United Poultry Concerns
PO Box 150 • Machipongo, VA 23405-0150


15 December 2004
Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875

New Video from UPC

“Behavior of Rescued Factory-Farmed Chickens in a Sanctuary Setting”
Video Produced by United Poultry Concerns
2004 12 min. including Introduction * VHS and DVD format * $10 incl. shipping

Machipongo, Va. – Some people think that birds bred for factory farms have lost their natural instincts and are content to live in crowded, unstimulating cages and buildings. “Behavior of Rescued Factory-Farmed Chickens in a Sanctuary Setting” shows chickens, turkeys and ducks at United Poultry Concerns’ sanctuary racing out of their house in the morning, pouncing on lettuce, foraging, dustbathing, and perching up high at night.

All of the birds in the video came from intensive confinement conditions. While most birds come to our sanctuary exhausted, dirty, and virtually featherless, those who survive undergo remarkable changes under the stimulus of an environment that activates their natural instincts. Contrary to the idea that chickens spend much of their time fighting and picking on each other, the birds at our sanctuary are too busy with their daily occupations, including normal socialization, to waste time that way.

Each video scene has been selected to show a specific behavior such as dustbathing and grass eating. Each scene is labeled for clarity. For example, one scene shows a hen pecking at the face of another hen in an effort to groom (preen) the other hen’s face. As a result of being beak-trimmed, the hen tries vigorously to pick off tiny particles that for a hen with an intact beak would be done with the utmost delicacy and precision. For those unfamiliar with the range of chicken behaviors, this could be misinterpreted as an act of aggression when in fact it is normal social grooming behavior frustrated by an impaired beak.

The video also shows a young broiler hen named Sugar as she picks and eats grass and performs normal scratching behavior in order to show that, given the opportunity, she and other “broiler” chickens who have come to our sanctuary perform natural behaviors within the parameters of their physical genetics.

UPC President Karen Davis, PhD, is available for presentations of this video to college students, faculty, industry, animal protection organizations, and anyone interested in understanding and improving the welfare of chickens. Contact Karen Davis by phone or email at 757-678-7875 or karen@upc-online.org.


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