The Forced Molting of Hens for the Love of Money

SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT
The Sanitizing of Violence in Our Society
An all-creatures.org Article Series

Throughout the ages, we have accepted killing, violence, and violent behavior as just being a part of life - it's time we change!

| Home Page | Table of Contents |


The Forced Molting of Hens for the Love of Money

By: Frank L. Hoffman

We human beings do many evil things for the love of money.  Many of us lose all sense of compassion as we try to justify our actions.  We try to hide these actions from the general public so that their consciences won't bother them while they continue to buy the product of these endeavors. Such is the case with the production of eggs, and in particular to our discussion here, the forced molting of the laying hens. This forced molting causes a hormonal change to take place within the hens to increase the egg laying production in older hens, which in turn reduces costs.

The photograph to the above left, provided by United Poultry Concerns, Inc., shows the deplorable condition of these molted hens. How is this forced molting done?  The hens are starved!

Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns, Inc. did a survey of various egg producers.  She reported in the Fall/Winter 1998 issue of their on-line newsletter:  'A manager for the country's biggest egg company, Cal-Maine, told UPC: "Usually we lose anywhere from 500 to 1000 hens the first day we put them back on feed.  The [excretory] ammonia in the house during this period is so bad we usually wear masks in order to breathe.  It is almost unbearable to us." ' 

Due to the cruel treatment at Cal-Main (and elsewhere), the death rate of the hens amounts to 1-2% of the flock.  In addition, if the workers get so sick when entering the chicken houses, think of how horrible it must be for these hens who are forced to live under these conditions.  And every time someone eats an egg or a product containing eggs, it contributes to the continued suffering of these and untold millions of other hens.

It's time for us, as a society, to stop being blind to the cruelties that are taking place around us.  It's time we stop supporting such industries.   It's time we stop hardening our hearts, for the more we harden our hearts, the more other aspects of our lives are affected negatively.  It's time we stop shooting ourselves in the foot.  It's time we stop sanitizing violence in our society.

With regard to such activities as the practice of the forced molting of hens, we are warned in 1 Timothy 6:10:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
(NIV)