Meet Miss Cluck, one of our Red Sussex hens. Miss Cluck lays beautiful dark brown/pink eggs with even darker brown speckles flecked over the top. She leans toward broodiness, loves to be held, and recently spent some time in the bathroom after becoming too chilled out in the yard. Miss Cluck is an incredibly sweet girl.
You may have noticed in this photo that Miss Cluck is de-beaked. We purchased Miss Cluck and two other Red Sussex hens from a nearby farm, a large farm with far too many birds crammed in far too small a space. The farmer who sold them to us failed to mention that their beaks were clipped, and we didn’t get a close enough look at them to notice until we got them home and out of their boxes. When I first saw their clipped beaks, I was horrified. Eight months later, it is still difficult for me to look at.
De-beaking is a horrible, cruel practice that is performed for the purpose of keeping a huge number of birds in a small space. When birds are overcrowded, they tend to go a little crazy and start attacking each other. Instead of giving them more space and more bearable living conditions, farmers cut their beaks off to stop them from injuring each other. It is incredibly painful for the birds and makes it difficult for them to forage. Our Red Sussex hens have to turn their heads at a strange angle in order to eat or drink, as otherwise their food just spills out of their mouths.
Despite being improperly treated in her first year of life, Miss Cluck is a wonderful bird and we sure are glad to have her around our farm! Her eggs are rich-tasting with beautiful, dark yolks and she’s got such a sweet disposition.