|Daisy (right) is red because she was dust-bathing in red clay dirt, she's normally white|
This is Lilac (left) and Daisy (right). Lilac is blind in one eye. She relies heavily on other chickens. Daisy is one of her closest friends. You would know this by simply watching them. Lilac circles Daisy, then leans into her. When Daisy moves, Lilac circles again, getting her bearings. Touching is very important for Lilac, so she always checks in and connects with Daisy.
Both are from the egg industry. Lilac was rescued in 2008 from a battery cage operation. She lived in a cage so small she could not spread her wings. Daisy is one of the lucky few production white leghorns who have lived past the age of 5! She was rescued in 2005 and turns 8 this year. Both have had a portion of their sensitive beaks cut off. Mutilation is necessary when you cram super social, hierarchical animals in close confinement.
Most egg laying breeds suffer severe health problems from over egg-production. Ovarian cancer is exceedingly common - it's what kills most white leghorns. Egg production kills birds - if it is not cancer, then they can become egg bound, suffer from egg yolk peritonitis, etc. This is because they are bred to produce 300 eggs a year instead of a normal 60. It's debilitating.
Lilac and Daisy are the lucky ones, although they don't know that. They live in an avian world that is vibrantly colored. It is a true joy watching them.