My personal opinion and that of people I know who have rescued enriched colony caged hens is that there is no difference in health between the battery and colony caged hens. I also believe from evidence I have seen that there is not much difference between barn versus free range hens either. Because of the laws, free range hens can be kept indoors in barns with not much room to move around (like broiler chickens), and this is marketed as “free range.”
I got a call from a Facebook friend that a chicken had been found in a plastic bag on the street near another Chicago poultry market — still alive, as if she were just trash. The kind young man named Javier who’d first taken her home realized, after a few weeks, that he could not properly provide for her as a companion in his apartment. Please read the details of her story and consider making a tax-deductible donation to help her out.
I had an unexpected visit from a new neighbor and her two children who were really interested in meeting the Free from Harm chickens. The mother, Joanna, had taken her children to a working farm called Prairie Crossing where they have “free range” organically-raised hens. This gave them an opportunity to compare what life is like for chickens on a small organic working farm to my backyard urban sanctuary, as I like to call it.
People often ask me why I have chickens. “Is it for the eggs?,” they ask. Now of course, what this question implies is that there is no other value to chickens than the eggs they produce. In fact, I find people far more interested in the fancy colors and sizes of chicken eggs than I do about the birds who lay them. Isn’t that interesting? We’re a culture that is fascinated with objects. And the egg is perhaps the most poignant symbol of fertility in many cultures, including our own. And in a way, this symbol has distracted us from something much more important which I hope to touch on here.
Sweet Pea is one of the adopted chickens in our care since 2009 who now needs surgery and hospitalization for a condition due to her egg laying. This video covers Sweet Pea’s recent visit to the vet for an initial exam. If you would like to help, we welcome your donations. You can make a donation at freefromharm.org. See the donate option in the main menu. Thanks in advance! And please share this video to educate others about egg laying hens. As Sweet Pea’s situation demonstrates, there is no such thing as a “cruelty-free” egg.
“What do you do with all the eggs if you don’t eat them?” is the most common question I get about the chickens in my care. The assumption underlying this question is that chickens lay eggs in the same way that fruit falls from trees. Now the truth of the matter: The hen’s reproductive systems is manipulated by breeders to produce those eggs through selective and genetic breeding technologies that push the limits of the bird’s capacity to reproduce, and her body can only keep up for a short window of her life (1 to 2 years).
Henry is a very young pigeon we found on the ground on a bitterly cold night a few weeks ago outside of a friend’s Chicago apartment building. He was unable to walk due to what we later discovered was a serious bite injury. Upon examination, our bird vet immediately discovered that his wound was so infected, he had become septic and could have died within hours had he not been treated.
No one knows the horrors of illicit backyard slaughter farming in Southern Florida like Richard “Kudo” Couto, founder of the Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) in South Florida. In the last couple of years, he has been instrumental in shutting down 90 illegal slaughter farms. He estimates that there are about 150 still in operation in Miami-Dade County alone and another 700-to-900 scattered throughout the rest of the state.
Angelica was found wandering the city streets of Chicago and was picked up by Chicago Animal Control and Care late last Wednesday night. A dedicated Chicago animal rescuer, Melissa Pena, got her out of there on Thanksgiving day as staff would be minimal over the holiday weekend, and CACC kills animals shortly after they are picked up if no home can be found. Melissa contacted us to alert us of her urgent need for a medical care and a safe home.