Stop mistreating chickens

To the Editor:

I am Morgan from Hollis Brookline Middle School’s seventh grade. At home, I have seven chickens, consisting of six hens and a rooster. Keeping these chickens have made me really care about the species. When I saw the news one day, I was absolutely horrified at the conditions that laying hens had to live in when they are in commercial egg farms. I know you probably like to know where your food comes from. Therefore, people should know that chickens are being mistreated in most commercial egg farms.

Hens live in terrible conditions at most commercial egg farms, which sometimes will impact human health. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “the treatment of caged hens could have health implications for humans as well as hens. Multiple studies have found that having hens in particularly close quarters… may increase the likelihood of salmonella poisoning.” Often, birds are crammed into small cages along with others, often with each hen with a space less than a sheet of paper. Think about it; you go out and buy eggs from the grocery store, and you end up with salmonella. Most often, for every 250,000 birds, there is one worker to care for them. As some birds die in the cages, it is hard to keep track of the deceased ones, with all of the living hens that are managed by one person. By the time the dead bodies are found, they are often half decayed, of mummified. How would you like it if you were forced into a small cage with others including a decaying body?

Every year, around 6,000,000,000 young cocks, which are useless for egg production, are discarded in trash bags, and suffocate, or are ground up alive. Not even the hens can escape a horrific death. Some hens get stuffed upside down into kill cones, and then will cry out as their throats are slit. They are then left to bleed to death. That is not the only way for hens to be slaughtered in a brutal, cruel way. Approximately 10,000,000 hens are dropped into boiling water while conscious for feather removal. As I mentioned earlier, hens have very little space to live in, so, “Rather than give them more room, farmers cut off a portion of their sensitive beaks without painkiller. A chicken’s beak is… more sensitive than a human fingertip. Many birds die of shock on the spot.” This is definitely one of the most horrifying facts I have heard.

Are you aware of this horrible treatment of laying hens in some commercial farms? By buying eggs from local farmers, you can make your move against this horrible treatment.

Thank you for your time to read this,