The show is airing NOW on NPR, “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook. Today’s topic? Backyard Chickens. Here is their description:
Can you hear the chickens clucking around your neighborhood, your block? Are they in your own backyard?
Raising backyard chickens has grown into a movement. But one by one, cities and towns are debating the right to raise chickens in the neighborhood — whether chickens are too loud, too smelly, or just too farm-like to live in urban and suburban backyards.
The New Yorker’s Susan Orlean opted to leave Manhattan for upstate New York, and gave chicken-raising a try. Now she’s hooked — and crowing about the joys of chickens.
This hour, On Point: Love ‘em or hate ‘em — backyard chickens.
I’ve been trying to call and continue to get a busy signal, but I did post some rapidly-written comments (below). PLEASE take a moment and post your comments as well — you can do so long after the show is over, and people DO READ THEM.
Miriam, Eastern Shore Sanctuary
I just wanted to note a couple of things, and if they have already been noted, I apologize; I haven’t read through all of the comments yet.
First and foremost the purchase of chickens through the mail is horrifically abusive. Many die and if they don’t die, they suffer. Imagine mailing a puppy; you wouldn’t. Second, the breeding of chickens and taking babies from their mothers is horrifically abusive also.
Put these two things together and you get a clear conclusion: DO NOT ORDER CHICKENS THROUGH THE MAIL. If you want a backyard chicken flock, find a local sanctuary and adopt some chickens.
I also simply have to speak to the hypocrisy of a world that wants to use living creatures for their eggs, but only on their own terms. Everything from throwing away half of the species (aka ROOSTERS) to condemning an animals for the noises they make (completely oblivious to the fact that we humans spew more noise pollution into the world than everyone else) — these things and more speak to a hypocrisy that is phenomenally disturbing. Common, yet horrible nevertheless.
If you are a backyard birder, as they are called, then it behooves you, ethically speaking, to fight for the rights of chickens to live the lives they want to live. That includes allowing hens to live with roosters (believe it or not, humans aren’t the only creatures who want the companionship of the opposite sex). That includes not ordering chickens through the mail as if they are inanimate objects. And that includes treating them as the precious creatures they are, remembering that your use of them for their eggs should be considered a gift you have to earn.