1,000 Hens Get Out of Dodge
Liberated from cages, 1,000 hens fly to freedom from Iowa to California
After a life spent in a cage so small, she could not spread her wings, life is looking up for Lily….23,000 feet up!
When Animal Place heard about an Iowa egg farm gassing most of its 140,000 hens, we felt compelled to help. The farmer was willing to release 1,000 birds to us. But how would we get them to California?
We have space for 1,000 hens, but driving 30+ hours would be too long and hard on the hens.
And then a generous supporter stepped up. They offered to pay for a chartered flight to bring 1,000 hens home, including Lily.
This is not the first time we have flown hens across the country. In 2013, we chartered a flight of 1,100 hens to sanctuaries across the country.
Our team drove 125 poultry crates to the Truckee airport. Two caregivers joined the pilots and crates on the cross-country trip to Iowa. Another two caregivers drove from California to Iowa to meet up with them..
After a restless night at a nearby hotel, caregivers woke up early to begin liberating hens.
They were joined by a team from Hercules Haven, an Iowa-based sanctuary that also donated a truck and trailer for transport.
The team arrived in the early hours, and entered the shed. The dark building houses thousands of terrified birds. Each row was four tiers high with 10 hens in each cage. Live birds were left in cages with dead birds.
Most of the birds at the farm had already been killed, gassed to death and their bodies buried.
Staff and volunteers drove the birds to the Fort Dodge airport, where the birds were loaded into two awaiting chartered planes so the birds could get out of Dodge.
Over the next few days, the hens will see and feel the sun for the first time. They will touch earth for the first time. We will share that with you.
The hens will receive health-checks and get prepared for adoption. Any hen with health problems or who need more specialized care will remain with us.
How to help:
Hens will be available for adoption in northern California only. Adoption application is available here.
If you want to help hens like these, the kindest choice you can make is to go vegan and opt out of this cruel practice.