Posted on Aug 28, 2015
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Look, Jesse's Girl laid her very first egg. Once they hit sexual maturity, chickens lay about one egg a day. If she mates with a rooster, the egg will be fertilized and the hen will sit on it and not want us to take it. If she doesn't mate with a rooster, the egg comes out unfertilized and she will just leave it in the barnyard, like this one. Our little girl is growing up!
The egg industry, however, is very different than our little barnyard. In the egg industry, newborn chicks are put onto a conveyor belt. At the first station, the chicks are sexed and the females put back onto the conveyer belt. The males are thrown live into grinders or into huge trash cans and thrown out. The females go to the next station to have the ends of their beaks and toes cut off with a hot blade and no pain relievers. Then, they are placed into cages to spend the rest of their lives laying eggs. The minute they are too old to lay eggs they are sent to slaughter. This process is the same for all chickens whether they are producing regular, organic, or “free-range” eggs.
Egg-laying hens are genetically engineered to produce eggs earlier than normal and to produce more eggs than normal. By the time they are five or six- years old their uteri are so over-taxed and overworked that they either develop cancers, are egg- bound, or rupture completely. The hens are the tiniest creatures at The Gentle Barn, yet the most expensive to care for. Our veterinarian and avian expert, Dr. Molnar, of All Animal Medical Center says that hens are walking time bombs and will all eventually need some type of uterine surgery.
At The Gentle Barn we believe that all that suffering is not worth it for an omelet, so we have weaned ourselves off of eating eggs and no longer see the eggs as food. To us eggs are simply part of a chicken’s reproductive system and menstrual cycle. We absolutely love our chickens! Having them fall asleep in our laps, hearing their sweet sounds, and watching them explore the barnyard each day is magical and we cannot imagine our lives without them. Hopefully, one day chickens everywhere will be seen for their wonderful souls and not their eggs, and their suffering will be over. For all of you who join us in choosing a gentler, kinder diet, thank you! When each of us takes a stand for peace, we get closer and closer to a more peaceful world, for all of us!
In the meantime we will continue to hold Jesse’s Girl in our laps and love her with all our hearts!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn