Look at these cuties, they’re available for adoption!http://animalplace.org/adoptable_birds.html
Chicken respect day is every day around Animal Place. Of the 250+ animals living here, 174 of them are chickens. They take their job of chicken-hood very seriously. Throughout the month of May, we’re going to give you a bazillion reasons to love chickens and not eat them or their eggs. The best way to do that is with pictures.
Since we failed at life and didn’t post anything May 1-3rd, we’re posting four photographs today with some reasons why you should respect chickens.
Today is International Respect for Chickens Day which our friends at United Poultry Concerns invented…because seriously, someone had to! But this whole month is all about honoring our feathered friends. So expect to become experts on Chicken Respect by the end of this month!
Here I spelled “baths” like they do in Europe, maybe. Probably not. It’s a typo, deal with it.
See you tomorrow with more fun chicken photos…and hope you are inspired to love chickens, not eat them or their eggs!
-Marji Beach, education director and pretend chicken whisperer
Last week, we welcomed nearly 800 hens from a caged egg farm to our 60-acre Rescue Ranch facility in Vacaville, Calif. These hens had spent the past two years in cages, their nails growing 2-3 inches long. A portion of each hen’s beak had been cut off.
Once the hens are physically and mentally healthy, they will be placed up for adoption through our Rescue Ranch program. This year alone, more than 1,000 chickens have been saved from slaughter because of our innovative adoption program.
The hens are settling in and learning to be chickens again. Each night, caregivers comb the two barns and make sure the hens are not clumping on top of each other. For two years, these hens have only known restricted space. Hens from caged egg farms must learn how to cope with more room. Initially, they deal with their trauma by getting as close to each other as possible. Unfortunately, this crowding can lead to smothering deaths. Caregivers un-clump the hens every night. In a few weeks, this behavior should completely disappear as the hens realize freedom to roam is normal, healthy, and fun.
Why does Animal Place rescue and adopt? This is a question we receive frequently. In an ideal world, farmed animals would no longer be exploited for their flesh, dairy, skins, fur, feathers, or eggs. And we would rely on plant-based nutrition to thrive. As we work towards that world through activism, advocacy, and sanctuary, we recognize there are ways to literally save the lives of animals on farms in the present.
Since its inception in August of 2010, Rescue Ranch has saved more than 8,200 lives. With limited staff, barn space, and funding, our 600-acre sanctuary currently houses 300 animals on a permanent basis. These animals are ambassadors, encouraging visitors to rethink their dietary choices. Unfortunately, we cannot take in 8,000 animals, but we can safely and responsibly place thousands of chickens, goats, sheep, and turkeys each year.
Adopters go through a screening process, pay an adoption fee, and are not guaranteed an adoption just because they apply. When feasible, we perform site inspections and follow-up with adopters to make sure everyone is doing well. Our hope is for adopters to rethink their perceptions of “farm” animals, particularly chickens. Our adopters name their adopted animals. They bond with them. They are literally giving them a life line, a chance at expressing their chicken-hood for the next 3-6 years.
When given an opportunity to pull a hen from a cage and save her life, it is our moral imperative to do so. When given the rare chance to save 800 hens, the only possible way to do so is by inviting the public to participate in the saving these hens. We are creating a more compassionate world - through behavior change, advocacy, education, sanctuary and, yes, adoption.
These hens will be available for placement in approximately a month. We ensure their current health first before placement. The hens are also given an opportunity to learn how to be chickens again, so they can adjust better to their new homes. Interested in adopting? Apply here. There are currently 80 hens from a previous egg farm intake who are ready for adoption.
Thank you to Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary for facilitating the intake and transport of the 800 hens.
73 Turlock hens found homes in sunny southern California while we pulled 57 caged roosters from a Santa Barbara shelter and transported them to another sanctuary.
73 hens waiting for placement at PETA headquarters in Los Angeles!
Picking up the 57 roosters from Santa Barbara!
At the age of 12, Killer is our oldest chicken resident. He is so-named due to his fondness of attacking people’s ankles. With the chickens, he is gentle and kind.
Here, one of the Turlock hens (saved from starvation at a battery-cage egg farm) walks up to Killer and plops down in front of him. She is literally 2-3 times larger than him!
I met Leo two years ago inside the home of a hoarder, huddled beneath the downy feathers of his protective mom.
He was one of 140 chickens (roosters, hens and chicks) rescued by Animal Place in and outside of a hoarder who started with the best of intentions.
But good intentions do not treat open wounds or provide proper space and enrichment. Good intentions unfortunately do not necessarily result in good actions.
I can still recall the pungent scent of ammonia, the vapors clawing at my eyes relentlessly. Despite knowing that one can habituate to such a stench, I remain baffled the man appeared unperturbed.
Every room had chickens, most in cages. One rooster had been in a cage for years.
Outside, chickens lived in a ramshackle maze of sheds stitched together with wire. They fell prey daily to roving hawks, rats, and feral cats.
Leo barely survived. He suffered from a devastating poultry illness called Marek’s disease. The virus left him stunted and with a stilted gait.
Today, Leo can be found wobbling around the chicken pasture. He loves to nestle in seemingly awkward positions beneath the trees.
He is one of my favorite birds. When I watch him, I see a genuinely engaged and happy animal. He fully appreciates his world, to the best of his avian abilities.
He is gentle with the other birds, especially any of the weak or ill chickens. Unlike some of his flock-mates, he does not pick on the sick.
Leo, to me, is the perfect reason not to eat chickens. He exhibits emotions. He thinks about his world, and he shows the ability to know - in small ways - the world of others. He can be kind and contemplative.
Mostly, it is because of his instinctive AND active desire to live, to be alive in his colorful, vibrant world.
Has an animal like Leo transformed how you thought about farm animals? Share!
-Marji Beach, education manager