These are the faces of "free range" farming. Please visit the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary website for more information on the story of these hens' Rescue and their Restoration, and for more information on why there is no such thing as "humane" egg production on ANY scale, no matter how small – in a nutshell.
The Faces of "Free Range" Farming
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary have this video on their blog of "spent hens", rescued directly from a cage-free egg factory. The video demonstrates some of the ways in which these hens have suffered, and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives, in ways that we can never imagine. Many of these hens remain terrified, displaying signs of stress and agitation weeks after their rescue, due mostly to the conditions in which they were exploited and used as "egg-machines" for the first few months of their lives in this "free range" facility.
This is the truth of what is called “free range”, “cage-free” or “humane” farming. The truth is, for those individuals who are exploited by it, "free range" farming is almost identical to so-called "factory farming". Horrendous living conditions that rob individuals of all opportunites for well-being followed by gruesome death is not "humane".
The most important and most overlooked ethical aspect of human consumption of hens' eggs is that, for every egg laying hen at the farm, a rooster chick has been murdered at the hatchery.
No matter where the egg production facility is, what its size is (large farm or backyard operation), and no matter what the 'visible to the public' conditions are, the egg-laying hens are obtained from the same hatcheries that kill the baby rooster chicks at only one day old. If the "free-range" farm hatches its own chicks, two important questions still remain.
1. What happens to ALL of the male chicks - not just few token roosters - but ALL of them?
2. What happens to the hens when they are no longer laying enough eggs for this facility to be profitable?
If the spent hens and ALL of the roosters were allowed to live out their lives until they died a natural death - chickens can live well over a decade - then that farm would soon have thousands of "spent" hens and roosters to care for. Obviously, the lifelong care of all of those birds, at all stages of a natural life span, would cut severely into any profits made by selling the eggs of younger hens.
So what happens to ALL of the boys? And what happens to ALL of the spent hens?
Hens are generally considered spent by egg-laying facilities at one to two years - meaning, the farm then has to provide predator-proof shelter, food, veterinary care, etc. for that same hen, for another decade. The roosters will require dozens of separate yards, predator-proof shelters, food, vet care, etc. for their entire lives.
In order to make a profit, the numbers simply don't add up unless the inevitable killing of roosters and spent hens is occurring.
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is an animal rights site. As such, it is the position of ARZone that it is only by ending completely the use of other animal as things can we fulfill our moral obligations to them.