DEBORAH: I don’t eat eggs I haven’t eaten eggs for years because of ethical reasons. But I heard, and I don’t know if it’s true and that’s why you’re the eggs-pert to tell me. I heard that if I get eggs on real, local farms close to where I live, that they’re treated ethically.
JEWEL: Chickens are so far removed from their heritage breeds that they lay hundreds of eggs a year. So if people are keeping hens to lay eggs to sell eggs, they’re gonna have to make a profit off it. Otherwise the hens are just gonna consume the food and be a drain on their farm. So they’re not going to keep them around unless they’re gonna produce a high number of eggs, which is unnatural.
So what happens to their bodies, as the hens age, is that they begin to break down. You can’t tell from the outside what’s going on, on the inside. Their muscles become weak because they can’t contract, due to lower calcium levels, because of the high egg output. This means that the shells get softer, because of the lower calcium, because they’re always expelling eggs and the muscles get weaker.
Soon the eggs won’t be expelled. The soft shell, the weak muscles, the eggs will stop coming out. But those eggs will continue to be produced inside their bodies. So they can have over a dozen eggs trapped inside their bodies.
DEBORAH: What happens?
JEWEL: They die, slowly, and without vet interventions. So they don’t even get proper healthcare, none of them will.
So consuming eggs from a farm, even if they only have six hens, something like that. For example, if it’s your neighbor, they take really good care of them. They name them, they love them, they bring them in the house sometimes, whatever, those things are still going on in their bodies.
DEBORAH: Why, because those hens don’t exist anymore? Or because they buy those hens because they need to make a profit?
JEWEL: Those hens that only lay like, 20 eggs a year, really don’t really exist anymore. All the birds now that you can buy at any hatchery are totally unnatural birds.
Sources Cited (NPR Article): https://www.npr.org/2020/04/03/826925180/we-are-swamped-coronavirus-propels-interest-in-raising-backyard-chickens-for-egg