A couple of weeks ago I watched an undercover video showing the abuse of dairy cows at an Ohio dairy farm filmed by Mercy For Animals (MFA).
Warning: if you have a heart, the images seen in this video are very disturbing.
After watching the above video, I decided to torture myself further by looking on Youtube for other undercover video by MFA. I found the following video which gives an inside look at Ohio Fresh Eggs; I was in tears by the end of the video.
These videos sealed my fate as a backyard chicken farmer. I wanted to know that my family wasn't contributing to the abuse of chickens by purchasing eggs from a factory farm EVER again. So, here we are, starting our own little hen house from the ground up. I'm hoping by posting our experiences, more people might be empowered to do the same for themselves and for the chickens.
Not only are we going to help the chickens by raising hens to produce our own eggs, we plan to purchase as many food products from local producers as we possibly can. For example, last month, we purchased 1/4 of beef from a local farmer. We know how the steer was treated and what he was fed while being raised. My mother-in-law raises meat chickens almost every year; we plan to participate in that process so we can pack several in our freezer each year. Working in the agricultural industry has its benefits as well. We are able to network with local producers to find what we're looking for. We also have plans for a garden in the future. I have to keep reminding myself...One step at a time. I think I may drive Travis bananas if I try to push too much at once, so for now, we're doing the chickens at home and finding local producers for the rest!
Since our pullets won't be egg producing hens for about 6 months, we have made a commitment to buy our eggs from local producers until our little ladies are pumping out their own rainbow of eggs for us.
Sit back and enjoy the ride. It should prove to be interesting, educational and, hopefully, inspiring!