Clearing out the hen house - NYT 9/2/10

Op-Ed Columnist
Cleaning the Henhouse
Published: September 1, 2010

"About 95 percent of American egg-laying hens are still raised in small battery cages, which are bacterial breeding grounds and notoriously difficult to disinfect. Hens are crammed together, each getting less space than a letter-size sheet of paper. The tips of their beaks are often sheared off so they won’t peck each other to death.

They are sometimes fed bits of “spent hen meal” — ground up chickens. That’s right. We encourage them to be cannibals. "


1 comment:

Mary said...

Our current setup is 6 hens and 3 chicks just fledging out in a 20'x40' yard with a small (rustic, built from freecycled parts, but very sturdy and warm) coop and lots of hedges and cover because of the hawks. We also have a tractor in there, which worked okay for awhile, but now we just cover it with a sheet of plastic and old quilts, and they hang out there in rainstorms. We have about 6" of straw/hay everywhere, and now and then rake some out to the garden and replace it. They eat regular scratch grain, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and every single bug.