This is Hayley. Hayley was rescued from a battery cage facility about 2 years ago and has been living happily at Farm Animal Rescue with all her friends. However, like so many of the animals we rescue, we cannot protect her from the damage that has already been done to her.
Hayley, like many commercial egg laying hens, is descended from a bird called the Red Jungle Fowl. In her natural state, Hayley would have laid between two and three eggs a month.
Over the years, through selective breeding and genetic manipulation, Hayley has been “designed” to lay an egg every single day, at least 10 times as often as her body is designed to lay. Of course, laying the egg is only the end of the story!
She actually completes an entire reproductive cycle every day, with the eggs she lays being the mechanism that her body uses to rid itself of the unnecessary organic material that she had prepared in case the egg was fertilised.
This is highly taxing on her tiny body, and is the main cause of death for commercial egg-laying chickens. Around half of all commercial egg-laying chickens die from being egg-bound, a circumstance where they are no longer able to expel eggs from their fragile bodies. The eggs rot inside of them causing a horrible and painful death.
The other half will die from cancers and tumours exacerbated by the inability of their poor worn-out bodies to fight their condition. While a native jungle fowl will nomally live to between 10 and 12 years old, commercial egg laying hens will live at mostly to between 3 and 5 years.
Hayley has peritonitis, following becoming egg bound and now having a reproductive system full of broken eggs, pus and blood. Without veterinary care she will die in less than 3 weeks.
Hayley has shown enormous fortitude in the face of a very painful condition, and we have decided to send her for complex and expensive surgery. The surgery will completely remove her reproductive system removing the burden of egg-laying for her, and cleaning all of the mess our of her system.
The surgery is highly complicated, high-risk and very very expensive. But we think that Hayley’s years as a commercial layer are all of the suffering she should have to endure, and that she deserves a period of just being chicken without the burden of constant laying.
Hayley settled into the hospital today and her surgery will be tomorrow. Although technically her chance of survival is only 50 percent, we believe that because of her strength of character and determination to live we have to give her that chance.
If you can help us to make Hayley better, please make as generous a donation as you can. Most importantly, please think seriously about boycotting eggs. It doesn’t matter whether eggs come from battery cages, barns or free-range farms, the cruel burden of egg-laying placed on these sweet little girls is simply a horrific alteration to what should be a natural and in-frequent process.
We will let you know tomorrow how things are after her operation. Thank you so much for hoping for a positive result with us, and for your generous support.