Egg farm hopes to save the chickens
Race horses past their prime are put out to stud or just become scenery in some green pasture. When greyhounds grow weary of chasing fake rabbits around a track, they are adopted by people who like having a turbo dog around the house (they fetch slippers in 1.2 seconds). But what do you do with several thousand chickens once they aren't needed for laying eggs?
These chickens weren't raised to be eaten. These were WORKING chickens. To simply turn them into a Sunday entree would be like grinding up Mr. Ed after he died and feeding him to Lassie.
The 4,000 chickens in question currently reside near Kamuela on the Big Island at the Hawaiian Fresh Egg Farm. Owner David Davenport has announced the farm will close in October. That's too bad because Hawaiian Fresh Egg Farm is the last neighbor-island egg farm.
The question is, what will happen to the chickens. Davenport told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald he hopes at least some of them will go to homes where they will be able to become something other than fried. (Although, I notice in a Hawaii Island Journal piece on the egg farm, "stewing chickens" are listed for 50 cents to $1, and there is no mention of adopting one as a pet.)
A Big Island animal rights activist, Tony Marasia, has bought two chickens and is urging other people to do the same. He named his chickens Meepa and Beepa because, well, no one knows. And he clearly can't buy all the rest of Davenport's chickens because he would run out of names after buying only 24 more. Aeepa, Ceepa, Deepa, Eeepa, Feepa, Geepa, Heepa ... You see the problem.
So it is up to you "Lite" readers to buy up all those hard-working chickens that did everything that was asked of them and don't deserve the gallows. These are healthy organic chickens, too. They've been raised in as happy a place as an egg-laying chicken can be raised and haven't been pumped full of steroids or chicken broth or whatever.
There are all kinds of ways chickens can be helpful around the house. Egg-laying chickens are particularly bright. They can be taught to shake claw, roll over and heel. And once they realize what will happen to them when they cease to be amusing, they will learn to peck out Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" on a tiny piano and tap-dance without even being put on an electrified metal plate like they used to do along the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Outside the house, a chicken will keep the yard clear of roaches, centipedes and smaller dogs and, under proper adult supervision, mow the lawn and trim hedges.
So you can see, it's really not fair that such talented birds, once released from duty at Hawaiian Fresh Egg Farm, should end up in the crock pot or as the main attraction at a barbecue chicken fundraiser. Those fates belong to lesser chickens who have not contributed a single omelet or souffle to the betterment of society.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
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