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Animal Stories
About Factory-Farmed Animals
 
     
     
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About Factory-Farmed Animals

In today’s factory farms, animals are raised in extreme confinement without space to move around, and most never feel soil or sunshine. They are denied everything that is natural to them.

In the open and non-threatening environment of a sanctuary, these animals’ natural behaviors emerge. Each of the 10 billion slaughtered in the United States could do the same.

Pigs are highly social animals with sophisticated learning and problem solving abilities. They are usually rated 4th in overall intelligence, behind chimps, dolphins and elephants. They have the intelligence of a 3 year-old child and enjoy playing with balls. Pigs can remember lessons for more than 3 years. People who observe them in sanctuaries say that without a stimulating environment they easily get bored. They will not soil their sleeping area and take mud baths to stay cool and keep flies off. Their noses are sensitive to smell and touch, enabling them to find food under the ground. They have been employed by the Police to detect drugs. Read Teresa’s story

Cows are very curious. In one study, the animals were challenged with a task to find how to open a door to get some food. An electroencephalograph was used to measure their brainwaves. The results showed their excitement: their heartbeat went up and some even jumped into the air. It was their “Eureka moment”. Cows have long-lasting lifetime inter-personal relationships. They enjoy mutual grooming and are very responsive to touch using it as a form of communication with each other. Bad experiences with humans will put them off with all people until the positive human-animal bond is restored. Read Queenie’s story and Maxine’s story.

Chickens have a pecking order recognizing about 100 individuals. A study found that chickens display signs of empathy, the ability to ''feel another's pain''. When chicks were exposed to puffs of air, they showed signs of distress that were mirrored by their mothers. The hens' heart rate increased, their eye temperature lowered as a recognized stress sign, and they became increasingly alert. Levels of preening were reduced, and the hens made more clucking noises directed at their chicks. Chickens create stable social structures in groups. Hens use perches and roosts at different heights for resting and feeding. They scratch the ground to find food, and dust bathe to keep the feathers clean and to stay cool.

Turkeys are naturally intelligent, gentle, and highly social creatures. "If you throw an apple to a group of turkeys, they'll play with it together," "Kind of like football", said Tom Savage, poultry scientist and animal science professor at Oregon State University. Savage asks, "If turkeys are so dumb, then why do they socialize like that?" Turkeys are born with full-color vision just like our own. In the wild, turkeys spend their days exploring, caring for their young, building nests, socializing, taking dust baths, and climbing trees. Their natural lifespan is 10-12 years. These birds are very bonded to their young, who stay with their mothers for up to the first five months of their lives. A mother turkey will courageously defend her family against predators. They have different calls to communicate with their own. Read Bubbles’s story

 

Pictures courtesy of Farm Sanctuary and Derek Goodwin for Farm Sanctuary.

 

 

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