Saturday, 28 July 2012

A new life

My egg demand had increased so much that I needed more layers, and altogether I had many chicks they would not be laying for at least six months so the search for chickens begun. My knowledge of chickens knew that the best layers, and the cheapest birds were battery hens.

I spoke tot he chicken guy and ordered my 20 new chickens, which he assured me would be able to a) fit in my car b) lay eggs and c) look OK. We had to travel up the island to get the chickens, to an area which is not the nicest, and is considered to be one of those areas, that if you stop your car for too long the local kids will steal your wheels.

After getting really lost, we found the "dodgy" looking place which the chicken exchange was taking place. All that was going through my mind was would the policia find our bodies when the locals killed us and chopped us up into small pieces. However, in all fairness to the guy he is a helpful bloke, looking to earn a living like the rest of us, he just does his in odd ways.

Three small boxes were bundled into my car, at this point I doubted his counting abilities, as I would be surprised if all my chickens were there. However, didn't want to insult him, and had a general chat, where he told me that he had selected the best chickens for me, and only a few were missing feathers. We went onto to discuss ducks, bunny farming and "jiggy jiggy"...why do I end up discussing that subject with every Spanish man I come into contact with.

The journey home, was cold as the aircon had to up on full blast, and the smell was disgusting, however, we drove home with our new additions and anticipation of our "good condition" chickens. When we reached home, the boxes were placed into the orchard and slowly we opened the boxes...I took a step back and was shocked, which if you know me that takes a hell of a lot to achieve.

The emaciated 20 chickens that were in front of me, looked awful, beyond anything I have ever seen before. If these were good chickens, god forbid what a bad chicken would look like. The chickens stood in their boxes not knowing what to do, as we slowly tipped them out they stood and starred at the ground, with this puzzled look on their faces.

These chickens had never seen daylight, never felt dirt under their feet, and never had freedom to walk. They had been kept in cages the size of an A4 piece of paper, and through boredom had pecked their own feathers off. At this moment I understood why people campaign tirelessly to stop battery factories, and how every time all of us pop to the supermarket to buy our eggs, we are helping to put these animals in this condition. I am grateful that I could save these 20 from a non existent life, and will go back for more in the future.....

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