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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

polyphonicvegan
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...

jasongrossman
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. :-/

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