Yesterday we added four new girls to our feathered flock. They are rescued factory farm laying hens, considered 'spent' by the industry after just two years of life (hard to believe, since I've gotten six eggs from them already in the last 36 hours, but whatever). They came to us through Animal Place, and with the help of Jenny, a fabulous Animal Place volunteer who helped with transportation.
I've named them Louise, Henrietta, Opal, and Mavis, though I can't tell them apart so I don't know who is who... I think I need to order some of those numbered leg bands.
If you'd like to learn more about what these hens' lives were like back on the 'farm' (I hesitate to even use that word; it conjures images far more idyllic than the grim reality), check out this virtual battery cage. The first two years of these girls' lives contained far too much suffering - they were de-beaked and crowded into small, overcrowded cages, and endured discomfort and indignity beyond anything we humans can imagine. As baby chicks, they saw their brothers die horrible deaths, and as they grew, they watched their sisters suffer endless neglect and abuse.
I'm happy to know that the rest of their lives will be filled with sunshine, cool breezes, grassy fields, juicy bugs, grapes, and as much freedom as it is possible for us to provide for them.
If you're not already vegan, please consider the cruelty that these precious creatures are forced to endure to put eggs on your plate. I honestly think that in terms of animal suffering, egg and dairy production is far crueler than meat production. Go vegan!!! :-)