I got rescue hens today

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maco5, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. maco5

    maco5 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I have no idea where to post this, so if it's in the wrong place, I apologize!

    Today I went to a local farm animal sanctuary that had rescued about 500 hens from an egg factory farm.
    I had been in contact with them earlier in the week and had arranged to go today and pick up some of the hens.

    I was told they they were a year and a half old, and had lived in cages their whole life.
    They also had part of their beaks cut off, very long toe nails, and lots of feather loss from rubbing on the cages.

    I guess we all hear about these places, and have images in our heads about them, but until you see the actual birds, it doesn't hit you.
    Although I didn't see where they came from, the horror of how they lived was evident.
    They have never felt soft ground, or known what darkness means, being able to stretch, and dust, and do chicken things.

    I was only able to take 2 due to my coop size.
    They have homes for lots of them from what I was told, but this isn't a one time rescue.
    They do this more often than any of us can imagine.
    I was told that the farm wouldn't give them all up, and for some reason had "gassed" several instead of letting them live.
    Doesn't make much sense, but I can only assume it was because the bodies of the gassed ones go into lower quality food such as chicken noodle soup, chicken broth, probably dog food, and who knows what else.
    So money took precedence over their lives.

    So I got my 2, and as I was driving away I cried.
    I come from many years of doing rescue, although not farm animal, worked as an animal control officer, worked at the shelter, and on and on.
    I have seen horrid things, and wonderful things.
    I am not immune to the sadness, and horrors that people inflict on animals.
    But wow this hit me hard!
    I think it may be because with furred animals, people tend to seem more sympathetic to the cause of helping them, but whenn it comes to a farm animal, they are considered food, and not worthy of a meaningful life.
    This is just my opinion on what I think happens.

    Anyway, this affected me greatly.
    These girls will have a good life here, and be able to be chickens!
    I was also told they don't live as long, and frequently die from ovarian cancer, and peritonitis.
    So sad.

    I will post pics as they progress so you all can see their progress.

    If anyone lives in the SF bay area I urge you to call the sanctuary and adopt some of these girls!
    It is called Animal Place 707-449-4814 or go to their website and fill out an adoption form.

    I tried to attach a picture but it wouldn't, so maybe I'm doing it wrong?
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008

  2. freefly

    freefly In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2008
    Good on you! A good deed done.
    I wish you and your 2 hens happy days
  3. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    [​IMG] I am so happy I found this post! I have toured Animal Place many times and posted the pictures I took the last time I was their. No One had heard of it. I love going just to visit the animals. I would have loved to have grown up on a farm. I can't believe it, we asked them about six months ago if we could rescue some hens and they told us that they do not adopt out animals. Anyway, I looked around for hens to rescue and could not find any thing but roosters. Which we would love to have but are not legally allowed. So, we got ours from a breeder. And then of course a few weeks ago, I recieved the notice that they have 500 birds needing to be adopted [​IMG] I really wanted to rescue some hens. And now we cannot take anymore. Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and that I'm very happy to hear of someone that rescued some of those poor abused creatures. Are they scared of people? It seems that they would be extra sweet just like other rescued animals [​IMG]
  4. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Here are a few of the pictures I took when I was there

    Try uploading your pictures to Photobucket, that is the only way I know of posting pictures here. After they are uploaded, choose image code in the list below the picture, copy it and paste it here.

  5. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    Actually, removing part of their beaks is to ensure that they don't become cannibals. When hens are put in these cages (and I would like to see this practice stopped), they often become bored and start to pick on each other. It becomes so bad that there would soon be only one bird in each cage if debeaking weren't used.

    As for the feather loss, the cages had little to do with it. The reason that the hens were bald is because they had started to molt, and they lost their feathers naturally. When hens go into molt in cages, they lose almost all of their feathers and quit laying eggs for up to two months. Since the farmer cannot afford to feed them that long without any income, he disposes of them and starts anew with pullets.

    Your new hens will grow new feathers soon, and their legs and beaks will become a brilliant yellow. Then they will again begin to lay eggs. And lay they will! These hens have been bred for many generations to lay lots of eggs, and to do it economically. The eggs that they lay will be large, and often hens in their second lay period will lay many double yolk eggs.

    I have occasionally gotten some hens from a cage laying operation. They have to be taught to hop up onto things at first, and don't know about roosting at night. You may have to teach them many things about being chickens, but they will learn slowly. Enjoy your eggs, and good luck!
  6. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    What a great thing you did [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I am so happy that they will live the rest of there lives in happyness !!! Wish I was closer I'd take a few !!

    Good luck with them. [​IMG]
  7. ChickLuver

    ChickLuver Songster

    Dec 6, 2008
    Walton, New York
    YOU DID AN AMAZING THING!!!![​IMG]I live in the upstate new york area and I wish I knew a place I could adopt hens from! GOOD JOB!!![​IMG] Thanks for the post!!![​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008

  8. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    Bless You for taking these poor unfortunate chickens into your life. It is so good to hear they can live the rest of their lives just being chickens. Good deed indeed.[​IMG][​IMG]:jumpy:yiipchick
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:Just how are they "rescued". They stole them? They bought spent hens that were going to rendering or to the compost pile? In my opinion, spent hens are rescued when they are dispatched.

    Under the standards for organic production for Organic Valley farms, layers are kept in a floor system where they are free to run around, scratch, dust bathe, and have access to pasture. They are only permitted to be kept for a year. This avoids the practice of forced molting to keep them in lay and limits their production life. To keep them in production for longer periods is considered less humane.

  10. jeannieo

    jeannieo Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    Collinsville, CT
    Quote:Try FarmSanctuary.org. they are in Watkins Glen, NY. I don't know if they adopt out but I think they do.[​IMG]

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