Below is a statement put forth by the Eastern Shore Sanctuary in
conjunction with Animal Place, Chicken Run Rescue, Farm Sanctuary, Sunny
Skies Bird and Animal Sanctuary, and United Poultry Concerns. In it we
list the reasons why people should fight this growing trend of ordering
and keeping backyard flocks of chickens, and what can be done should folks
feel insistent upon doing so.
We are asking all AR activists to post this widely. Good places are
backyard bird forums, general "poultry" forums, and anywhere else you know
of that people discuss the "joys" of "having" a backyard flock of
HOWEVER, THE LINKS DO NOT TRANSFER HERE so please contact us ASAP for a
version that has working links!!!! You may write
and we will get back to you right away.
Please also contact us if your town or municipality is considering
rezoning to allow chickens to live there; we will help you formulate a
For the animals,
Miriam, Eastern Shore Sanctuary and Education Center
Collective Position Statement on Backyard Poultry
In the past couple of years, the practice of keeping chickens in urban and
semi-rural backyards has increased.
People keep chickens for a variety of reasons: opposition to factory
farming; a desire to eat fresh eggs; a genuine love for chickens as
companion animals. Like other fads, this one has drawbacks which
hatcheries and chicken breeders don't want you to know about.
If you truly enjoy the company of chickens and believe that all animals
should be treated with kindness and justice, please consider these facts
before organizing your own backyard flock:
Chicken feed and excrement attract rodents to your house.
Some of the Dangers of Living Near Rats
Hatcheries, like McMurray Hatchery, treat chickens no better than factory
farms do. In fact, they ARE factory farms. Their treatment of chicks is
abominable and comparable to the mistreatment of dogs in puppy mills.
Video of Hatchery Practices
Video of Turkey Hatchery with Similar Practices
Facts about Hatcheries
Sending chicks through the mail is abusive. Temperature-sensitive chicks
should not be boxed up without food or water for up to 72 hours and
transported through the postal service. Please note: Purchasing chicks at
feed stores is the same as ordering them through the mail. Contrary to
appearances, those chicks do not come from local farms, but from
Dangers of Shipping Chicks by Mail
Dangers of Shipping Chicks by Mail, Part Two
Hatcheries will send you roosters even if you ask them not to. They use
roosters as packing material and chicken sexing is more art than science.
While cities may be zoned for hens, most prohibit roosters, leaving them
to be abandoned or killed at shelters.
Roosters as Packing Material
Chickens need proper housing and fenced-in yards to survive inclement
weather and predators. They also need easy access to fresh food and clean
water at all times, a clean yard and sleeping space and good veterinary
Providing a Good Home to Chickens
Providing a Good Home to Chickens Part Two
Providing a Good Home to Chickens Part Three
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you are not zoned for chickens, keep it that way! There are too many
problems with chickens living in urban environments.
If your town or city is already zoned for chickens, check out the
specifics of the ordinances and ensure that they are as humane as
If you have read through all of this material and still want to live with
chickens, adopt from a farmed animal sanctuary or animal shelter. Note,
though, that sanctuaries have strict adoption protocols to protect the
Chicken Run Rescue
Eastern Shore Sanctuary and Education Center
Sunny Skies Bird and Animal Sanctuary
United Poultry Concerns