Ways of Keeping



There are different ways of keeping chickens, but most of them are not very pleasant for the bird. Only a few of the vast number of chickens are allowed to cross the meadows and to look for natural food.


On the picture you see an example of how the majority of chickens are kept. Many, many chickens share a very limited space, have neither perches nor nests, and have never seen daylight. Under these circumstances it is obvious that disease-causing agents can spread and kill the chickens. To avoid this, chickens are fed chemical drugs, which finally land up in our breakfast egg or chicken meal. Every day the farmer has to take out of the hen house some dead chickens that were hurt by other hens. Well, this is only natural. If 10’000 chickens share a little hen house together, the stronger ones become aggressive and start to fight each other. If you keep chickens outside in the nature, this is no problem. A weak chicken can run away and hide itself, while in a big chicken farm there is no place to hide. Besides, in a normal hen house only about 20 hens live together, which may fight each other a bit, but not 10'000 of them.

That's why many big farmers prefer keeping chickens in small cages. There the hens actually do not have more room for moving, but there are only about four chickens in one cage and so they cannot fight each other that much. Besides, keeping chickens in cages is cleaner and tidier than in a big hen house because their excrements can be taken away very easily by means of a conveyor belt. In any case, both keeping chickens in large hen houses and in small cages is not a very nice life for them. That's why there are also some other arrangements for keeping chickens:


That's a view of an organic chicken farm. The chickens can move as far as they want and they can eat fresh grass or clean themselves in the ground. In the hen house there are nests, where chickens can lay their eggs and perches for the night. So the chickens live in a really natural environment.


That's a view of my own flock. About ten hens live together with a beautiful rooster, and they can hatch whenever they want. The run is nearly endless and the grain was produced without chemical additives. Of course such a way of keeping is very expensive and not very economical, but as a private keeper I can afford that money.



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