Living With The White Chickens



Most people nowadays no longer live on a farm. People are divorced from seeing what they eat. As a result, they never see how animal society parallels human society.

Last year I bought twenty-five Cornish-cross chicks along with a 50 pound bag of feed for twenty dollars from a farmer's cooperative. These chicks are supposedly the same as what the big poultry producers like Tyson and Con-Agra provide their growers. They are bred to produce one pound of meat per every 1.69 lbs. of feed. Tyson scientists live for the day when they can breed a chicken that produces one pound of ninety-five percent white meat per one pound input of feed. Presumably the chicken will be as bald as a Mexican hairless dog and able to fix the nutrients for its bones from the air. This chicken will be an ingesting, non-excreting, protoplasmic machine created for the purpose of providing soft, white flesh for urban customers to eat. Nope, the chicken won't have an asshole, as an asshole is nature's way of encouraging waste. But let's not mentally explore the ramifications of these decisions, especially at dinnertime.

These chickens are placed on the farm the day they are hatched. Six weeks to the day after they are put on ground, they are collected by minimum-wage boys and men, placed into trucks, sent to the poultry plants where they are killed and cut up by minimum-wage women workers under unsanitary conditions, and sold as tender broilers. Some birds are allowed to live for an additional week or two so that they will be larger while still tender.

These chicks are bred to grow. Look at one of them closely when they are less than a week old and you can see that chick grow, expand. Of course, these chicks spend all their waking hours eating medicated feed loaded with antibiotics that hastens the spread of drug-resistant bacteria that might get loose and kill both men and white chickens someday.

This rapid growth rate comes at a cost. These chickens are nearly as dumb as a white turkey. They only live to eat. They have difficulty in surviving outside their houses. They seldom lay an egg and then are not able hatch it out. They remind me of the vast majority of people living today in this country.

You cannot enslave a white chicken as long as you have him chained up to his feed trough and water dish. The concept of freedom has no meaning to a white chicken. I have some Brown Leghorns in the same pen. These wilder chickens eat sparingly and I must clip their wings to keep them inside the pen. If allowed to they would sneak away and lay eggs on the sly, trying to hatch them out. White chickens are no problem. A two foot fence will suffice for them. They have no ambition to get outside the pen. There is food inside. White chicken people are no different. Give them what they call "success" and they won't even think of jumping the fence. They'll sit inside, fearful of the predators roaming outdoors. When driving through suburban neighborhoods, I'll say that it looks like a white-chicken neighborhood and my libertarian friends know what I mean.

White chickens are highly cannibalistic, much like rats and human beings. Last October I was given eighteen white chicken pullets by my brother. Since it was a cold, rainy day, I threw the pullets in the same pen as the rest of the older white chickens. I had thrown a bit of corn in the pen earlier. A half hour later I looked out the window and saw the older white chickens pecking the livers and gizzards out of seven of the white pullets. They wanted protein and they chose the best way to get it. I hurriedly separated the smaller, weaker pullets away from the bigger, stronger, white chickens. But there are differences even in the lowest rungs of white chicken society. The remaining eleven pecked their weaker members to death and ate them too, until I was down to four and their society was down to its allotted norm.

White chickens are concerned only with eating, so when I take one of their number to eat, they don't blink an eye about the fate of their unlucky companion. I have been spurred by one of their wilder cousins, a rooster that I allow to run free, when I turned my back one day while taking a white chicken to slaughter. I released the chicken, slapped the rooster about a bit and penned him up, then re-caught the white chicken and slaughtered it. I have a sneaking admiration for the rooster risking his life to save his big, fat cousin living the high life of white chicken society even when he himself is on the edge of it. I'll eat that rooster last.

If white chickens are not killed and eaten when they are young, they can get so big and fat that their legs break under the weight. I've picked up white chickens that died, as near as I could tell, of a heart attack. Their feathers fall out, especially around their rear ends, making for a vaguely obscene display. Their hides become tougher than shoe leather. Skinning and pulling the thin hide of an old white chicken is more of a strain than any possum, coon, or cow than I've ever done. Heck with ostrich-skin boots, I've got something better. The meat is best stewed. If you fry or bake these old white chickens, you had best have strong jaws and all your teeth.

I get the same feeling of being in a pen full of old white chickens whenever I attend a United We Stand, America meeting or visit a nursing home. I just do.

White chickens seldom lay an egg. When they do, they leave it where it dropped on the ground. I have tried hatching the eggs in an incubator but they were infertile. I wonder if Tyson scientists artificially inseminate the white chickens they breed, like they do with white turkeys?

In any case, looking at the demographic figures, I get the feeling that we aren't much different than those white chickens. We abort 1.5 million of our young yearly and have heaped debts created for our convenience upon their narrow shoulders. The only people who seem to have children anymore are the poor, black people, and recent immigrants to our country. Brown Leghorn people. They live on the outskirts of polite society and create the only potential wealth that poor people have more of than the middle class or the rich.

I am going to get rid of the last two of my white chickens. I'll give them to my mother, an old woman who will patiently pluck and stew them because she values them, having missed a meal or two in her lifetime. The white chickens have no Moses to plead for them, that they be spared from their disgusted god.

The above article was written in November, 1993, and has appeared in The Southwestern Missouri Libertarian, Issue 2 and in The Southwestern Missouri Libertarian, Issue 8, Best of 1-7.

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