March 16th, 2010
Last week the fellow who came over to cart off all my decrepit gardening equipment for repairs was admiring my chickens. He was particularly taken with the Polish hens and their feathered headdresses.
“They’re beautiful! Do you cut their hair like that?” he asked.
I swear. He really asked me that.
Of course, that was last week when it was dry and the sun was shining. The chickens looked all primped out and gorgeous. Not like today, after days and days of rain, when their “hair” is dirty.
Now the poor Polish hens look a little worse for wear. They are in need of a little chicken hair styling. Or at the very least a shampoo and blow dry.
They’re having a very bad hair day.
Posted In: Chickens
December 28th, 2009
Dear Members of the Management:
In all fairness, we must finally register our indignation and outrage at the absurd and abusive treatment to which we, your chickens, have been subjected in recent weeks.
We will be brief in registering the atrocities we have endured, but we must insist on going on the record with our complaints and insist on remediation of the situation immediately.
First, you shortened our daylight hours to a mere nine or ten hours of feeble sunlight. We have work to accomplish, laying eggs and scratching for bugs. Both of these activities require copious amounts of daylight to do successfully. Everyone knows that egg production is an arduous activity that requires at least 12 hours of sunlight. Although you have installed two dim bulbs, which you amusingly call energy-efficient, they in no way mimic the true brilliance of the natural sunlight to which we are rightfully entitled.
Second, you lowered the outdoor temperatures to an uncomfortable level. Some days it barely reaches above 30 degrees outdoors. Although you have installed a heating system within the coop, we must point out that it does not extend to the outdoors, thus creating a hardship for all of us hens when we venture past the window and into the outdoor run. We must make the difficult decision to stay indoors huddled next to the panel heater or brave the elements for a bit of fresh air and bug scratching. Again, outdoor warmth is a basic right to which we feel we are entitled.
Although these first two complaints are significant to the extent to warrant investigation by the animal humane authorities and the chicken workforce health and safety officials, it is your recent actions that are the most negatively extreme and egregious use of your management powers.
This thing you spread on the ground (you call it “snow”), is frightfully cold, wet and uncomfortable. It caused us to remain within the coop walls—cooped up, so to speak—for a full three days before you provided relief in the way of scattered leaves and shoveling that allowed us to exit for some exercise and air. U.S. airline passengers are provided with more amenities during periods of such confinement! To add insult to injury, you continued your war of inconvenience with the diminished sunlight and reduced outdoor temperatures.
The most hideous abuse of power, however, is your refusal to open the gate for our customary late-afternoon walkabout in the yard. We have consulted the calendar and calculate that it has been nearly TWO WEEKS since you have afforded us the opportunity to patrol for bugs and stretch our wings outside the confines of the coop and outdoor run. Outrageous!
It is beyond the bounds of decency how you can manage a flock under these conditions and yet expect us hens to maintain our efficiency in egg production and bug control. Your extreme insensitivity to the plight of us chickens during these past few weeks boggles our minds. We are confused. We are resentful. And we insist on correction of each of these situations immediately.
We have the phone number for the SPCA and we’re not afraid to use it.
Posted In: Chickens