Rescued Hens 
Fly 3,000 Miles 
To Freedom!

    
This past summer, we joined a large effort involving eight other east coast sanctuaries and adopted seven White Leghorn hens rescued from a battery egg laying facility in Turlock, CA.  Animal Place rescued 3,000 of these “spent” hens from the facility just days prior to their scheduled slaughter and flew 1,150 of them on a red-eye flight to nearby Elmira, New York.  

When they arrived at our sanctuary, they began exploring their newly renovated hen house with attached predator-proof garden enclosure made possible by a generous donor.  They immediately began scratching at the grass, dust bathing and stretching their wings.  

These hens spent the first two years of their lives crammed inside 20”x18”x14” wire cages containing up to ten hens each.   These cages are the legal size approved for use by the industry, yet did not provide enough room for our hens to outstretch their wings or perform normal chicken behaviors.  

“Free range” or “cage free” labels are misleading because many cruel practices are still permitted under such humane labeling.  Our hens still suffer from compulsive disorders and anxiety, which we hope will ease in time as they realize that they are safe and loved.

As day-old chicks, our hens underwent debeaking, or searing off of part of their beaks without anesthesia, leaving them missing 2/3 to 1/2 of their beaks, some including a portion of their tongues.  Fortunately, they are able to eat well from their deep food bowls.  

Like all egg laying hens, at two years of age when their egg production rates began to fall, our hens were slated for slaughter.  Their bodies were so depleted and damaged from nutritional deficiencies, lack of natural sunlight, and injuries that they were scheduled to be gassed to death in large containers and sent to landfills.  Luckily, they were rescued in the nick of time and given the chance to begin their new lives.

As each day passes, our hens become more confident while embracing their newfound freedom.  They take such delight in chasing bugs, feeling the raindrops and basking in the sun, it is often difficult to imagine their cruel beginnings.  Witnessing their ability to recover both emotionally and physically has been truly inspiring. 

There are many products and whole foods available to use instead of eggs for baking.  (Ener-G, Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer, chia seeds, flax meal/seeds, applesauce or banana).  Try one!  You will feel healthier and will not be participating in the exploitation of egg laying hens.