Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Did you know that mother hens communicate with their chicks while their babies are still in the eggs? A hen will softly chirp and cluck to her chicks. The unhatched chicks will chirp back, as well as communicate with each other.
Because male chicks are worthless to the egg industry, millions are killed each year when they are just a day old. They're either ground up alive or tossed into bags to suffocate.
Chickens can recognize and remember 100 other chickens.
Of the 10 billion (that's "billion," not "million) land animals killed for their flesh each year in the United States, 9 million of them are chickens.
Like people, chickens are sensitive to touch, temperature and pain. A full lifespan is 13 or 14 years.
Chickens in the egg industry -- laying hens -- are considered "spent" after two years and are then slaughtered. Chickens raised for their flesh -- broiler chickens -- reach "processing weight" in only six or seven weeks.
Chickens are social, inquisitive creatures.
Chickens are confined to overcrowded cages in a warehouse, where the stench of ammonia and feces assaults their senses.
Chickens clean themselves by taking dust baths. The dust removes oils from their feathers.
Chickens raised for their flesh are bred -- and given growth hormones -- so that their breasts are abnormally large, often making it difficult to support themselves.
Learn more about chickens.