Are backyard chickens a humane alternative to commercial egg farming?
Some people, once made aware of the cruelty inherent in commercial egg production - whether it be free range, barn or organic eggs - consider that buying chicks and raising hens for eggs in their backyard might be a more kind, compassionate option. Unfortunately, this is not true and in fact buying chickens is supporting the same suppliers that provide hens to egg producers. Farm Animal Rescue supports the rescue and rehoming of chickens and roosters, but not the purchasing of them. This is because.....
Female chicks or hens that are for sale have been bred in a facility where roughly half are also born male. As they do not lay eggs, these roosters have no value in the egg (or chick selling) industry and the majority are routinely macerated at only one day old in Australia.
Day old female chicks are often transported at one day old by trucking companies to the retail outlet from where you will purchase them. These tiny babies may have been transported without food or water for up to 72 hours.
Hens raised for eggs have have been bred to produce far more eggs than they would naturally. This has resulted in a host of health problems such as chronic depletion of calcium, reproductive cancers, prolapse, peritonitis, and impacted oviducts.
If you do have room on your property for a rescued hen, or rooster, we thoroughly recommend you purchase a copy of Grazyna's new book "Uncommon Friends Keeping Chickens The Animal Lovers Way", a glorious book about the joys of keeping chickens as pets
There is one simple way we believe you help hens and roosters from a life of being a 'commodity'.
You can choose not to eat eggs.
Switching to a diet without eggs saves chickens from a life where their bodies are used only as a production unit, and roosters from being hatched and then macerated.
We delight in witnessing the sanctuary chickens fascination with life, their interaction with carers and visitors, their relationship with their flock, and their enjoyment participating in their favourite activities. We watch as hens and roosters enjoy one another's company. These are the inquisitive, gentle, affectionate and rich personalities we experience every day in chickens we've rescued at Farm Animal Rescue.