Continuing from one of my previous posts, I wanted to share some information about animals I met at The Gentle Barn and what a typical life as an animal of their kind looks like on a factory farm. This time, I want to talk about chickens and turkeys.
At The Gentle Barn I met, Rebecca, who I got to hold, and Peggy, who has no use of one of her legs because she was born with a fused elbow. She was rescued from people who wanted to euthanize her because of her leg and is now living a happy life. But most chickens are not so lucky. Egg laying hens will spend their lives in a crowded cage or rearing house, even if your eggs say free-range, those chickens likely never went outdoors. Their beaks are clipped without any pain relief, they are often injured or become sick and are just left to die, and when they stop producing eggs they’ll be sent off to slaughter to be turned into dog or cat food, as they are usually considered unfit for human consumption.
Broilers, or chickens raised for meat, will live in similar conditions. Due to the way they’ve been bred to grow so big so fast, their legs will cripple under the weight of their bodies, unable to even take a few steps.
When it comes to egg laying breeders, it is similar to the dairy industry, meaning that the females will live the same damned life as their mother, but the males have no value. Male chicks will literally be crushed up alive by a grinding machine or thrown into a plastic bag to suffocate or be crushed to death.
I also met some turkeys named Sir Francis, Alice, and Nalla, they were all rescued from being Thanksgiving dinner. Just like chickens, turkeys will suffer in crowded, poorly ventilated rearing houses, and have been bred in the same fashion and will experience similar health problems from growing so big so quickly.
Chickens and turkeys are hung upside down when their throats are cut, which when done on a factory farm, is not always precise, so the animals do not always die immediately. Some of them will be dropped into scalding tanks meant to remove their feathers while still alive. On top of it all, birds are not included in the Humane Slaughter Act, so they are not even included in what little protection farm animals have.
Please go visit the chickens and turkeys at The Gentle Barn, and show them compassion everyday by leaving them off your plate.