Hot weather, chickens, and bunnies

Just this morning I read online about a chicken farm in North Carolina that had 50,000 broilers die after they lost power to a cooling fan. 50,000 living animals crowded into an industrial chicken farm in my home state…broilers are our number one “crop” according to the USDA. Which brings me to the topic of animal welfare…there is a growing market for “Animal Welfare Approved”  meat and eggs and animal products in the United States. Basically that movement is one which recognizes that people raise animals for meat, milk, and eggs and that animals have the right to be treated with respect for their natural instincts and habits. Here at the Edible Schoolyard, we have chickens and rabbits that we keep for educational purposes and in the case of the chickens, for the eggs they produce. We are careful to keep them cool in the summer-in fact the rabbits come inside for respite from the heat if it is over 93 degrees. Our animals have shade, water, feed, and places to “play” and exercise in the manner that they would in the wild. I wish all farm animals could enjoy those conditions!

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