly lower the anti resistant bacterias found on these farms.

You can read more about just how dangerous antibiotic use can be to all of us here: "This development of drug resistance scares the hell out of me," says Kellogg Schwab

(From the Union of Concerned Scientists)

A blockbuster new scientific study shows that a transition to organic animal production methods that don’t use antibiotics can reduce levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on farms.

This is the first U.S. study to provide on-farm data on the impacts of removing antibiotics from large-scale poultry CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations).

Researchers from the University of Maryland and the Food and Drug Administration measured levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in poultry litter, water, and feed samples from 10 conventional poultry operations and 10 newly-organic operations of similar size. (Under organic certification rules, producers are not allowed to use antibiotics.) The newly antibiotic-free organic farms had much lower rates of resistant bacteria compared to the conventional farms, demonstrating that the reduction in antibiotic use can immediately lower the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria found on the farm.

The study was released in the midst of a massive food safety recall of ground turkey contaminated with antibiotic-resistant salmonella. That incident, involving 36 million pounds of ground turkey produced by agribusiness giant Cargill, sickened some 111 consumers. Read the full study here, and learn more about the turkey recall here.


 

 
 

No Chemical Wormers Used Here

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Chemical Wormer
At Spring Hill Farms we try to do things as close to natural as we can. To us that means no chemical wormers.

I realize many farms do use chemical wormers. I also know small farms or organically oriented farms many times use chemical, commercial wormers.

We have used them in cases where stock was not responding to natural methods. By that I mean in the early years when we first started breeding Tamworth pigs we had some that did not do well in our type of system.

They got a parasite load that caused them to drop weight and if we would have let it go they would have been stunted or even sick enough to die from the worms. Although this only happened twice we pulled them off the pastures and chemically wormed them, got them well, and then sold them.

My experience tells me you can selectively breed for parasite resistance. But that's only one piece of the puzzle. Poor management will trump even the best genetics. You can take some of my Tamworth Hogs and put them in a small lot that eventually turns to dirt and manure and you could very likely expose them to enough of a parasite load to end up with problems.

A major drawback to killing these parasites with chemicals is that they tend to mutate very quickly in order to survive the onslaught, so new and more powerful chemicals have to be developed to kill them, and the cycle continues. If you are over using wormers it is even worse.

I recently spoke with someone about goats and they said that for round worms in goats the product SAFEGUARD is not effective in almost all of the United States because the round worms have become immune to it.

To me parasite resistance is one reason to avoid chemical wormers. I have seen research that indicates the wormers once they pass through the animal ends up in the soil. I don't want parasiticides in my soil.

Another product on the market is Ivermectin. While I certainly am not even close to an expert on any of these products natural or chemical, it just doesn't seem right to me that I can give my pigs a dose of Ivermectin and it not only kills the internal parasites, it also rids them of external parasites. I'm not sure how it does this, but it seems like the stuff actually poisons the critters through the skin. Not something I'm comfortable eating later on.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm not comfortable with the fact that my pork, beef, or chicken may have parasiticide residue in it. Now I know the research that has been done to indicate that it's is minimal and it's harmless. But I say err on the side of caution.

Scientific cleverness is what has caused many of the messes in modern agriculture. I look at it this way, if it is safe to consume or there is no residue even present by the time it gets to the table, great! All the people consuming this type of meat are at no risk.

But if it is harmful as we may find out down the road, I'm not effected nor are my customers because we don't use them.

Next time I'll talk about our approach to parasite control here at Spring Hill Farms.

 

 

 
 

The development of drug resistance scares the hell out of me," - Kellogg Schwab

Kellogg Schwab, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health, refers to a typical pig farm manure lagoon that he sampled. "There were 10 million E. coli per liter [of sampled waste]. Ten million. And you have a hundred million liters in some of those pits. So you can have trillions of bacteria present, of which 89 percent are resistant to drugs. That's a massive amount that in a rain event can contaminate the environment." He adds, "This development of drug resistance scares the hell out of me. If we continue on and we lose the ability to fight these microorganisms, a robust, healthy individual has a chance of dying, where before we would be able to prevent that death." Schwab says that if he tried, he could not build a better incubator of resistant pathogens than a factory farm. He, Silbergeld, and others assert that the level of danger has yet to be widely acknowledged. Says Schwab, "It's not appreciated until it's your mother, or your son, or you trying to fight off an infection that will not go away because the last mechanism to fight it has been usurped by someone putting it into a pig or a chicken."

 

Read the full article here

 
 
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