This is not a tale of the goings-on in one of these industrial chicken processing behemoths, but instead what it's like to run a mom-and-pop outfit. To wit:
We don’t have rows of vast chicken houses holding 10,000 birds each. Our chickens live real chicken lives. They know what hawks are. Ellie, 9, and Levi, 7, are old enough now to get it. They understand it’s our responsibility to give these chickens the best lives possible with the realization that they will be food.And interesting stats:
According to the Farm Aid advocacy group, there are nearly 5 million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930s. Of the 2 million remaining farms, only 565,000 are family operations. [Story author] Dean Mullis, 46, and his wife, Jenifer, 43, are among them. They own and operate Laughing Owl Farm, on five acres northeast of Charlotte, N.C. In addition to raising chickens and turkeys, they raise vegetables using organic methods.Reading Dean's account makes me realize I should more appropriately refer to myself as an "egg farmer," but I'll stick with the grander-sounding "chicken farmer" label for the short term, at least.
In any case, enjoy the story!