Finding Organic Inspiration: Part II

| 6/16/2014 3:20:00 PM

Tags: Chickens, Eggs, Michelle R.,

Michelle RSo after googling until I thought I'd go cross-eyed, I found that other than growing their own veggies, a lot of people were also choosing to raise their own hens because apparently the process that the eggs we buy go through isn't exactly the greatest. ... Shocker!

What I found was disturbing to say the very least ... if you don't want to know, then you might want to skip to the end of this where I'll be sharing why backyard eggs are healthier. 

In the United States, an estimated 95 percent of egg-laying hens (that's about 445 million) are intensively confined in battery cages. (These are illegal in Europe by the way.) Industry guidelines specify a minimum of 67 square inches per hen (this is an area smaller than a standard sheet of paper), allowing each of these cages to confine five or six birds on average, but sometimes up to 10 birds. 

Like any animal, chickens are highly motivated to perform natural behaviors. These behaviors include nesting, perching, scratching, foraging, dust-bathing, exploring and stretching. Caged chickens are denied all of these natural behaviors, causing them severe frustration.

Battery hens suffer from serious health problems, such as respiratory disease from constant exposure to ammonia fumes and fecal dust; osteoporosis, bone fractures and prolapsed uteruses from being bred to lay eggs at an unnaturally high rate; and foot disorders, sores and injuries from contact with the cage wire in outdated cage systems.

As a response to the lack of foraging opportunities in the barren cage environment, chickens sometimes engage in feather-pecking of their cagemates. So, before they are 10 days old, the ends of their beaks are seared off with hot blades and, as I am sure you could have guessed, beak mutilation causes acute and sometimes chronic pain. 

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