Corn-fed poultry from Meadow Farm, Cornwall spoke out yesterday against the widespread belief that free-range farming makes for happier hens. ‘Everyone raves about animal welfare these days,’ noted a coop representative, ‘but when your fate is inexorably linked with gravy, it’s hard to feel like you’re faring that well.’
The chickens’ outspoken sentiments were soon backed by agricultural action across the livestock community, as around the country protesting flocks of organic sheep refused to gambol playfully, and militant herds of Herefordshire cattle bunched together looking in need of a course of antibiotics whenever Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall began filming.
However the hens remain fatalistic. ‘Hand-reared, corn-fed or battery farmed,’ a spokes-hen commented, ‘It doesn’t make a shit of difference when your arse is full of Paxo.’