There has been a huge mobilization from all over the country to save as many of these birds as possible. I'm so honored to have been part of their freedom ride. After quarantine at Apple Valley, two of these sweet angels will make their home at Xanadu. 🤩
Apple Valley has taken in 28 of these special birds. If you feel moved to help, please consider a donation to their rescue. These aren't even the only animals taken in by Apple Valley just this week!!
Thanks to everyone who reached out to me to try to help. 1000s of birds have been pulled and taken to sanctuaries. Of course, it was just a small fraction of the 140,000 that lived their entire lives in a cage in a shed. These sweet souls get to learn a whole new life.
On May 13 we learned of an egg farm in Iowa that was bankrupt and more than 140,000 hens would be gassed to death. You read that correctly: 140,000 plus birds. The farmer apparently decided to let people in to take some of the hens before they were scheduled to die. Some exceptional volunteers were on the ground in Iowa pulling as many birds as they could save while simultaneously watching other birds be pulled by farm staff and gassed to death. Fortunately working alongside the volunteers pulling birds were transporters willing to drive these birds to their sanctuary destinations all over the country. We didn’t hesitate to offer whatever help or relief we could provide and offered to take some of these hens in. After more than 800 miles and 16 hours in a car, our sanctuary received some of these beautiful hens on Friday morning, May 15. Devastatingly, 2 of the hens rescued did not survive their freedom ride to us, but we now have 28 precious souls here with us.
These hens have never seen the light of day and their little feet have never touched the ground. They’ve never been able to do the things that chickens naturally do such as sunbathing, dustbathing, or scratching around in the dirt. They are pale and emaciated with tremendous feather loss, and their bones are brittle from lack of calcium. They have literally been held captive in a tiny cage with 4 to 5 of their “sisters” only inches above a manure pit of fetid waste from thousands of birds forced to lay egg after egg after egg for human consumption. They are terrified of humans and I can only imagine that’s because they have had very little interaction and what interaction they had was probably rough and callous. They literally scream with terror and scramble into the corners of the coop seeking safety in only each other every single time I open the door and it’s so utterly heartbreaking it’s difficult to describe. We had to go in during the night last night to “declump” them as with most rescued egg farm hens they are so terrified they will often times unintentionally suffocate each other as they are seeking shelter and comfort by climbing on and sleeping on each other. During this process one hen was so scared she was running blind and ran right into my arms. I scooped her up and began to rock her back and forth in the dark, speaking softly and reassuringly. She nestled her head into my chest and gave a long sigh. I stroked what was left of her feathers and told her it was all going to be okay now. She was free and she will be loved and cared for, for the rest of her life. This morning of course in the light of day I’m still the scary human and she ran for the safety of her sisters in the corner as I was bringing in their food. This is what trauma from imprisonment looks like. Chickens are very intelligent and emotional beings and I’m looking forward to watching them break free of the chains that held them and enjoying their new life of freedom, but it will be a long, arduous process.
This is what the egg industry looks like. I made a post earlier in the week about every carton of eggs having a victim and here they are: the victims. I am begging you to think of these girls every time you go to purchase a carton of eggs and just don’t do it. Please leave eggs off of your plate.
These ladies are going to need very intensive and specialized care for quite some time, and quite frankly they deserve nothing less. Would you be able to help us provide bedding, feed and medications? Any amount you can spare would mean everything to us and to them.