Is having backyard chickens necessary? First it was toilet paper that people were hoarding, now it’s chickens? Please watch this video I made discussing why raising chickens for our dietary needs is unethical & nonsensical. Surviving during this pandemic doesn’t have to result in the exploitation of another creature.
While at the ARC Conference in D.C., I met with Jewel from the Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig’s Roost. She gave me the real scoop on backyard and local eggs:
Are Eggs From Backyard Chickens Ethical?
Backyard Chickens in High Demand
National Public Radio explained in a recent post that farmers are “swamped with orders” for chicks. They further explained that people are turning to raising their own chickens out of fear. With groceries stores across the nation running out of staples like eggs, people have turned to backyard chickens. This is giving people a sense of security. But, as explained by Jewel in this video, it’s not the greatest idea.
Because of this pandemic, people are becoming anxious & impatient. These feelings (that are based on fear) have a negative impact on chickens though. Today’s chickens are being bred to weigh more than they ever should & produce more eggs than they naturally would. For more reasons on why you shouldn’t be hoarding chickens like we have been toilet paper, watch the short video above.
‘Are Local Eggs Ethical’ Video Transcript
DEBORAH: I don’t eat eggs I haven’t eaten eggs for years because of ethical reasons. But I heard, and I don’t know if it’s true and that’s why you’re the eggs-pert to tell me. I heard that if I get eggs on real, local farms close to where I live, that they’re treated ethically.
JEWEL: Chickens are so far removed from their heritage breeds that they lay hundreds of eggs a year. So if people are keeping hens to lay eggs to sell eggs, they’re gonna have to make a profit off it. Otherwise the hens are just gonna consume the food and be a drain on their farm. So they’re not going to keep them around unless they’re gonna produce a high number of eggs, which is unnatural.
So what happens to their bodies, as the hens age, is that they begin to break down. You can’t tell from the outside what’s going on, on the inside. Their muscles become weak because they can’t contract, due to lower calcium levels, because of the high egg output. This means that the shells get softer, because of the lower calcium, because they’re always expelling eggs and the muscles get weaker.
Soon the eggs won’t be expelled. The soft shell, the weak muscles, the eggs will stop coming out. But those eggs will continue to be produced inside their bodies. So they can have over a dozen eggs trapped inside their bodies.
DEBORAH: What happens?
JEWEL: They die, slowly, and without vet interventions. So they don’t even get proper healthcare, none of them will.
So consuming eggs from a farm, even if they only have six hens, something like that. For example, if it’s your neighbor, they take really good care of them. They name them, they love them, they bring them in the house sometimes, whatever, those things are still going on in their bodies.
DEBORAH: Why, because those hens don’t exist anymore? Or because they buy those hens because they need to make a profit?
JEWEL: Those hens that only lay like, 20 eggs a year, really don’t really exist anymore. All the birds now that you can buy at any hatchery are totally unnatural birds.
Sources Cited (NPR Article): https://www.npr.org/2020/04/03/826925180/we-are-swamped-coronavirus-propels-interest-in-raising-backyard-chickens-for-egg
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