Chickens are cramped, shot up with hormones, and let's just say: not so happy. There have been diseases and recalls and just general unsavory behavior from general egg-producing places. Although there are labels like "cage-free" and "free-range" those really have no strict guidelines in place to show much difference between this and the battery cages. (In fact, this picture might actually be "free-range" chickens as they are not in cages and there is some light coming in the corner. Yeah, not so great.)
In comparison, how happy do these chickens look?:
Exactly. Having backyard chickens lets you have fresh eggs for most of the year, and they can help eat bugs and leftover food scraps! But, to be honest, I don't actually like chickens that much. I prefer ducks: They are cuter, have less scarier beaks, and are waterfowl! (i.e.: They love it when it rains, which let's face it, we live in Washington and it rains a whole lot here.) Duck eggs taste the same to me as chicken eggs, (some people think they taste differently) are somewhat higher in cholesterol and protein, and ducks are heartier creatures in general. And, added bonus, they eat slugs! But I digress. Apparantly, in the city of Redmond (where I live) you cannot have any kind of backyard animals (chickens, ducks, or goats) unless you live on 1/2 an acre or more. My house is on a third of an acre, and it's one of the biggest lots in our neighborhood-so you can imagine my dismay. There is a town meeting this Wednesday in the hopes of changing this. You can learn more about it at the Chickens In Redmond FB page, and if you live here, I hope to see you there on Wednesday!! (They are asking for an RSVP by tomorrow, Monday, but you can do that by calling: 425-556-2440.) I really hope this law will change so that I can get some ducks next spring! They already have three councilmembers voting in favor of it, and they need a fourth to pass it. If you can help, please come and support us!