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Anyone seen Liz Jones's latest offering?

(15 Posts)
Pixel Sun 03-Feb-13 18:59:49

She reckons that it is painful for chickens to lay big eggs so she only buys small ones! here.
Surely she can't blame that on poor farming practices? I wasn't aware I had any control over what size eggs my girls decide to lay confused. And if I threw away the big ones, how would that help exactly?

Cakehead Sun 03-Feb-13 21:54:37

Poor Liz really doesn't have enough to worry about... We get big eggs from our chickens on a Monday. I think it's because the chickens have leftover roast potatoes, parsnips & Yorkies after Sunday lunch! Well, won't be stopping that any time soon. Think they'd much rather get a roast than lay mini-eggs!

Pixel Sun 03-Feb-13 23:32:48

Now you mention it we had a big egg yesterday, and on friday they had loads of mashed potato and left-over casserole. Ah well, they love their mash and they need plenty of food in this cold weather surely?
Liz should be deliberately buying big eggs as a sign the chickens aren't being starved grin.

WhatKindofFool Mon 04-Feb-13 15:39:09

I resolutely refused to take my chickens into the vet’s surgery, thinking the journey would upset them, and so she would always make a home visit.

And, she treated a chicken for cancer. OMG!!!!

Pixel Mon 04-Feb-13 18:01:41

We had to take some ducks to the vet once. They escaped from the box and were perfectly happy sitting on the back of the seat. Mind you, my mum nearly had a heart attack when she spotted them in the rear view mirror!

Punkatheart Tue 05-Feb-13 11:20:07

I haven't read her article. Like most of us, I cannot stand her drivel. But if she wishes to give a chicken chemo, then it is her money, her choice. A pet is a pet. We are not farmers most of us and if we chose to treat out chickens in the same compassionate way we treat other larger pets, that is fine. I take my girls to the vet when needed - they feel pain, they feel fear.

Also she does have a point (damn I hate to say that) where eggs are concerned. I have nursed a chicken who had a prolapse and it was horrific. Chickens are still being bred to lay these stupidly large eggs and also be as prolific as possible. Battery chickens (have you ever seen the state of them) were trained to eat all day and then be culled the moment they stopped. There is a lot of cruel practice so that consumers can have larger eggs. Why? Why on earth do we need larger eggs?

That said, if a chicken lays a large egg now and again - it happens. But a normal, healthy and proportionately fed chicken should have a regular laying pattern - whatever that means. Too many huge eggs will shorten its life. I have an issue with the selective breeding that means they are made into machines to provide us with the novelty of a large egg.

So in all Liz Jones's over-emotional rhetoric, there is the nub of an issue. Shame she has to alienate everyone and make herself a laughing stock - so no one listens.....

Punkatheart Tue 05-Feb-13 11:40:54

Also, don't be quick to dismiss chickens are stupid or unfeeling. This scientific study has some interesting info:

It's not about daftness, softness or indulgence - but compassion and our own empathy, dosed with common sense and practicality too.

WhatKindofFool Tue 05-Feb-13 11:54:56

If they feel empathy why would they kill each other? Mine killed an injured magpie. They didn't eat it, they just killed it.

They bully weaker, smaller and sick hens.

I agree that they can suffer and that their welfare is important but I cannot accept that chickens feel empathy.

Punkatheart Tue 05-Feb-13 13:05:56

I think you do need to accept the science. Human beings kill but also feel empathy - it does not have to be one or the other. I have seen chickens searching for companions who have died or been taken away. They are genuinely distressed and show it clearly. Admittedly it does not last long - because their memories are very poor.

As for killing another animal - a strange creature (same species - but different tribe) who is competition for their food - of course they will attack and kill. Chickens (just like humans) can also be very brutal. But they have moments of aggression and self-protection - then moments of empathy with other creatures they know. I think any chicken owner who spends time with their chooks might have a story or two. Why can't all these qualities co-exist?

I find it a fascinating subject and the fact that anthropology is illuminating us, is a good thing. We take too much for granted as human beings and we are arrogant beyond belief when it comes to animals lower down the scale.

WhatKindofFool Tue 05-Feb-13 14:37:32

I haven't read the full study but the Telegraph article refers to mothers getting stressed when the chick's feathers were ruffled by air. Surely, that is to do with protecting their young and therefore the survival of the species. I wouldn't say it proves empathy but as I say, I haven't read the full study.

Punkatheart Tue 05-Feb-13 14:54:02

It is a subtle difference - but the hens are reacting despite their chicks not showing any distress,,,,they are able to 'read' the chicks and relate, which is the definition of empathy.

Pixel Tue 05-Feb-13 18:29:26

I don't care if they have empathy or not tbh, I still wouldn't want them to suffer. Mine would go to the vet if I think they needed it and they will certainly remain here as pets when they are finished laying.
I just think Liz Jones always has to go too far, as if she's the only person who cares about animals. Funny really as I've never heard of anyone having such an unhealthy bunch of pets as she has. It seems that every single one of them costs a small fortune in vet's bills.

RivalSibling Wed 06-Feb-13 10:37:56

Liz Jones! Liz Jones! aagh! Where's my medication?

WhatKindofFool Wed 06-Feb-13 11:07:54

It is an interesting summary of the study but it did say that chickens have one of the attributes of empathy - not "full blown" human empathy.

Anyway, I agree with Pixel in that I would not want any bird/animal to suffer. However, I certainly wouldn't spend money on vets bills to treat a sick chicken. I had had 3 of mine PTS when they were ill for the ridiculous sum of £28 per chicken!!!

I don't view hens as pets in the same way as I would see a rabbit, dog or cat as a pet although I understand that other people do treat them as proper pets.

That is just me and Liz Jones is entitled to spend her money the way she wants to. She does come over as being nuts though (IMHO).

Pixel Wed 06-Feb-13 19:31:20

If I didn't take them to the vet my name would be mud tbh, which might colour my judgement a bit wink. My sis works for the biggest vet practice in the area and she got all huffy the other day because I dared to say I thought it was stupid when someone wanted their gerbil cremated! I can do without the lectures on the other hand she does get me stuff for the cat at cost price.

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