A former battery hen learns to walk

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A former battery hen learns to walk

Chickens raised as meat are one of the most brutally abused animals on the planet–and yet chickens raised for their eggs have it so much worse.

Confined in tiny cages for the entirety of their short lives, egg-laying hens–who can live ten years or more–are sent to slaughter at a year or a year-and-a-half old when they are considered “spent”; that is, when they aren’t laying enough to be profitable.  Bred to lay so many eggs that their bones splinter for lack of calcium (creating egg shells requires a great deal), many of them die on their way to the slaughterhouse.  (The turnover rate for battery hens is so high–and the demand for their bruised meat comparatively low–that many aren’t sent to the slaughterhouse at all; instead, they are killed on the farm and discarded.  More here.)

batterycages

98% of Canada's egg-laying chickens are kept in battery cages.

Also worth noting: free-range and organic hens are not confined to cages, many of the issues that make conventional eggs so cruel are still very much a part of free-range and organic farming.  I include in that category such practices as debeaking, a lack of access to the outdoors, inhumane and early slaughter, and of course, grinding up male chicks alive, as they have no value to the industry.

There is a positive side to all of this, believe it or not, and that’s what this blog post is really supposed to be about.

A lucky few hens are rescued and adopted.  Faith, who was saved by Little Hen Rescue in the UK, is one such hen.   The incredible suffering that she has experienced as an egg-laying hen is more than obvious, but watching her learn to walk–and to be a chicken!–is truly wonderful.


4 Comments

marv wheale

July 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

Sorrowful and joyful to see at the same time.

Jean White

July 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thank you for giving Faith and her friends a chance. Your patience paid off! She’s a beautiful hen and I’m so happy that she’s had a second chance at life. Eggs are so not worth their suffering.

Janet Bird

July 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Bless the rescue worker for his loving kindness and patience. Your reward is great.

Tamara

July 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm

A wonderful gift! You make this place a better world !!!

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