Mercy For Animals

Investigator's Diary

Thursday, 8/21/08

I saw two hens with prolapsed uteruses, both bloody and fully protruded, with feces and a pink fluid covering the rear feathers and down.

Friday, 8/22/08

In every barn I saw birds with feces-encrusted hind ends, and when I observed them closely, I saw they had raw hind ends and swollen flesh around their cavities.

I saw that one of the piles of dead birds had a live hen lying in it. She was lying on her side and would move only her neck and head.

I noticed that some cages contained five to six birds.

About 20% of the hens had mangled beaks, likely the result of careless de-beaking. Some of their bottom beaks were twice the length of their top beaks, making it difficult for them to pick up food.

Saturday, 8/23/08

I found two hens with atrophied crests who were lethargic and thin. One of them had her head lodged under her front cage wall.

Sunday, 8/24/08

Several dead hens were piled onto a cart and I saw that one hen was still shallowly breathing. Her head was hanging down and she was gasping for breath with her eyes closed, a clear fluid occasionally dripping from her mouth. I pointed this out to a worker and asked if it was a problem. He said “No. Pretty soon it’s dead.” He then grabbed her by her head, picked her up and spun her in circles a few times before dropping her back onto the dead pile. For about 90 seconds the hen lay there twitching.

I saw three hens with pus-filled, scabbing abscesses on their faces today.

I found a hen in a top cage with a large prolapse dripping blood. There was one other hen in her cage who had a bloody beak, indicating that this bird had been cannibalizing the prolapse.

Monday, 8/25/08

I saw four more hens with prolapses today. One was bleeding so heavily that it was a blood-soaked pile of feces on the egg belt that drew my attention to it. I also saw four bloodstained hens inside the cage.

Wednesday, 8/27/08

I found four hens with atrophied crests who were very lethargic. I placed three of them on top of cages, where one sat and two lay down, all of them motionless. Only one responded to my petting her, at which point she briefly raised and then lowered her head.

Thursday, 8/28/08

I saw a lethargic hen in a cage with a hardened hind end, swollen to twice the size of a normal chicken’s. What few feathers remained on the swollen area were coated in feces.

I saw two live hens lying on the floor. One was holding her head up, while the other rested her head on the ground. Neither could walk or flap her wings. I picked one up, who kicked lightly once and then let her head droop as she shut her eyes. The other bird let me pet her, kicking softly when I initially touched her but then lying motionless.

Friday, 8/29/08

In all of the barns I saw many birds with neuromas, painful tumors of the nerves, on their upper and lower beaks, some up to ¾ of an inch in diameter and covered in scabs.

The floor of one of the barns was cleaned while I was working in it, revealing maggots crawling over the floor of the barn.

Saturday, 8/30/08

I noticed about 40 dead chickens piled up inside and outside of barn bay doors and collected into a dozer blade this morning.

I also found a hen with a massive prolapse, covered in fresh blood. The hen walked low to the wire flooring and was being trampled by other birds in her cage.

Sunday, 8/31/08

I saw that one bird, lying underneath several other hens piled onto a metal cart, was still alive. It was clear that she was alive and breathing, with her head rising and falling as it hung toward the floor.

In one of the barns I saw a hen with her right leg bent back backwards about 45 degrees.

Monday, 9/1/08

I saw an egg with fresh blood on it in the egg collection belt. I then saw that one hen in a cage of four had openly bleeding tears on the outside of her cavity.

I also found a heavily decomposed hen in a top cage with three live hens. Her body was trampled flat with organs dangling through the wire flooring.

Thursday, 9/4/08

There were about 45 dead chickens in barns today. Two of the dead hens were in a cage together with two live hens.

Friday, 9/5/08

This morning I saw a live hen lying immobile on the floor next to two dead hens. Later there were two more dead hens in the pile, and the live hen was in death throes, twitching and slightly convulsing.

While working on egg collection belts, I saw tiny insects covering the eggs and egg belts. When I pulled my hands away from the belts, there were dozens of insects on my hands and arms.

Saturday, 9/6/08

I saw a dead hen in a bottom cage with blood covering the floor below her. I saw that her organs were spilling out of her cavity, with fresh blood dripping from them.

Sunday, 9/7/08

I saw about five dead hens in cages throughout the day, two whose heads were lodged under their cages’ front walls and others who had fallen from their cages onto the egg belts.

I found a live hen with her body trapped under her cage’s front wall and draped over the egg belt with eggs backing up against her head. I picked up the hen and took her to a worker, saying, “She’s not dead.” The worker immediately grabbed the hen by the head and spun her in circles for several seconds before throwing her on the concrete floor, where she gasped, twitched her legs, and convulsed for nearly two minutes.

Monday, 9/8/08

I found a hen with her head and right wing under her cage’s front wall. Clear fluid was dripping from her beak tip onto the egg belt below her creating a pool of drool.

Wednesday, 9/10/08

I saw a hen with an entire side of her face swollen about half an inch out. Her left eye was almost swollen shut.

Thursday, 9/11/08

I saw another bird with an entire side of her face swollen about an inch out. The swelling pushed her skin out to the point where her left eye was only a slit.

Sunday, 9/14/08

There was a pool of blood about eight inches in diameter in a pile of feces below one of the cages. I also saw a hen whose rear abdomen was swollen and her cavity was covered in pus.

I found two crippled hens today. I took one out of her cage and saw that she was unable to fly, walk, or move at all, other than to kick one leg weakly. Her head and part of her right wing were under the front wall of her cage with eggs bumping against her head.

I found another crippled hen partially under the front wall of her cage. Her left leg was stretched out and partially on an egg belt, and her neck was bent around backwards and to the left so her beak was touching her abdomen.

Monday, 9/15/08

This morning I saw that one of the barns was empty of birds and about 10 kill carts and 45 carbon dioxide containers were in the room. One kill cart was about ¾ full of dead hens, who had died inhaling the acidic, pungent CO2 gas. A worker told me that the birds were killed after about 1 year and 8 months in cages.

Another worker told me that he had found a live hen in a cage he was cleaning. I told another worker about this hen and she explained that it was likely that the bird’s leg was caught in the cage wire and no one bothered to dislodge her. I asked her what we should do with the bird, and she said to leave her there until she died.

Sunday, 9/21/08

I found several injured and sick birds throughout the ranch. I discovered four hens that appeared lethargic, lying in cages motionless. One of the hens was being trampled by two other birds in her cage who were stepping on her body and head.

I found a hen with a hard, swollen abdomen. Her rear end was about twice the size of a normal hen’s, missing nearly all of its feathers, and covered in excrement.

I saw that one dead hen’s head was lying on the egg belt running below her cage.

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