Never To Crow
By Barbara Moffit
Dedicated to the millions of precious chickens who were snuffed out during the couple of hours that it took me to write this poem.
Into man’s automated world they hatch,
Ten thousand in a batch.
Peeping softly at first,
Oblivious of why they’re on earth.
Shipped to a “farm,”
Crowded into a barn,
They huddle beneath a light,
Never knowing true day or night.
Never knowing a mother’s soft wings,
Or what tomorrow brings,
They eat, they sleep, they grow too fast.
Too soon! Too soon! Six weeks are past.
With little room to move around,
Crippled birds hug the ground.
Legs have grown too weak to stand –
To bear bodies enfeebled for human demand.
Catchers are coming! They don’t know why.
In darkness they’re caught, unable to fly.
They’re stuffed into crates thrown on trucks in heaps.
No one listens to terrified peeps.
Legs are broken, wings dislocated.
Who will weep for these birds ill-fated?
Born to be eaten, born to die,
A slaughterhouse is where their destiny lies.
Could a chicken have dreams? Can a human know
How these young ones would have loved to live and grow?
Instead of dying,
Never to crow.
Barbara Moffit has been rescuing chickens from rural auctions for many years. Her home in Stillwater, Oklahoma is called “Wings-Haven.” Barbara’s article “Come to the AUCTION and See It Through Their Eyes” is in the Winter 2003 Poultry Press and can be read online at
www.upc-online.org/winter2003/auction.htm or purchased from UPC for $5.
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150