??!! Zombie Chickens!
posted by December 5 at 16:26 PMon
This is gross on several levels:
When Jim Stauffer of Petaluma saw a chicken crawling out of a mound of compost like the living dead, he knew something had changed at the egg farm next door.
“We called them zombie chickens,” Stauffer said. “Some of them crawled right up out of the ground. They’d get out and stagger around.”
Apparently, more than a half-million “spent hens”—those that no longer produce eggs—are euthanized and thrown on compost heaps every year in Sonoma County alone. Once upon a time, people would buy these hens and cook them; in recent years, however, the market for spent hens has collapsed.
I can’t decide what’s more disturbing: The idea of a chicken emerging from a pile of its dead comrades; the prospect of composting chickens in the first place; or the idea that a laying chicken, once its laying days are over, isn’t good for anything but fertilizer?
The “good” news is that the zombie chickens have inspired some entrepreneurs to propose alternative uses for the chickens: As to fuel to generate electricity; as feed for large reptiles like snakes and alligators; and as sausage for the poor. For now, though, all those ideas pose economic and technological challenges.