“Battery Hens” Must Be Happy Where They Are.

26 Nov

Inspired by one of my favorite people on Twitter, @mumsmuddyducks,  I was interested in checking to see if there were any programs in the US that rescue “Battery Hens,” basically, commercial laying hens that have outlived their usefulness. It seems there is a very active community in the UK, however after researching for anything here in the US, I came up empty. So, I decided to go on my local Backyard Poultry message board to see if anyone was familiar with such a program. It took a while to get any sort of response…I got one woman who new of a farm animal rescue group but that was about it. Until yesterday, when I got a response I found disturbing…and it came in several posts from the same guy:

POST 1

Battery hens don’t really need to be “rescued” . . .a euphemism for “stolen” actually. Having made the mistake of trying to raise birds that were bred for battery production in a free range environment, I can tell you . . .they’re perfectly content with being raised in small cages, and it’s actually the “real world” that stresses the crap out of them. Anyone who thinks any differently is deluding themselves.

If ya want to buy old battery hens, I think that’s great, but make no mistake, they’ll be less stressed if you give them a familiar environment, rather than making them freak out with “new experiences” every day. Hate to rain on some folks parade there, but reality is . . .well . . .reality.

First of all, I never said anything about “stealing” I was just interested in taking them on after the commercial farmers were done with them. Seriously??? They are perfectly content in their small cages???

Post 2

Nothing wrong with eating chickens. Not sure I’ll fit in here, after reading a few posts. Chickens . . .like it or not . . .are not “people too”

I NEVER said there was anything wrong with eating chickens! I was a vegetarian for 8 yrs & still consider it from time to time, but never thought it was up to me to tell people what to eat.

Post 3

Yea, I learned that lesson first hand about 15 years, ago, heheh. I decided to try and sell a few eggs, so I bought 100 leghorns I think from Ideal Poultry farms, called “Egg Machine 13’s” if memory serves. I remember on the phone the girl told me I might want to rethink it since they were bred for commercial production, and us “regular” chicken keepers can have issues due to their nature. Of course I ignored that advice, liking the idea of something like 330 eggs a year. Well, they were problems right from the start.

Most chicks figure out where the feed comes from, and look forward to me showing up to feed them. These birds never did. From the day the chicks arrived and deep into adulthood, I was always “a hawk” in their minds. Everything terrified them. I had originally built a square pen for’em, and they would run and pile into a corner, hurt one or two of themselves, then the unhurt ones would viciously attack the injured ones. I built a round pen that helped some. But unfortunately, their nervous nature kept egg production well below any other layer breed I’d ever had.

I haven’t been to a lot of commercial layer or broiler farms, but the two I have been to seemed to be pretty well run. Keeping them healthy is certainly in the best interest of the farmer raising either commercially. I have very little trust of the various “Chicken rights” groups, or animal rights groups in general. Most seem to have no clue really about the critters they claim to represent, and probably do more harm than good, PETA being the most absurdly obvious example, though United Poultry Concerns are just as moronic as PETA, by any measure.

As near as I can tell, the case against battery farming is grossly misrepresented by the “rescue” types.
I used to help a former girlfriend do Dog “rescue” . . .which meant I did all the work, she took all the credit for bringing abused dogs back around to where they could be pets. I didn’t fit in too well with the dog rescue folks, as I did and still feel the term “rescue, is a self-serving, highly exaggerated description of what it really entails. I considered us more of “Dog Bail bondsmen” than Dog “rescuers” With United Poultry Concerns, some of what they call “rescue” is actually . . .well . . . .”Chicken thieven”

One reality some folks forget is that no matter how it’s done, killlin and dressin a bird is kind of “Icky.” And on a commercial level, well all the mechanization makes for some pretty dramatic photos for the Animal rights groups to misrepresent.

Society in general seems to anthropomorphize way too much. Sure, if people were hung by their feet on conveyor system and were tracked toward a saw or whatever, that would be horrifying. Because we would realize that being hung by ones feet certainly couldn’t lead to anything good, and we’d be aware of exactly what that saw was about to do. We humans are self-aware. A chicken, despite what Disney and Warner Bros. etc would have us believe . . .aren’t. To a chicken, the level of alarm and dismay at being hung on an assembly line is about the same as opening the chicken house door if they aren’t expecting it. They aren’t really capable of experiencing “horror”. I once helped a woman catch a rooster that had been shot with an arrow. The chicken was far more upset at being caught than by it’s having an arrow stuck through it. It was peacefully pecking at the ground, despite the impalement, only becoming upset when we tried to “rescue” it. (The bird lived, believe it or not, pretty much unaffected)

As people with self awareness, we’d have been freaking out if we had an arrow shot through us. Lucky chickens, sometimes ignorance is bliss, heheh. I do know that if the “chicken rights” types hasd their way, we’d all be vegetarians, or at best be paying like twelve bucks a pound for chicken, as mollycoddling birds on a commercial level would be pretty cost, land, and staff intensive.

All this being said, do I mollycoddle my birds? Of course I do, heheh. But if I were trying to raise 10,000 of’em, well . . .some would probably not have names.

What is up with this guy?! Why did he feel the need to go on & on? I never said anything about “chicken rights,” I am not a member of PETA, I never said I was going to steal a chicken. I just wanted to take on a hen that had been kept in a cage for 2+ years & probably weighs so much she could barely walk & let her feel the grass beneath her toes. But, according to him, she must be happy right where she is & it would be “traumatizing” to let her feel that grass.

Thanks for letting me vent. I chose to completely ignore his comments on the message board as I think he thinks so highly of himself already, he didn’t need me to help him along.

I’m still looking for those hens though. 🙂

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