Chicken or the Egg…?

24th April 2012

Which came first? Very clearly for my boss, it was the chicken. The ex-battery hens that she had been preparing months for finally arrived at the end of March. I have been super excited and look forward to my updates every morning, there always seem to be a funny story to tell as their little personalities are developing and she is getting used to handling them.

I am yet to meet them in person but from their first photos they looked to be in remarkably better condition than the horrors I have seen\concocted in my imagination. Close up they do have some bald spots but already the feathers are starting to grow back nicely.

After being told that they might not lay at all, to be greeted by five freshly laid eggs the very next day must have been a wonderful surprise. These hens would have been earmarked for slaughter due to a drop in their egg producing abilities not necessarily because they had stopped. A very sad fact of the intensive commerical farming practices today.

Ironically a month on and The Ladies are now in fact producing a surplus which has meant everyone at work has each received delicate prefectly formed gifts. I took my first batch home last week, complete with feathers and all.

I first saw vegan eggs mentioned on the Hen Heaven website, I have always wondered if I had my own hens, would I eat their eggs? The hens are not kept to produce eggs and would be slaughtered if not rescued so there is no cruelty involved, in fact their lives have been improved. Interesting I thought, and quite bold to declare eggs are suitable for vegans vegan friendly on your website because I am pretty sure there are vegans for which it would still be a big no no.

The feedback on The Ladies’ eggs has actually been interesting, very positive, even Mr Ikeda said he could taste the difference, more yolky and fluffy he reckoned. It makes me sad that battery hens have such terrible lives to the extent that it effects their eggs and actually defies the whole point, surely people want to eat eggs because they taste good? It makes no sense to me at all.

As it happens I have not had any desire to try the eggs, it seems my little vegan world is actually complete (well save for the perfect vegan cheese but doesn’t every vegan dream of that? :)). Plus I would rather my already egg consuming family eat the truly happy hen’s eggs instead of those from a hen they will never see and never know 100% for sure what kind of life it has had.

I am sure you have guessed that Sash and I are very much looking forward to visiting them. I am not sure if the Lil Man will quite understand the whole where food comes from thing yet, but I am glad to have the opportunity to show him if this is what you want to eat this is how it should be done.

The Ladies were saved via the British Hen Welfare Trust and will now be living happily ever after here. Yay!

For more information on why I don’t eat eggs visit the Viva! website here and don’t forget to pop over to Vegan Bear who has just acquired some beautiful ladies of his own.

3 thoughts on “Chicken or the Egg…?”

  • And breathe.

    I thought for a minute that your sanity may be in jeopardy!

    It’s good that they’ve now a better life, but people who claim eggs are vegan becuase the chickens are rescued are just clearly confused / just wanting an excuse to eat eggs and feel better about it.

    Am glad they’re instead helping someone eat less eggs from a farm instead. I’d love it if everyone turned vegan overnight, but in the meantime any steps in the right direction are good.

  • In a utopian world we (Vegans) would all like people to stop eating eggs and chicken, however we don’t and this leaves us with a problem, what do we do with all the ex-batts that are out there? I have always felt that after years of eating both eggs and chickens I wanted to do something in a way to put that right.
    My hens are under laying age and were heading for the pot because the person who had them couldn’t look after them any more.
    Now there are a few things that can be done with laying hens, 1) let them go broody, the problem with this is that for at least 21 days the hens hormones are all over the place, they can become aggressive to the other hens, this can lead to them getting hurt in fights. They are also more prone to illness at this time as there immune system is lowered, they stop eating and spend most of there time sitting on the nest. 2) You can take any laid eggs and bin them the shells can be crush up and you can dry them before grinding them into powder and feed them back to the chickens. There are a few problems with this, hens could start to cannibalise eggs in the nest and once chickens get the taste for eggs it can lead to infighting within the coop/ark, again this is very unhealthy for them and can also lead to sickness.
    So I should tell you were I’m at, I have very understanding neighbours who have offered to look after the hens when I go away as well as give me money for there food (they are not expensive to feed but the start up outlay was quite high). They also have an allotment and god can hens poo! So in return for taking the waste that the hens produce I will be giving them some of the eggs. I’ve also found a few other allotment keepers who will swap vegetables (for the hens, as they love them) in return for an egg or two here and there.
    I spent a long time trying to work out what to do with the eggs, but for me I have chosen a way that works for my hens and means that I can also learn more about them to educate others. My neighbours have already stopped eating chicken so the girls have won some people over.
    I am and will always be vegan, and my goal is to give my hens an amazing life. In return they are giving me hours of joy and if you’d asked me a few months ago if I would feel the way I do about them I may have just thought you were crazy with a capital ‘C’. So however you feel about me keeping chickens (There names are Fanny, Queenie, Thelma and Louise) please if you get a chance to rehome some hens do, and then decide for yourself what you are going to do with the eggs.
    Exbatts need us to give them a chance of a happy home, and like other companion animals they will give you love back in return.

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