Chickens Rescued From Life Of Misery On Factory Farm

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The Golden Girls

louiseNovember 2014 -Lucille was malnourished from the day she was born, and she arrived at our sanctuary in the same condition. Many of her feathers are missing, some will never grow back. And like all chickens who live on the vast majority of today’s farms, Lucille’s beak had been seared off with an industrial machine resembling a guillotine. The cruel practice of “debeaking” is standard in the egg industry and is performed without anesthesia when the birds are just days old. Lucille was born into a world where she would never be able to see sunlight. As an egg laying hen on a factory farm, she lived her life packed into a “battery cage” (about the size of a milk crate) with 3-6 other hens, unable to flap her wings, perch or nest. Like the tens of thousands of other birds on the “farm”, she never left her cage and would never be able to go outdoors.

Lucille has suffered tremendously but, her life changed on October 9th when Pasado’s Safe Haven rescued her and 44 other hens. For many of these hens, our help did not come a moment too soon.  Some of the hens had serious infections requiring immediate treatment and many had severe feather loss that made them more vulnerable to cold weather.  Most of the hens were extremely thin, some dangerously so.  Dani Kice, our lead bird Caregiver noted, “Because their beaks are cut off, it makes it very difficult for them to eat.  The birds who survive this brutal practice aren’t able to peck or pick up seeds normally and so many of them are at risk of a slow starvation and are extremely weak”, continued Kice.

In addition to feather loss and de-beaking, hens from factory farms are also susceptible to a number of diseases. “Hens on today’s factory farms are bred to lay many more – and larger – eggs than their little bodies can sustain so modern factory farms regularly implement “forced molting”, a practice that keep the hens in lit rooms, without food, 24-hours a day to increase egg production.  As a result, their vents (the universal hole they use for breeding, defecating, and laying eggs) are often left infected, raw and bleeding.  These birds also often have lice and mites from being kept in such unnatural, cramped spaces”, said Kice.One sweet hen we named Annabelle was not strong enough to make the journey to our sanctuary.  Despite all our efforts, Annabelle died before she was able to experience her new life at Pasado’s Safe Haven.

Sadly, hens on egg-laying farms are not protected under any animal cruelty laws.  Because the suffering they endure is considered “standard practice” by the animal agriculture industry, the law exempts them from any protections. Consequently, these sentient animals suffer in silence, waiting for someone to understand their pain and do something to help them.

 

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