Saturday, February 13, 2010


These are many of the chickens who live at the sanctuary where I work. Some are from the egg industry, the meat industry and others are from cruelty cases, neglect cases and folks who can no longer care for their chickens. And eight of them are from hard-core hens who snuck away and nested without us knowing!

You'll see a lot of mixed breed birds and some identifiable breeds.

The first group you'll see are the "broilers"- we call them "peepers" because they all arrived as babies and cheeped, peeped their way into our hearts. These are the chickens people eat - 8.9-9.3 billion are slaughtered every year when they are 39-41 days old. You can see they are large and in charge! Most do not live long, suffering the side effects of breeding for obese birds. All of the ones you see are hens, female chickens. There is one rooster, Matt, who is kept separate b/c he can actually gouge out the sides of the hens when mounting them, he's so large. These are The Friendliest Chickens on Earth. If you ever want true companion chickens, these are the type to adopt - most people don't want them b/c a) they don't produce a lot of eggs and b) they don't live long. But they live their short lives to the fullest at the sanctuary!

They are separate as they are on a special diet.

Then you'll meet the rest of the crew. The smallĂ­sh white birds are White Leghorns, the most common breed used in the egg industry. All came from battery cage farms where they had less space to move than a standard piece of paper. If you look close enough, you'll see they have been beak trimmed which makes it harder to eat and preen (it's why many of them are a little dirtier than the others). It also hurts - there is a blood supply and nerves that run nearly to the tip of the beak.

The rest? Have fun guessing! You'll see a few buff Orpingtons, a bedraggled barred Plymouth, a couple speckled Sussex, a ridiculous Silkie rooster, some bantam game hens, a couple Ameraucana, a black Orpington mix, a white-crested Polish hen, and a whole host of other mixies. Bonus turkeys - one bourbon red and a royal palm. There are actually seven turkeys, but only two felt like hanging out in front of the camera.

We do have a dozen roosters and they mostly get along just fine. The small scuffle you see in the video is between Newman and Kramer, both brothers (both born here, on accident).

(And just as a warning, the final message is "go vegan" - so BE PREPARED, muhaha!)EDIT: Sorry for any confusion, it literally says "Be kind - go vegan" - nothing graphic!


Daisy Dog said...

Not sure if I can watch the video. You have me seriously thinking about going vegan, btw. Tell Mina and Celeste Happy Valenitnes from Daisy :)

Rinalia said...

The ladies send Daisy lots of carob-filled Valentine's Day wishes!!

The video is full of happy chickens who want to meet you! :)

Let me know if you want to know more about veganism. Even just reducing consumption makes a difference; every little bit helps, I think! :)

PoochesForPeace said...

Very cute :)I was afraid there was going to be some crazy horrible thing at the end lol

Rinalia said...

@PoochesforPeace: I edited my post, sorry about that! Nothing graphic. :)