Zombie Chickens


Most of the time we don’t think about where our food comes from, but recent sightings of zombie chickens has caused people to start thinking about where their eggs come from and how much cruelty is involved. Farmers used to send ‘spent hens’ to slaughter-houses to be rendered, but a recent collapse in the market and concerns over avian flu have forced farmers to rethink how they can economically ‘dispose’ of their birds.

Egg-laying hens only have about a pound of usable meat compared to five pounds on birds raised for eating. This makes it too expensive to process them, so farmers have begun composting the birds. The hens are placed in sealed boxes filled with carbon dioxide. Once they have suffocated, they are buried in large mounds layered with sawdust.

The only problem is, some of the chickens survive and manage to dig themselves out and escape, earning themselves the title zombie chicken. One California farmer has had several escaped chickens join his flock. His latest arrival named Survivor

looked like it had been pulled through a knothole because it had worn its feathers off moving around in the cage where it was kept while it produced eggs.

In Northern California alone, more than a half-million hens are killed this way each year. From now on, I am buying only eggs from free-range, organically fed hens. It is a little bit more expensive, but a small price to pay to reduce suffering.

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  1. […] Recently Rob wrote a blog post about ‘Zombie Chickens’ escaping from egg laying farms in California. It seems these egg laying farms are not the only establishments in the good old US of A that are guilty of mistreating chickens. Check out the video clip to the right, produced by Pamela Anderson for PETA and originally posted on the KentuckyFriedCruelty.com website. Don’t watch this movie if you are feeling in any way queasy, have just bought a year’s worth of frozen chicken or your Xmas dinner included KFC. […]

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