Regarding the Feb. 23 Metro article “Laying the groundwork for backyard hens”:
I speak as a person who has rescued, rehabilitated and cared for chickens, in Maryland and Virginia, for 25 years, since 1987.
Keeping chickens properly involves work. It involves daily cleaning of coops, water and food bowls.
It requires good veterinary care for birds who become ill with treatable respiratory illnesses and other infections to which chickens are susceptible. It requires worming and other medications.
It also involves money. Of utmost importance to chicken keepers is interest in the chickens themselves, not just their eggs.
People who view chickens and other living beings as mere utilitarian organisms for their own selfish uses and who are unable to show compassion and respect for the animals in their care should not keep chickens or any other animals.
Chickens are highly sociable birds. They are keenly sensitive to the attitudes expressed toward them and to the treatment they receive from those upon whom they are forced to depend.
Chickens are not mere “objects” to extract body parts from. They are naturally cheerful, friendly and enthusiastic individuals deserving of the same compassionate attention as one’s beloved companion dog or cat.
Karen Davis, Machipongo, Va.
The writer is president of United Poultry Concerns.