The most striking thing about this footage is the dramatic overcrowding. In virtually all of the cages, a hen would not be able to walk, turn around, or spread her wings without bumping into another hen or the cage wire. The crowding is so severe that most of the birds will never have a moment where they have sufficient free space. While some of the birds appear generally healthy, many others have feather thinning or loss over much of their bodies. Large numbers of them are suffering from clearly visible and painful health problems (ocular disease, abscesses, open wounds, vent prolapse) requiring veterinary care. Additionally, dead hens in advanced stages of decay are found in several of the cages. Based on my professional experience and training, the hens living in this facility are systematically subjected to needless suffering caused by insufficient living space and gross neglect.
Sherstin Rosenberg, DVM, is a doctor of veterinary medicine who has written expert assessments for animal cruelty cases, testified at a Prop 2 hearing in 2008, and spent four years as a Board Member of Humane Society of Silicon Valley, chairing its ethics committee. Dr. Rosenberg did her undergraduate studies at Stanford University, followed by a veterinary degree from the University of California at Davis. She has extensive experience caring for chickens and operates a rescue clinic with over 150 birds, including an intensive care unit.