Domesticated chickens have inherited centuries’ worth of instinctual behaviors from their wild ancestors—unfortunately, those raised in factory farms aren’t allowed to follow these instincts. Caged egg-laying hens rarely have room to take dust baths, roost off the ground, lay their eggs in nests or even spread their wings. And some places in the country still engage in cockfighting, where roosters are fitted with cruel spurs and forced to fight to the death.
With more than 24 known vocalizations, chickens have calls specific to land-based and aerial predators. Before they hatch, chicks can even communicate with their mom to say they’re cold. But on factory farms, they use very different vocalizations, including long whiny calls—especially when they can’t engage in nesting behavior.
The “pecking order” is real. Dominant hens and roosters use posturing, pecks and vocalizations to assert their position—and make sure everyone else falls in line.
One day a week can make a world of difference for your health, animals and the environment! Start by trying a new vegetable-packed dish or swap your usual entrée with a plant-based meat alternative.