356 Hens Home to Roost!
March 24, 2011 – UPDATE
All 356 hens have been placed into new homes! A big thank you to all the adopters and our cooperating shelter partners, the Marin Humane Society, Sonoma Humane Society, and the Center for Animal Protection and Education along with Santa Cruz Animal Services.
February 24, 2011 –
It’s a new beginning for more than 350 hens – the lucky 2-yr-old chickens were slated for slaughter if not for our innovative and cooperative program, Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch. Now the hens are ready for a new beginning…maybe in your backyard!
Every rescue starts with a phone call. But usually it’sto Animal Place, not the other way around! Instead of waiting – possibly forever – for egg farmers to call us, we call and introduce them to our innovative program – Rescue Ranch, located on 60-acres in Vacaville, California. The offer is simple: We will take in hens the farmer may normally send to slaughter and place them into new homes. All the costs of the rescue – catching, transporting and re-homing – are covered by Animal Place.
Since the start of the program in late 2010, we have worked with four farms, rescuing and placing more than 800 hens. While the philosophical differences between Animal Place and the egg farms may be stark, common ground is possible and the end result is lives saved.
All information about the farms is kept confidential to prevent farms from using the program as a means to promote their eggs and to ensure the privacy and protection of the farms.
While the hens woke up in their barn, Animal Place staff woke up before dawn to prepare for the rescue. The entire rescue took about 12 hours, but the physical catching of the hens only took 45 minutes!
Once loaded up into crates, the hens were driven to Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch and let out into a nice, grassy pasture. Once released, all the hens explored their new surroundings, enjoying the waning pre-dusk light.
It was a long day for everyone!
At the heart of Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch is its adoption program. To save as many lives as possible requires placing birds into loving and permanent homes.
The 356 hens are ready for new homes. The hens were beak trimmed at the farm (a portion of their beak has been cut off) but they can engage in normal behaviors, like preening and eating. The hens are 2-yrs-old and can happily live another 6-8 years.
If you are interested in adopting any of the hens, please fill out the adoption form. Currently, northern California residents are given priority for placement. These hens are for companion homes only.
Large rescues are costly – veterinary, feed, and bedding costs are not cheap, not to mention transport costs incurred when picking up the birds and placing them into new homes.
But with your generosity and compassion, we can make sure these hens are healthy and, more importantly, rescue more birds!