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Estonia and Finland facing an acute shortage of eggs

Eggs completely disappeared from grocery shelves in many regions of Estonia and Finland last month, with the shortage being affiliated to the new rules of production adopted in the EU since the beginning of this year.


The new regulations stipulate that each laying hen shall be given no less than 750 square centimeters of personal space. In addition, the cell must be equipped with sleeping, drinking and nest made of natural materials. Many farms have not been able to make the necessary investments to improve the production process, and therefore were forced to leave the market.

Eggs obtained from laying hens kept in small cages can now only be sold for industrial processing, and their entry into retail and export is now banned. As a result, the production has fallen sharply almost by 15-20% and also the volume of import dramatically decreased.

The lack of eggs in the Estonian market is about 15% of total volume, forcing the price of eggs to rise by 50%. Some Estonian supermarkets have also imposed restrictions on the sale of chicken eggs.


Editor WorldPoultry


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    Maurice Hladik

    The urban elite maintain they can think like a chicken and know that nothing is more important to a laying henn than free range. Perhaps the following interview will make the folks in the EU wonder if egg shortages and high prices really make chicken life all that much better.

    An interview by the Chicken Whisperer with Henny Penny

    CW: I am in Farmer Brown's chicken barn where I have met up with Ms. Henny Penny who has agreed to an interview about free range conditions.
    CW: Ms. Penny, it is a beautiful sunny June morning - would you not sooner be outside enjoying the great outdoors than being cooped up in here with all those other hens.
    HP: Please call me Henny.
    CW: Thanks Henny - sure would be nice to have the run of the great outdoors - too bad that you are cooped up in here.
    HP: I guess so.
    CW: Henny, you can share the truth with me, every human is rooting for you chickens to have free range privileges. Tell us how bad things are in here.
    HP: I think you are trying to put words in my beak.
    CW: Not at all, I already know how depressed you must be cooped up here with all those other birds all the time. Do you not want to be outside?
    HP: Ya perhaps; but if it is not too cold, if there is no snow, if it is not raining, if it is not too windy, if it is not too hot, if it is not storming, if there are no predators such as hawks, eagles coyotes, foxes or stray dogs, if it is not dark, if there is lots to eat and drink and if I feel like it.
    CW: That is a lot of ifs.
    HP: Being a chicken is iffy business.
    CW: But I am sure you can overlook all those things just for the pure joy of being free range.
    HP: I never bother to think about it. Just take a look at that poor pigeon peeking through the window, today is warm and sunny but all winter he freezes his tail feathers off, has a desperate time scrounging for food, and water is also a problem. If farmer Brown treated us the same way he would loose his free range privileges.
    CW: (A little exasperated) Do you not care that people everywhere are dedicated to getting you out into the great outdoors?
    HP: Listen Mr. Know-it-all. We chickens are descendant from a long line of jungle fowl and left that all behind to be near people such as Farmer Brown who provides us with great food, ample water, protection from the elements and predators and a controlled climate environment. Life is good.
    CW: But that is not free range.
    HP: But it is free you have to admit. Besides you humans have the opportunity for free range but what do you do, you crowd yourselves into airplanes, classrooms, theatres, office buildings, busses, subways, sporting events and many other venues where the pounds of people per square foot are greater than the pounds of hens per square foot here. Even with choice are you free range?
    CW: How do you know all that stuff?
    HP: Let me finish, when you humans are in bed you even crowd up even more and seem like to lie on top of each other. Judging by the noisy one on the bottom you find such close quarters quite OK.
    CW: You can't know all this?
    HP: Farmer Brown left his old TV in here for us to watch and we learned how to peck at the remote. Surprising what pecking XXX brings us.
    CW: You chickens are smarter than I thought.
    HP: And you humans are stupider than I thought so I guess that makes us equal. Anyhow you can now tell your listeners that you have breaking news that the old paradox about the chicken and the egg has been resolved. You just got it from this exclusive interview that jungle fowl came first.
    CW: (Inaudible)
    HP: I see the girls gathering at the end of the hen house so I guess I had better flock off now or I will loose my place in the pecking order. Cheerio now and make sure you close the door when you go.
    Maurice Hladik, Author of the book, Demystifying Food from Farm to Fork

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