Backyard hens & roosters - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-03-2011, 07:21 AM
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Since I'm a vegan, I don't eat eggs. Also not eggs from hens from someones backyard, because if everyone buys hens and NO roosters, the roosters are still going to be killed.

My question: what would be against eating eggs that you got from someone who has 50% hens and 50% roosters in his backyard?

Thanks.
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#2 Old 09-03-2011, 07:35 PM
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Our family used to keep backyard chickens as pets. We had three roosters and four hens who all had full run of our large yard during the day and spent their nights in a roomy coop to keep them safe from predators. We treated our chickens very well and all of them enjoyed long lives. Although I never ate their eggs, the rest of my family did. They considered that to be a better option than buying eggs from the store and anytime we had extra eggs we would give them to our neighbors.

For someone who doesn't want to remove eggs from their diet, getting eggs from situations like that seems to be the least harmful option. However someone chooses to get eggs, you're still taking them from the chickens and encouraging the consumption of animal products, which is why I wouldn't eat them.

"[-]But caging them, killing them, eating them was unthinkable. We were creatures of the same world."
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#3 Old 09-03-2011, 08:10 PM
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My problems with eggs are beyond ethics. They come out of a hen's...intimate parts. I don't want any part of that! They just gross me out too much, lol.

My sister-in-law's family has hens and I don't really approve. They don't take excellent care of them. I mean, they're not neglected or mistreated but they're definitely not loved. They're still just egg machines to them. If I had hens or roosters I'd love them like I love my cat and rabbit.
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#4 Old 09-03-2011, 08:45 PM
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Personally, if I ever had hens or roosters, I would probably be a vegetarian just in that aspect [but I could never see me going back to eating eggs ever again, so scratch that]. Basically, it seems fine to me. I read in like, one place that they eat their eggs sometimes [??] so I wouldn't take all of them, but I really don't see a problem with eating excess eggs from chickens that are treated with love, and not tortured and eventually killed.

That's just me. I know other vegans have different views on this subject.

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#5 Old 09-03-2011, 08:59 PM
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They mostly eat their eggs if they're malnourished or stressed. But either way, it's an interesting thread, though we've had similar.

And it isn't hard to have just one rooster without killing the rest- I gave two of mine away earlier in the year, because I didn't need them fighting with my older rooster and only had a small flock of hen besides. They went to someone who raised that breed of chicken and was worried about his gene pool.
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#6 Old 09-03-2011, 10:01 PM
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The eggs would more than likely be fertilised.
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#7 Old 09-04-2011, 02:35 AM
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That really doesn't mean they're going to be hatched. If one's objecting to fertilized eggs, you might as well say no to all eggs (which you probaly do, this being in the vegan section)
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#8 Old 09-04-2011, 05:08 AM
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Thank you for your replies.
Now about the fertilization:
-How active are those roosters going to be fertilizing?/Will indeed most of the eggs be fertilized?
-How can you tell which eggs have been fertilized?
-How many of the fertilized eggs will actually be hatched? Of course, I don't need exact numbers. I would just like to get an idea.
-What happens when you keep hens and roosters seperate from eachother?

Marl

P.S.: @affidavit:
I don't understand:
"If one's objecting to fertilized eggs, you might as well say no to all eggs"
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#9 Old 09-04-2011, 06:49 PM
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Had to do a bit of googling to find the first bit below.

The sperm live inside the female reproductive system and each time an ovulation occurs (every 24-26 hours in good egg producers) the egg can become fertile. This process continues and matings at 7 - 10 day intervals are necessary to maintain fertility.



Which pretty much means, they only have to mate once and the hen will lay fertile eggs for a good week. You can't tell if an egg is fertilized just by looking at it. Hatch rate would depend on the broodiness of the chickens, the hatch rate can be pretty high, usually only defective eggs or eggs that get too cold at a vital time don't hatch.
You can't keep a bunch of roosters together, either with or without hens without a fair bit of fighting.
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#10 Old 09-04-2011, 07:05 PM
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I wonder if you could spay a chicken or neuter a rooster? Then you could rescue a few ladies and be able to keep them with a rescued male if you could somehow get rescued chickens without them reproducing so fast with the fertilized eggs. I assume a spayed chicken would not lay eggs anymore.
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#11 Old 09-04-2011, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disney.jessica View Post

I wonder if you could spay a chicken or neuter a rooster? Then you could rescue a few ladies and be able to keep them with a rescued male if you could somehow get rescued chickens without them reproducing so fast with the fertilized eggs. I assume a spayed chicken would not lay eggs anymore.

That's an interesting idea. I'd never thought of spaying or neutering chickens before. I googled it and found a forum talking about it. I found this quote, which disgusts me:

Quote:
I guess I wouldn't bother spaying because to me a chicken = working livestock animal = food. Just my opinion I don't have my chickens for companionship. I find them sweet and entertaining. But, when their egg production drops or Tony (the roo) turns mean. They're dinner

Sorry, I know it doesn't add to the discussion. I just had to share. Bleh.
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#12 Old 09-04-2011, 07:37 PM
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I was just reading the same forum MoarPineapplePlz. From what I read, it can be done, but needs to be done on young birds and there are risks and it makes the birds heavier. Also I assume most rescues would be too old to have the procedure. Also it doesn't necessarily stop fighting among the males.
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#13 Old 09-04-2011, 07:40 PM
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I don't really have an ethical problem with eating eggs that were obtained from healthy, well-treated chickens, but I wouldn't do it myself because it's just gross.

Enjoying the view over at http://forum.veggieviews.com/

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#14 Old 09-04-2011, 07:48 PM
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That's awful that they raise these chickens and then eat them, Pineapple. That reminds me, yesterday I was driving and saw a baby cow curled up with a goat in someone's backyard. I don't think it was for food like everyone else's cows and goats around here because they only had those two animals and the backyard was big enough for them but I was certain they didn't have any other cows or goats. At least, I hope so, it was such an adorable sight. I just really hoped that house beloved to a veg*n or something.

And Misty, that's too bad that there's all those complications. I just figured, since something as small as rats can be neutered and spayed so could chickens since they're about the size of a cat or so. Though I wonder if neutering and spaying of chickens could be improved if there were people in veterinary fields to actually work on it. I assume the common neutering and spaying of common pets like cats and dogs was once more complicated but it was improved. I assume the issue with chickens is just no one sees enough reason for neutering and spaying them. Would spaying halt egg production of females?
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#15 Old 09-04-2011, 08:09 PM
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You need to remember that birds have a reproductive system quite different than mammals. They only have a vent (cloaca) that serves all purposes down there.
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#16 Old 09-04-2011, 08:11 PM
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Oh, I forgot that thy aren't mammals. That makes a lot more sense then.
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#17 Old 09-04-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlironbrave View Post

My question: what would be against eating eggs that you got from someone who has 50% hens and 50% roosters in his backyard?

Why do you want to eat eggs? Are you going to be satisfied with just a few eggs every now and then? If so, might you also be satisfied eating no eggs at all?

What's your argument for why you don't eat eggs from wild robins or crows? Why not eat owl eggs or lizard eggs? Snake eggs or alligator eggs?

Where do these hens and roosters come from? Are you purchasing them and incentivising cruel breeders? Or are they rescued?

And how are they keeping the roosters separated from the hens so the eggs don't get fertilized? Do the roosters mind? Do they get lonely or anything like that?

Do the neighbors care about all these roosters? They get loud you know. You must have a lot of land! Wouldn't you rather use that land for something else (guest house for people, vegetable garden, kennels for rescued dogs, etc) or sell the land and use the money for something fun (sailing around the world, perhaps)?

What other animals might like to share some of that land but can't live there because you'd given it to the roosters?

What's going to happen to the hens when they stop producing eggs? Where will they live and who will pay for their care?

Those hens and roosters are going to need a lot of stuff - nesting supplies, feed, perching ladders and whatnot. And they need TLC whenever the weather changes or there's an illness or injury. Are you really so in love with eggs that you want to spend that much time, effort, and money to produce "humane" eggs? Might there be something else you enjoy more (like a trip to Paris or a convertible)?

But really, if someone is eating any eggs from their own backyard hens I'm just not going to waste my time on them. There are higher priorities. The millions of factory farmed hens need my advocacy more.
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#18 Old 09-04-2011, 10:43 PM
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Do you know anything about chickens.. or people for that matter Elaine? Many people couldn't care less about a trip to paris or a convertible. I know they don't excite me.
Not everyone that has chickens does them in when they stop laying. I have rescue hens, they came from the battery farm instead of going to slaughter. I take in other peoples ex layers rather than see them go in a pot. Yes I feel good about this.
Roosters will fight if they are bored or just want to be head **** if there are too many.

I just think you didn't bother reading the whole thread as most of it has already been addressed.
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#19 Old 09-04-2011, 11:06 PM
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Do you know anything about chickens.. or people for that matter Elaine? Many people couldn't care less about a trip to paris or a convertible. I know they don't excite me.
Not everyone that has chickens does them in when they stop laying. I have rescue hens, they came from the battery farm instead of going to slaughter. I take in other peoples ex layers rather than see them go in a pot. Yes I feel good about this.
Roosters will fight if they are bored or just want to be head **** if there are too many.

I just think you didn't bother reading the whole thread as most of it has already been addressed.

I'm sorry for going off topic a bit but I just wanted to say that that's so wonderful that you rescue those chickens!

I love chickens, I'd love to have the chance to rescue some, too, someday.
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#20 Old 09-04-2011, 11:17 PM
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Disney Jessica, they are so sad when they first come to me. Scared, ohh so bald ( they nearly look like they have been plucked for eating, but still have heads and move, just.) They need food and water right in front of them because they just don't understand freedom and choice. It takes them a few weeks to get on their feet properly and a few months to regrow their feathers, at first they look like porcupine quills. They are such a joy though, to watch them recover and finally have freedom.

Soz for going off topic too.
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#21 Old 09-05-2011, 12:56 AM
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I just think you didn't bother reading the whole thread as most of it has already been addressed.

I read the entire thread and I do no think the OP answered any of the questions ElaineV asked. So no, I don't think they have been addressed.

--

As for:

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlironbrave View Post

Since I'm a vegan, I don't eat eggs. Also not eggs from hens from someones backyard, because if everyone buys hens and NO roosters, the roosters are still going to be killed.

My question: what would be against eating eggs that you got from someone who has 50% hens and 50% roosters in his backyard?

Thanks.

What would it matter if someone has 50% hens and 50% roosters in their backyard with respect to the relevancy of eating their eggs?

I believe everything.
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#22 Old 09-05-2011, 01:02 AM
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The OP was asking for answers.
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#23 Old 09-05-2011, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Misty View Post

The OP was asking for answers.

Sure, but in order to answer some questions, you really have to ask some more questions to get clarification.

What's the point in asking vegans about consuming eggs, chicken habits, fertilization of eggs, etc? Is this about veganism or about consuming eggs?

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#24 Old 09-05-2011, 01:36 AM
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Yea ok, I see your point now. I never really pay attention to which forum I am in.
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#25 Old 09-05-2011, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Misty View Post

Which pretty much means, they only have to mate once and the hen will lay fertile eggs for a good week. You can't tell if an egg is fertilized just by looking at it. Hatch rate would depend on the broodiness of the chickens, the hatch rate can be pretty high, usually only defective eggs or eggs that get too cold at a vital time don't hatch.
You can't keep a bunch of roosters together, either with or without hens without a fair bit of fighting.

Ok, thanks. I also understand that 1) hens only brood a part of the year, 2) that this is usually during spring and 3) that not all hens brood.
My question: is there a way of being reasonably sure that a hen is not going to brood on a certain egg, so that we can 'safely' remove the egg?

Marl
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#26 Old 09-05-2011, 02:48 AM
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To see if an egg is fertile, you can 'candle' it by shining a flashlight at the egg. If you see a dark spot, it is fertile. I don't know how early you can see it though. I don't eat eggs but remember learning this.
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#27 Old 09-05-2011, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by nogardsram View Post

I read the entire thread and I do no think the OP answered any of the questions ElaineV asked. So no, I don't think they have been addressed.

--

As for:



What would it matter if someone has 50% hens and 50% roosters in their backyard with respect to the relevancy of eating their eggs?

I consider ElaineV's questions to be rhetorical by the way. Just issues one may want to think about. And that's basically what I ask for.

About the 50 - 50 %-thing: For me, the main problem with eating eggs is that most of the roosters get killed in the process of producing eggs. If I'm only keeping hens in my backyard, I'm still part of my main problem, because if everyone does this, there still have to be people getting rid of all the roosters. So by having 50 % roosters 50 % hens, *at least* I would not be guilty of that.
One can of course think of other objections and that's what I asked for in my original post.

Marl
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#28 Old 09-05-2011, 08:32 AM
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One can of course think of other objections and that's what I asked for in my original post.

What's the need to view any animal as a resource to be used by humans? We, as humans, do not require eggs for anything other than taste, for pleasure.

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#29 Old 09-05-2011, 08:54 AM
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Disney Jessica, they are so sad when they first come to me. Scared, ohh so bald ( they nearly look like they have been plucked for eating, but still have heads and move, just.) They need food and water right in front of them because they just don't understand freedom and choice. It takes them a few weeks to get on their feet properly and a few months to regrow their feathers, at first they look like porcupine quills. They are such a joy though, to watch them recover and finally have freedom.

Soz for going off topic too.

That sounds amazing! I'd love to do that some day!

ÂIf man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.  Mark Twain
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#30 Old 09-05-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by marlironbrave View Post

About the 50 - 50 %-thing: For me, the main problem with eating eggs is that most of the roosters get killed in the process of producing eggs. If I'm only keeping hens in my backyard, I'm still part of my main problem, because if everyone does this, there still have to be people getting rid of all the roosters. So by having 50 % roosters 50 % hens, *at least* I would not be guilty of that.

I would think the best solution is to adopt battery hens, as Misty does. My understanding is that most rescues start laying again once they are in good health and not feeling such stress due to their living conditions. That way you aren't directly supporting the people who 'produce' the baby chicks and kill the males. And if you still want roosters, you may be able to adopt some of the babies that would have been culled. I know this doesn't answer any of your questions about roosters and hens living together, but I think it is the most ethical way of owning chickens (so that you aren't supporting the breeders).

I can't wait to own my own house so I can adopt battery hens, and I think I will give the eggs to other people who already eat eggs, so that it reduces their need to buy eggs from the store that aren't produced ethically. Some sanctuaries also feed them back to the hens to help with the strain on their bodies that is due to being bred to lay way more eggs than they naturally would.

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