Rant: The Local Big R is not taking care of their chicks.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ColoradoSLV, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    I understand that many/all chicks sold at these chain stores are production, and not everyone has the same work ethic AND the same attitude toward their 'temporary' stock, but...

    I don't know the breed of birds, but the local Big R seemed to take great pride by stating "These bird are being fed organic feed only'. Fine - but the overcrowding of the birds with at least one empty tub available; the wood chips FILLING the drinker; and - as I watched - at least three chicks were being pecked, chased, or otherwise harassed.

    Asking to speak to the manager AND stating to her that I didn't buy a lot (from Big R); she did ask for an employee to resolve the issues. I added that I would no longer shop at Big R unless and until these problems are resolved.

    Yeah - these birds prolly have a lifeline that's not more than a week long, but dadgum it - while they're here can't we make their lives just a little bit better?

    I'll stop by tomorrow and see if things have improved.

    Rant over...for now! *sigh*
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,273
    1,583
    356
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Yeah. You have done a good thing, and if the situation doesn't improve, complain again. Then consider your local Humane Society, or your local Animal Control, or the state veterinary office. Good luck! Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    Thanks for the very nice words!

    After I posted I wondered what the ASPCA and other organizations could/would do, or is Big R somehow exempt from the regulations the rest of us need to live under.

    I'll give an update tomorrow...after I see how many birds have survived. :-(
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,541
    2,475
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I'm also in Colorado and I have observed even worse things at my Big R. Besides the conditions you describe, I found out they got "too busy" to pick up a big shipment of chicks at the post office the day they came in. The chicks were left at the post office over night and I'm sure they were half dead by the time they got them the next day and installed them in the stock tanks.

    Big R is everything you can think of that's wrong with corporate run businesses. I've actually had their employees tell me they don't get paid enough to care. ($8/hour). If you can think of anything to hold them accountable, I'd be interested in hearing it. But the ones responsible are at the top and well insulated from accountability.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,273
    1,583
    356
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It might help if you could get a local reporter interested in this; talk to someone ahead of time, and then pick a bad day at Big R for the pictures and story. So sad! Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    Thanks for the comments and the reporter recommendation. I know at least one of the local reporters, so I'll be in touch with them.

    Re: Today's store visit:

    It's an improvement - kinda...

    The birds - 3-week-old Leghorn chicks - are now in two separate tanks resulting in less pecking, but the 'feistyness' was still going on. And although the person who (reportedly) cleaned the feeders and drinkers last night said the work had been done (by her?), they needed additional attention today - which they got as I watched. There was also a lit-but-empty stock tank in the same caged-in area.

    These older birds are being sold for a "buy-one-get-TWO(!)-free", and while I was tempted to take all 37 birds (talk about chicken math! :) ), I think I'll go back closer to closing time tonight to see about rescuing all the critters.

    (I had an interesting conversation with an employee from that same store. That person said the cashier assigned to take care of the birds is both indifferent AND not held accountable for her (in)actions. Interesting in that business owners say they can't hire good, quality help...but condone the inactions of others!)

    [A final(?) note: The smaller [younger?] chicks seem to be doing OK -- they just wanna eat, sleep and poop...practice for when they're older, maybe? :) ]

    Now to the ASPCA website... *S*
     
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    255
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Quote: While I understand you want to save them, and this will save those that are currently there - in the long run, this won't help the situation. All the store will see is "all birds were sold." You can bet they'll just order more to replace them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    Agreed - this is just a symptom of the larger problem with corporations these days. Chicks - to them - are profit AND expendable.

    I just texted a friend who has 150 birds to see if he wants them. Maybe he already has his hands full, but you never know.

    There's a local shelter that'll be open tomorrow; I'll give them a call...
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Devil's advocate here.....

    Well, I'm going to say, if you came to my house, you'd see wood chips in the water sometimes. Sometimes, the water even runs dry [​IMG]. I'm not out there all day, I care for them 2-3 times a day and they do just fine. I don't want to give the impression my birds are neglected, but they're messy and things happen. I'm not going to stress myself over taking every single wood chip out of the waterer.

    chicks chase and peck each other. Not sure how one would stop that? And why? It's normal chick behavior. Like kittens or puppies playing.

    Overcrowding is kind of subjective. when they sell so many so fast, maybe they're not in the tubs for very long. As long as they've got space to move around, it should be fine. Each time the chicks get moved, it's a chance to mix up breeds. Plus, more heat lamps, more bedding, etc....those are all overhead for the company.


    Just saying, maybe your standards are a bit unrealistic? I sure hope our local animal control folks have better things to do than harass a store for chicks chasing or pecking at each other........

    and I have to say, when you pay money to a business for something, even an animal, you're making a purchase. You're buying them, not rescuing them.
     
    3 people like this.
  10. ColoradoSLV

    ColoradoSLV Out Of The Brooder

    22
    1
    39
    Jul 1, 2016
    No 'devil's advocate' category needed! :) There's the reality of raising/keeping chickens...and then there's Big R.

    I have wood chips in the water, too, and on thirsty days for the birds their water can run dry ([​IMG]), so I take no issue with anything you've said.

    But -- heavy-duty pecking with thirty-seven 3-week-old birds...in a 2'x2'x6' stock tank...plus the neglect...adds up to mistreatment of the animals.

    ------------
    I did purchase the ten available leghorn chicks (the 20+ others had a "SOLD" sign on 'em and reportedly were purchased by one of the employees) for less than ten dollars. It was amazing to see the effect of more room, more food, and more water on the birds. While the pecking still existed, it was MUCH reduced when the birds had room to spread their wings.

    ------------
    In looking for an animal abuse(?) representative I wound up leaving a message at Colorado PACFA (Pet Animal Facility Care Act), part of the CO Department of Agriculture whose voicemail said they would call back in about 3 business days. True - Big R has deeper pockets than I do, and true - the birds in questions are probably gone, and true - a sale is a sale and they'll probably order more *sigh*, but, at least, ten birds are getting a better life than they would have otherwise.

    _______

    Now... what is the meaning of a) an eggless egg song, b) a low-pitched, but "investigative" growl from a Barnevelder, and c) an insistent caw that sounds like a 'where are the treats' - but no treats are being given?

    Y'all take care...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by