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 Post subject: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:19 am 
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Not NOT A Furry

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A question for those who avoid eggs for purely ethical reasons... If you had pet chickens would you eat their eggs?
A friend has a friend who rehomes rescued chickens, and I can't quite untangle my thinking on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:10 am 
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My mum always asks me this (she's cool with my veganism, so I have no idea why she wants me to eat eggs so much??), but I'm good with not eating eggs, and I figure that if you gave the eggs to someone who does eat eggs then this = less eggs bought from the shops, which = less demand for them. I don't know if that makes sense, but it kind of does in my head.

But anyway, I couldn't keep chickens because the dogs would probably terrorize them, so it's purely hypothetical in my case.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:43 am 
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no, but i think eggs are nasty regardless of their origin. i do wish i had a chicken, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:02 am 
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I wouldn't be doing it now, too much work with small kids, but I was thinking it would be A Good Thing to give a rescued chicken or three a home, but then they'll lay eggs...

I actually like eggs but I don't miss them, they're easily replaced. I'm sure I could give some of my hypothetical chicken's hypothetical eggs away but probably not all of them. I'm sure I'd end up staring at some and trying to work this out at some point!

Also isn't an egg-pushing vegan a bit of a weird concept?!


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:39 am 
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I have pet chickens. My girls are all rescues that were either unwanted or from a "free-range, happy meat" farm where they would be killed once their production dropped. Our philosophy is the same as stated by Disappearing Ink. Most people are happy to get free eggs, we feel we are reducing demand for store-bought eggs (be it on an extremely small scale) and the chickens get to live their lives happily roaming and foraging. Seems like a win-win for all involved.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:45 am 
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I wouldn't because the eggs are not mine to eat even if they came from a happy chicken. I think chickens are awesome though and I love seeing people like Trailmix that rescue chickens! On the old PPK forums, there were a few people that had chickens as pets and this question came up now and again, and I learned that it is good to feed the eggs back to the chickens. I know that sounds weird, but I guess the chickens really benefit from getting the protein and nutrients back into their systems. Or giving them to people that would otherwise buy them from the store, like Trailmix said, is not a bad idea either.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:02 am 
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Someone asked me this the other day (I think because I said I wanted chickens), and I said similar to everyone else, I'd be happy to just have friends take them. I also said the thing about feeding the eggs back to the chickens but then the person I was talking with said that chickens eating their own eggs is a sign of malnutrition from their other food. So I'd have to look into that bit. There's also that eggs are good for compost.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:04 pm 
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I remember hearing once that a lot of rescue chickens (if they come from battery farms) really benefit from eating their own eggs because they generally are really depleted of calcium from constant egg production. So, yeah, it is a sign of malnutrition, but that's why it's good to feed the eggs back to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Ah, I see. That makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:16 pm 
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I wonder if the eating of their own eggs is similar to women eating their placenta after birth?


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:15 pm 
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for chickens, eating their own eggs replaces a lot of calcium. i'm sure there are other vitamins and minerals and whatnot, but we feed the chickens at ftas their eggs for the calcium, mostly.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:30 am 
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I don't know how much calcium is in the non-shell parts of the egg (though there's lots of protein and iron at least) but a traditional, non-hippy chicken keeping book reccommended feeding the eggshells back to hens- I think it said to dry the shells out in the oven, then grind them up a bit and add to feed. If you don't do that you'd need to give them oystershell or something (not very vegan!) for the calcium to keep building more shells.

I think hens crushing/pecking open their own eggs is a sign of stress, but it would be different if you cooked the eggs, cut them up and put them in the chickenfood. I think this is what was suggested when I asked the same question years ago.
Obviously you'll still need to feed them a good quality chicken food, with some greens to peck at for interest and variety every now and again.

I can't wait 'til I've saved up enough for a house with a garden for some pet chickens!


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:01 pm 
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I honestly don't see any ethical harm in eating your own chickens' eggs. The biggest issue for me is where you're getting the chickens to begin with, but if that's from an ethical source (like a rescue), then why not?

I do understand the "they're not ours to take" philosophy and wouldn't necessarily argue with that, but if you have chickens living in your backyard that are just popping out eggs that are otherwise going to rot, I guess I just don't see it as exploitation.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:06 pm 
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I have never liked eggs, so this wouldn't be an issue for me, but if someone absolutely cannot live without eggs, this would be the ideal and most ethical way to get them.

I have no ethical issues with people who raise their own pet chickens for eggs -- if they are producing eggs that would otherwise just go to waste, why not give them away to keep someone else from buying eggs at the grocery store?


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:45 pm 
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I agree that giving the eggs away seems like a good solution.

My family are still omnivores and do eat eggs. My husband gets the eggs they eat from a co-worker who has hens. She lets them roam all over her property and says they lay more eggs than her family can eat. We get about a dozen eggs from her hens on a weekly basis. I figure since my family still eats eggs at least I know they are getting free range eggs from happy (happier) hens.

The quality is much better than store bought too as evidenced by the brown eggs and almost orange yolks.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:11 am 
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Not NOT A Furry

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I'm thinking I will get some one day, give away when I can and otherwise feed them to the omnis in the family... And eat some if I find I want to; I'm not sure if I will or not! I did find some egg cups at the back of a cupboard the other day and was trying to thing of a use for them- they're quite pretty!


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:01 pm 
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When I first went vegan, I knew a couple of people that had chickens and got their eggs from them. They would ask me if I would eat them, knowing they came from their own chickens.

Newly vegan, I was all about it. But, everyone is flakey, and nobody ended up getting around to bringing me eggs (to work, or when we met up etc).

Now that I have been vegan for years, one of them asked me if I wanted any eggs recently, and I declined. Theoretically, if the animals are happy and not being abused, then no, I do not have a problem with it. But now...well the idea of it grosses me out. I couln't bring myself to eat eggs or a bodily fluid from an animal.

And I have heard of a lot of vegetarians that are vegan when dining out, but vegetarian at home. These are folks that either live on farms, or they get eggs/dairy from 'ethical' sources (which is relative of course but to them it is acceptable)

I understand that veganism is on a sliding scale for some people, I don't judge.

But someone named Chicki eating Chickens/eggs is just plain wrong. haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:52 am 
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We had rescue chickens and loved them so much! What amazing little personalitites! I would occasionally feed them their eggs (I now know where that Frasier song "Chopped salad and scrambled eggs" came from -I've made it more than once on a chilly morning for my girls!). I also ground the eggshells all of the time-sometimes to feed back to the girls for calcium, the rest for using on the tomatoes as fertilizer (no tomato blossom end rot).

I sure do miss those chickens! :(


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:36 pm 
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I would, mostly because I've never found an egg-free brownie recipe that doesn't taste like asparagus.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:40 pm 
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So a friend of mine (actually my sixth grade science teacher!) is a vegetarian who keeps hens and eats their eggs. When I said I was vegan, she said they couldn't be vegan because of their hens' eggs... so I told her she could still eat them and be vegan. Because, really, her eating the eggs of the pet chickens she loves and pampers shouldn't prevent her from otherwise going vegan.

So... I'm a bad vegan?

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:44 pm 
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quark wrote:
So a friend of mine (actually my sixth grade science teacher!) is a vegetarian who keeps hens and eats their eggs. When I said I was vegan, she said they couldn't be vegan because of their hens' eggs... so I told her she could still eat them and be vegan. Because, really, her eating the eggs of the pet chickens she loves and pampers shouldn't prevent her from otherwise going vegan.

So... I'm a bad vegan?

It doesn't prevent her from otherwise eating a vegan diet - but she wouldn't be a vegan. And this isn't about ethics or judging others, it's just definition drift such as this could make the word vegan as confusing and meaningless as vegetarian has become.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Probably, but there's 100% chance I will never have pet chickens.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:39 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
I would, mostly because I've never found an egg-free brownie recipe that doesn't taste like asparagus.


egg-free brownies that don't taste like asparagus

in the past when i have eaten baked goods out of the trash at work, i have always found the eggs to be the main contribution in the ass-factor.

i would give them away, feed them to the chickens, or feed them to my cats.

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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:42 pm 
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I wouldn't. I had a love/hate relationship with eggs when I was omni and now all I can think is that they came out of a chicken's foofoo.


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 Post subject: Re: Pet Chickens
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:03 pm 
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jacblades wrote:
Jigglypuff wrote:
I would, mostly because I've never found an egg-free brownie recipe that doesn't taste like asparagus.


egg-free brownies that don't taste like asparagus

in the past when i have eaten baked goods out of the trash at work, i have always found the eggs to be the main contribution in the ass-factor.

i would give them away, feed them to the chickens, or feed them to my cats.

Cool, thanks! I will try this recipe some time.

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