"Spent" Hens Illuminate Ugliness of Industrialized Egg Farms

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nikkimay, May 11, 2007.

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  1. nikkimay

    nikkimay In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2007
    Pacific NW

    were an odd sight on a dairy farm. Eight feathered souls, taking refuge among the cows' hay and feed.

    These chickens didn't belong. In fact, they were runaways, having wandered over to the northern California dairy from their previous place of residence: an industrialized egg farm.

    In egg factory farms, hens are often kept in battery cages, packed four to an enclosure that has the floor space of an album cover.

    "Laying" hens aren't allowed to breathe fresh air. They aren't given medical care. And they aren't let outside to scratch and peck in the dirt and sun.

    But for these hens, those days are over. At our California Shelter, they've joined 88 other chickens who have access to the outdoors, healthcare and a loving shelter staff that sees to their every need.

    Their new situation is courtesy of the chickens' own moxie, as well as help from a worker at the dairy who gave the animals to a Farm Sanctuary investigator.

    There's no doubt that the hens escaped a grotesque fate. Some egg factory farms in California—including the one the hens likely strayed from-have recently started dealing with "spent" hens in a cold, cruel way.

    Once a hen's production drops off she is considered spent. Typically, these hens are sent to slaughter, their bruised and battered flesh to be used in soup products and pre-packaged cheap foods. But in the past year, the market has collapsed and the bodies of the spent hens are no longer profitable. Now a liability instead of a money-maker, the hen is useless to the farm.

    So these hens are now dealt with on the premises. Not slaughtered, not used for eggs, but gassed en masse then "composted" in huge piles. Some hens survive the gassing and go to the compost heap alive. There, they either die from suffocation and crushing, or escape.

    Though they're now physically healthy, seven of our hens will always bear the mental scars from the trauma of their first years of life. But Nadia, the eighth hen, will have both horrible memories and a lifetime of physiological problems to show for her time. When we first encountered Nadia, her neurological damage was apparent. She had head tremors, and difficulty walking and standing. With treatment and proper nutrition, she's improved by leaps and bounds. She's now a lot stronger and more active, but Nadia will always have trouble navigating through her surroundings, and will likely need special assistance for the rest of her life.

    At our California Shelter, Nadia and her peers will receive the care they need. Just by surviving, they'll put faces to the nameless millions who suffer and die each year, enslaved by the ruthless factory farming system.

    And although our "spent" hens will again share a farm with cows—and sheep, and turkeys, and pigs, for that matter—Nadia and her friends can rest easy in the knowledge that here, they will always belong.
  2. michellerene

    michellerene Songster

    Apr 23, 2007
    Graham, WA
  3. Saltiena

    Saltiena Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Peach Bottom
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] :thun [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    It's a true story, but unfortunately Farm Sanctuary is financed by those AR nuts that cannot be named...
  5. Oaknim

    Oaknim In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2007
    Sylvia, KS
    Hey I'm an AR nut! I know that there are certain groups that go to the furthest extreme possible, but as a whole, AR groups have done a lot of good for a lot of animals AND people. We're not all complete whack jobs, you know! [​IMG] ~ Oaknim
  6. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hi, what's an AR nut?
  7. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Animal Rights.
  8. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I shouldnt be in here. I should just stop typing right now. Before I say something that will offend someone. But I cant seem to stop myself. So....here goes...

    I am NOT an AR nut, but I do believe in animal rights to the point that I believe there is no need to wear furs. However, I will always be a meat eater, and an avid deer and turkey hunter, but for meat not for sport. I do NOT support "those that cant be named" (PETA for those who dont know) because I have read and seen the terrible truths behind their sob stories and the torture THEY inflict on the very animals they are "helping". That being said, heres how I really feel:

    I believe that people who love and care for animals should report animal abuse when they see it instead of turning the other way. They should clean up their dogs feces when they walk their pooch because not everyone in the world thinks your little 'poma-whats-its' poop is "cute". They should be allowed a day of mourning from work when a beloved pet of many years has passed on. I believe that animals are here for a reason. Dogs are to be a humans companion. Birds are for song and mimicry. Cows, goats, sheep, and yes, chickens are for food, material for clothing, dairy, and yes, also companionship. I believe that ALL animals deserve our respect and fair treatment, even if their lives are destined to be short, it is our duty as decent humans to make the short time peaceful and humane for them.

    BUT (directed at PETA and the like)...do NOT send me flyers telling me that I am killing dolphins by eating a tunafish sandwhich! Or that I'm "wrong" for wearing leather on my shoes, or eating a hamburger medium rare. Do NOT tell me that it is unethical to eat a chicken that I have raised in fresh air and sunshine with love and care, or that I cant spend the day fishing on the lake with my two young children to take home our catch and slather it in beer batter and deep fry the living HE** outta it! (Mmmmm.....now THATS Southern! lol <<drools>>)

    I HATE PETA and will never be a supporter of them. I support the American Humane Society because THEY NEED IT.

    If you consider yourself an AR nut, then good for you. If not, then good for you too. I just needed to rant a little. I have read so many horrid things done at their hands folks...so sad...and they're supposed to be the "good guys".... [​IMG] :mad:
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    PETA posts are not allowed here. Extremist organizations are meant to shock and agitate and do nothing to promote goodwill.

    Please read the posting guidelines and Chickchair's comments the last time a related video was posted.

    Folks, if you read the guidelines, there's mention of why posts like this are not allowed.. PETA and animal rights extremists don't do anything without a shock value. Here we do not judge, but support our own members with their backyard flocks, regardless of the size of the flock. We do not want to give a lot of free press to such organizations

    Videos like this are designed to agitate, not assist.

    Our mission statement, if you will, is to lead by example. We respect and love our birds, regardless of the reason we have them.
    Even if destined for the table, all of our birds have a good life as a bird should live.

    To simplify...."Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and to change the things I can"....​
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