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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

jasongrossman
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?

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