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This is Louise, a former egg-laying hen. If you click on the picture, you can see she doesn't have a full beak, because a good chunk of it was chopped off at a few days of age.

She came from a small factory farm of 160,000 battery-cage housed egg-laying hens that was going out of business. In a rare opportunity, we went into the facility and pulled 2,000 hens (legally, no less). It was back-breaking, soul-aching work. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but I'd take that extra hen. Maybe extra hundred hens. In California, no slaughterhouse takes "spent" egg-laying hens, because they don't produce enough flesh to be worth anything. So we could take as many as we wanted and it wasn't any skin off the money-grubbing farmer's back (he's currently trying to build a 1,000,000 egg-laying operation....not if Prop 2 passes).

She spends her days at the sanctuary doing normal bird stuff - foraging, pecking, nesting, dust-bathing, foraging, snoozing, sunbathing, foraging, and maybe some foraging.

Interestingly, most of the white leghorns rescued from that facility have died from ovarian cancer. It is unsurprising considering they produce a whopping 260-300 eggs per year at their peak. Even other egg-laying breeds produce less and your average game/feral fowl will produce 20-60 per year.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
1) You rule. A lot.

2) When I saw the title of your post I thought you had spelled my name incorrectly and I was wondering why you thought I thought you might give me some food, even though I am, in fact, rather hungry.

3) Now that you mention it (not really), I am wondering if vegan cheesecake is in my immediate future.

4) I would like to meet my (almost) namesake. I will feed her treats if it will buy me a pleasant afternoon with a charming hen.
Sep. 5th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
1) Thanks. A lot. :)

2) I would like to give you food. You'd probably dislike layer scratch, though. *nods*

3) Vegan cheesecake is in your immediate future if you come visit me. In fact, I have to actually make vegan cheesecake this weekend b/c we're having a going away lunch for one of our staff. This involves vegan cheesecake.

4) She would like to be fed treats. I will, of course, be unable to identify her ever again, except if I carry this photo with me. One hundred more of her kind traipse through the wild daisies too.
Sep. 5th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
Arturo has to be one of the sexiest roosters I have ever seen. And so regal.

I will visit you if you declare a time and location for vizataitshuns.
Sep. 7th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
LOL @ myself: "[Bad username: polymorphicvegan]". (See below.) Awful typo! I didn't mean to suggest that your bodyweight fluctuates, or anything like that! BTW, why the user name? Does it refer to mediaeval polyphony or modern polyphony or both or neither?
Sep. 8th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
How's the car?
Sep. 8th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
It's running fine now but I suspect it is full of recalled parts. I went to the government recall website and printed out three pages of parts that have been recalled on my lovely car. To date I've only had one of those parts replaced, so I am going to take it in to the shop tomorrow and have them go through the list and hunt down the other parts/order new, non-recalled parts for me. Ugh.

I shall have to cancel cheezecake goodness with you tomorrow. I don't feel especially safe after Friday's incident on the freeway. I prefer my fuel hoses to remain attached THANK YOU VERY MUCH. My brakes were also on the recall list. This does not comfort me any!
Sep. 8th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
I figured as much. I'll eat a lot of cheesecake on your behalf. Just kidding, I'm not that devilish. We'll just figure out something else, in which I probably head up to your apartment and make cheesecake for you. :)

Your car sounds like it's fully of lemony badness.

I too prefer your fuel hoses remain attached. Your brakes too. Please be safe.
Sep. 8th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
>We'll just figure out something else, in which I probably head up to your apartment and make cheesecake for you.

Awwwww you are like agave personified. I hate to make you drive out here for the billionth time although the prospect is QUITE exciting! I will make it up to you with a trip to Grass Valley...how about the weekend of the 20th? Maybe that will equal all the gas from Cowville to Hippieland. I will try to have non-recalled parts in my car so that I can drive. Thankfully I don't have to pay for any of the parts or labor, so I'm getting them all replaced ASAP.

I think the way the lemon law goes is if I have the same problem three times and give the dealership three chances to fix it and they still fail at life, then my car can apply for lemon status. I read a few horror stories about Nissan being an asshat to people who have had problems with their Versas so I am not looking forward to that. Hopefully I can just get my car fixed and get a new one in two years when my lease is up.
Sep. 5th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
I love this photo, and the caption.

I hope you realise, though, that Louise is not really thinking, only moving her body in a way which we anthropomorphically interpret as thinking. Don't worry, I'm joking. :-) You know how according to most people (or most people I meet, anyway), non-human animals are just like humans except that when humans do something it's called thinking, believing etc, and when non-humans do exactly the same thing it's called instinct? Makes me want to instinctively hit them over the head with sosmething heavy.
Sep. 6th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
I've been tempted to reflexively whack a few people over the head too.

People want to have it both ways - animals are just enough like us to be exploited via vivisection but not enough like us to be considered emotional, intelligent, thoughtful beings.

Definitely okay to copy the photo.

I'd ship you a vegan cheesecake, but I don't think it would survive the trip. :)

Sep. 6th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
P.S. I've posted this on my blog at http://xeny.net/Tumblelog, and I've copied your photo onto my site just in case my blog lasts longer than Flickr. I hope that's OK. If not, just let me know and I'll delete it.

Also, I WANT TO SHARE VEGAN CHEESECAKE with you and [Bad username: polymorphicvegan] but sadly I'm in Australia :-(
Sep. 7th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
I tried to reply to your comment but LJ said it was "FORBIDDEN on this server." Odd.

LOL at polymorphicvegan. My user name was inspired by my love of polyphony in music. I tacked on "vegan" because I like to think of myself as a voice for the many animals whose voices are ignored. It's a bit abstract, I know...

Sep. 7th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
The more abstraction the better IMO. And I love polyphony (especially recent polyphony, but also the stuff mentioned on Wikipedia). Although I've just realised that it got me into trouble in the video shop last night!

I was looking for recommendations of vids with Joaquin Phoenix in, having found out that he's vegan, only I didn't know how to pronounce it, so I wrote it down for the guy behind the counter (whose name is Eden ... hm ... hippie parents ... might be vegan himself) but I speled it "Josquin" instead of "Joaquin", and because of that he didn't know who I was talking about and almost couldn't recommend any films. When I went to the Wikipedia page you kindly sent me to just now, I realised that I must have got the incorrect speling from Josquin des Prez. :-/
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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