Minnesota Monthly, April 2007
Regarding “Pecks and the City” by Rachel Hutton, March 2007.
Thank you for writing about people who are proud to be chicken lovers. Like many, I never knew I’d dote on chickens – that is, until I met a crippled hen from a mass production operation 20 years ago. She taught me how expressive and affectionate a chicken can be. Since then, I’ve maintained a sanctuary for chickens and started a national advocacy organization on their behalf.
I must respectfully challenge the hatchery’s claim that chicks can last three days (72 hours) without food or water. Some can, but not without ill effects. In nature, when chicks hatch under a mother hen, the first to hatch must wait 24 to 48 hours for all to emerge; they survive by absorbing their yolk nutrients during this time. Commercial chicks may already be 36 hours old before they are shipped to customers. For this and other reasons – including excessive heat and cold, poor packaging, and being banged around in their boxes – 30 to 80 percent arrive dead, according to the airlines.
The best thing people who love chickens in a responsible manner can do is adopt one or more from a shelter or rescue group, such as the Clouse’s Chicken Run Rescue discussed in your article.
President, United Poultry Concerns
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.|
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(Letter: Comparing animal slaughter to Holocaust victims is fair)