Late last month, during a battery caged hen rescue, the CETFA Rescue Team stumbled upon a happy surprise: a rooster. In the egg industry, there is only a need for female birds. At the hatchery, if a chick is determined to be male, he is immediately killed. Common industry killing practices include grinding the chicks alive or smothering them in a plastic bag (see Canada’s Cruel Egg Industry: The Experience of One Undercover Investigator in a Canadian Hatchery). As chickens’ sex organs are internal, mistakes happen and male chicks are occasionally sent to egg barns and unloaded into the battery cages. This was the case with Pierre. He lived in a battery cage until reaching sexual maturity when it was finally clear he was a rooster. Pierre was slated to be killed, but CETFA Rescuers intervened. By the time the Team left the barn, they had 10 hens and 1 Pierre in tow!
Pierre was placed in one of our fabulous foster homes where he’s learning how to be a rooster. Normally proud and dignified birds, Pierre was a shadow of himself during those first few days. It was clear he’d experienced cruelty at the hands of humans before his rescue. Today though, Pierre has regained his confidence and stands tall and proud. He’s learned how to dust-bathe and loves treats (pea shoots!) and being outside in the sunshine with his flock. We hope Pierre has a long and happy life ahead of him and his days of life in a factory farm are all but a distant memory.