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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.

Comments

rinalia
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. :)

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