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France, 9 February 2022

What I am going to write below is going to shock people.
Imagine:
  • you have a thousand or more human mothers in an establishment (read barn) for the production of their eggs in their overies;
  • and you have some human males in the barn too to fertilise their eggs;
  • they rape these human mothers;
  • once the eggs are fertilised they are taken away from them and the embryos are put in a couveuse;
  • once the human babies get bigger they are transported and put in a barn to be fattened up for consumption;
  • imagine you can see lots of these little fragile creatures alone in crates, no mother around to protect them, to defend them; the farmer comes twice a day to pick up the dead babies who have been laying there suffering because it is not profitable to get a doctor to cure them when they get ill;
  • and once they are big enough/heavy enough they are transported in crates to an abattoir, sometimes quite far away;
  • in the abattoir they are hung up on their little legs, so that their little heads go through an electric waterbath where they are stunned and after which their little throats are being cut open.
They are cut into pieces to be put in little packets with cellophane on top.
Hay, this reminds me of a book I recently read.
Are you shocked? Well, that's the whole idea. You must know that this scenario happens everyday all over the world with chickens, with ducks, with turkey, with quail for their organs, for their flesh and for their feathers (and as a matter of fact also with mammals (cows, sheep, goat, etc)).
Chickens, poultry are the most mistreated, tortured species on earth.
On the photo you see thousands of small, vulnerable chicks, alone, without a mother to protect them, coping against the brutal ways of factory farming. Hatched in an incubator, they are thrown on conveyor belts , transported in boxes without food or water to big barns. More than 2,5 percent dies even before arriving in this farm. The survivors are thrown into the barn. They huddle up together in a corner when a man or a woman comes in. This is the only way they can protect themselves. There are no hiding places, everything is open and bare.
Twice a day the farmer picks up the dead little bodies. etc.... the rest you know from what I wrote before about the human babies.
Did you know that chicks are already more intelligent at the age of 3 days than a human baby (a chick can count up to 5 already soon after it hatches)?
I once heard a farmer say that chickens are dumb as they have very little brains in their heads. The sad thing is that they have to say this, because how otherwise would they be able to justify what they are doing to these animals. What the whole chain is doing to these animals (vets, incubator companies, transporters, farmers, butchers, etc.... ) Here in France they call an animal "sujet" as if it is just a thing.
It is the "inconvenient truth" (read our article here https://anti-speciesism.com/animal-sentience---what-is-it... ) that also these animals are sentient beings and that people do whatever they like to these animals.
The most horrible thing is that now that people are changing their eating habits from beef, porc, to poultry they don't realise the enormous suffering they cause.
I am following the poultry market a bit: the number of poultry bred is going up worldwide. (The industry is suffering however because of the avian flu pandemics.)
Why do you do this to these animals? Why do you still eat these babies? Or their eggs? Why can't you change? Are you so weak that you can't even stay STOP? No more? Knowing that we have replacements everywhere for meat, for eggs even?
Go vegan, not only for them, but also for your own health, for nature, for the planet.
Think of them as human babies.
Thank you!
ps these images have been taken by ourselves in a local poultry farm here in France? They were the reason why we became vegetarian and later vegan.

France, 17 January 
Some quotes about chickens and cold weather:
"Chickens are quite hardy and can tolerate temperatures below freezing, but they prefer a warmer climate. .... Although chickens can tolerate colder temperatures, it is still important to keep coops warm and dry throughout the winter to improve laying and prevent disease." https://khpet.com/.../what-temperature-is-too-cold-for....
"Generally well cared for chickens easily handle temperatures down to zero or a few degrees below." https://www.scoopfromthecoop.com/tag/extreme-cold-care/
Look for chickens and low temperatures and you'll find more.
Two things are important in these quotes: if your chicken or coquerel is in a very good state of health he "can resist" lower temperatures. However its preference are warmer temperatures. To be able to resist a colder climate in general the chicken needs to have an area, a house where they can hide and be kept warmer.
I share this photo with a text from the book https://livre.fnac.com/mp13731197/Living-with-Chickens
to explain that the many breeds of chickens that we have now are descendants of the red and grey jungle fowl ( https://kidadl.com/animal-facts/jungle-fowl-facts and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_junglefowl ) They still exist and live in the sub tropical area's of India, Malaysia, Indonesia. Countries with a sub tropical climate in general with in some areas a decrease in temperature up to 0 °C but not more. These animals are reasonably resistant and strong. However us humans have created different types of breeds, smaller, larger, some without feathers over their whole body, others with no feathers on their necks etc..... Obviously inbreed has weakened these animals. So these animals need protection not only against predators but also against the cold and against extreme warmer temperatures too.
Chickens are not much different from cats, dogs, even humans. If they have the choice they go somewhere warm to be comfortable. I look at chickens as I look at our cats and our dogs. We have them for their company, because they are lovely pets to have around. I don't see our chickens as a production animal for her eggs and coquerels as a production animal for their sperm being able to make chicks...
So I treat them that way, as a companion animal.
Most other people (I know, not all) keep chickens the old-fashioned way for their eggs, in the corner of their garden in a fenced in area (in winter mainly muddy) with a house. That's OK but then look after them properly and provide them with the appropriate housing and care (vets if necessary).
A couple of days ago I shared some photos of a dead coquerel and I said it had died from the cold. I got some remarks about that. How do I know he died from the cold? Did I do an autopsie? Others said their chickens prefer to sleep in the tree even though they have a nice house at their disposal. I didn't have the time nor energy to respond to these questions. But here we go.
The dead coquerel that I photographed lived on a muddy patch with a number of chickens and a goose (as I could see because I don't like to look into other peoples gardens if not necessary). The chicken house was open all the time even during the night , and before I had seen a chicken sleeping on the house in stead of in the house, so they didn't have proper shelter against the cold. The food I saw were leftovers from the kitchen: carrot peels etc...
It was freezing minus 5 at the least. It was of the breed "cou-nu", so no feathers on his neck and a breed that is known for having 50% less feathers than other breeds. It is a common commercial meat breed here in France. The resistance to cold depends on the breed. Did he die of the cold or was he ill? Well, he definitely was not healthy because he died!!! So the cause could have been an underlaying disease/parasite, or the cold, or the breed. Or all of them together. Doesn't matter. I blame the owner for not looking after his chickens properly and the result is an animal that has been suffering and in the end died. Normally a chicken only shows at a very late stage when it's not feeling well. That's why so many poultry keepers think that their animals die of old age if they don't keep an eye on them. And that's normal when you put your chickens at the end of your garden where it is very easy to forget them especially in winter time when humans choose to be indoors most of the time. And when you know your chickens and care for them you see quite easily when they are ill or not.
Chickens are as a matter of fact birds. They like to sit as high as possible when they go to sleep. The heavier chickens can't fly (this is the humans fault) but still they will look for the highest perch. When you have several chickens you will see that the most dominant ones in the group will try and get the highest places. The smaller birds who can fly will very likely look for a tree to perch in for the night. Even if it has a house. Just because it feels safer there. Another reason why a chickens prefers trees and the outside over its house for the night could be because there are parasites (red mites) in the house which you can treat very well with Stronghold by the way, there could be rats in the house, it doesn't feel safe because of an earlier experience (fox, marten) or just because there are other chickens bullying it. It's about priorities and feeling safe is more important than feeling warm. I personally would never let my chickens sleep in a tree because of the danger of birds of prey as well.
Conclusion: I don't think it is fair of humans to happily say that their chickens are perfectly OK in the (extreme) cold whilst they themselves choose to sit in front of a fireplace nice and warm during cold weather. Go and get outside and sit still for a while in the cold and you know what I am talking about. If you can't have your chickens in a warm place for example in the house during the night, at least make a very good effort to provide them with as much as protection as possible against the cold, give good food to keep your animal healthy, deworm it, make sure it has no parasites (red mite is awful) etc.... Our chickens get extra cat food (as there are less insects, worms in winter) and I give them warm pasta plus of course their grains that they get daily. And defreeze their water SVP. It could have been that the coquerel died of dehydration too. Whenever I see our chickens are not well enough they come inside..... Previously we put a heating lamp or even a heater in our chicken house and you could see they really loved it. The photo is of our coquerel Hansje who chooses to sit on the radiator. We nurtured him back to life after his owner brought him to us after he was attacked by another coquerel. Afterwards he joined the others. People that claim that chickens are totally OK in cold weather see these animals as utility animals for eggs and for meat. They don't care much if their animal dies of the cold, because in the end it will be killed anyway. Once again, we don't see animals that way. Chickens are the most mistreated animals in the world. It is important to realize they are sentient and they need your protection.
If after this plea you still want to keep your chickens in the cold at least make sure their combs don't freeze by putting vaseline on their comb especially when they are large.