Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sanctuary Hens Available for Adoption

July 7, 2010 -Source: (or the place where I work-ify).
Last month, 200 hens arrived safe and sound from a small egg farm. They are the very first residents of Animal Place's Rescue Ranch, a 60-acre farmed animal adoption and placement center located on the former site of the Animal Place sanctuary.
The hens arrived with leg trauma. When they were young, the farm manager attempted a new   identification system- plastic-coated, wire leg bands. Unfortunately, while the legs of the hens grew, the bands did not. More than 90% of the hens had deeply embedded leg bands, some to the bone.
It has taken almost two weeks of intensive care for the first group of birds to be ready for placement.
The manager will not be using these identification bands anymore.
We are placing the hens into permanent homes. Check out the adoption information below.

 How to Adopt Hens

These hens are all commercial brown layer crosses. They have been bred to produce an amazing 250-300 eggs a year - 5 times more than normal. When their production decreases, they are generally sent to slaughter. They are 1.5 years old and can live another 6-7 years.
All the animals received by Rescue Ranch will be placed into permanent homes. Those who cannot be placed will be sent to the 600-acre sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA.
All of the rescued hens are available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting, please contact Marji Beach at or 530-798-5114. You will be requested to fill out an adoption form and, if approved, pick-up of birds will be arranged.  Adoption fees are to be paid upon pick-up of birds. The fees cover the care of the birds and allow us to continue our life-saving work. Any additional donations are greatly appreciated!
The adoption fees are as follows:
1-4 hens: $10/each
5-11 hens: $7/each
12+ hens: $5/each

About the Farms

Animal Place's Rescue Ranch is unique in that we work directly with farmers to provide an alternative to slaughter for a small percentage of hens in the egg laying industry. There are more than 15 million hens raised for eggs in California. Most will never find true sanctuary. The farms we work with range from small, pasture-based operations to larger facilities.
Animal Place is honest - we are a vegan organization promoting compassion to all life. We may never see eye to eye with farmers on some issues, but we hope to find common ground in order to save as many lives as possible. Toward that end, we keep all information about cooperating farmers private, and they reciprocate by not using Rescue Ranch as a tool to promote the consumption of their eggs.  We do not bring cameras or recording equipment into the farm and both parties sign confidentiality agreements. Again, Rescue Ranch's goal is save as many lives as possible without compromising the integrity of our organization.


Jennie said...

With the new "backyard farmer" trend, do you think you'll end up with a lot of people adopting them as potential layers?

Unknown said...

Definitely. We do have a screening process, and we are especially careful with the commercial brown layers - they are much larger than the white leghorns and are often sold by live-market vendors for slaughter.

It's a tough call. We have a chance to save a lot of lives, knowing full well it is impossible to adopt strictly to vegan homes (if we want to maximize number of lives saved). So we know a portion of our adopters will consume the eggs. We also know, though, that the majority of adopters will not care about the longevity of the hens' lay. These chickens also become ambassadors for friends, neighbors, family of our adopters.

These hens will continue to lay for the next several years. Tragically, it will kill them before they live out their natural lifespan. We make a point to educate about eggs and the egg industry to every adopter. We encourage the adopters to give the eggs back to the birds or, at the very least, share with them.

I'm not sure if that answers your question - our goal is to adopt out chickens as companions first, egg-producers last.

Jennie said...

You answered it perfectly - I knew you'd have a plan in place to ensure they'd end up in forever homes regardless of their reproductive capacity, but I was curious as to how opposed you'd be to adopting out to someone wanted a pet, but who would consume some of the eggs laid. I'd have a hard time being really upset if the adopters consumed some of the eggs, as long as they were willing to provide lifetime care regardless.

It's a delicate question, and I had a hard time wording it in a way that didn't suggest that that might be appropriate and encourage people to consider adopting them only as layers.