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750 Hens from Battery Cage Egg Farm Safe

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750 Hens from Battery Cage Egg Farm Safe

From Animal Place
April 2013

Since its inception in August of 2010, Rescue Ranch has saved more than 8,200 lives. With limited staff, barn space, and funding, our 600-acre sanctuary currently houses 300 animals on a permanent basis. These animals are ambassadors, encouraging visitors to rethink their dietary choices. Unfortunately, we cannot take in 8,000 animals, but we can safely and responsibly place thousands of chickens, goats, sheep, and turkeys each year.

Last week, we welcomed nearly 800 hens from a caged egg farm to our 60-acre Rescue Ranch facility in Vacaville, Calif. These hens had spent the past two years in cages, their nails growing 2-3 inches long. A portion of each hen's beak had been cut off.

Once the hens are physically and mentally healthy, they will be placed up for adoption through our Rescue Ranch program. This year alone, more than 1,000 chickens have been saved from slaughter because of our innovative adoption program.

The hens are settling in and learning to be chickens again. Each night, caregivers comb the two barns and make sure the hens are not clumping on top of each other. For two years, these hens have only known restricted space. Hens from caged egg farms must learn how to cope with more room. Initially, they deal with their trauma by getting as close to each other as possible. Unfortunately, this crowding can lead to smothering deaths. Caregivers un-clump the hens every night. In a few weeks, this behavior should completely disappear as the hens realize freedom to roam is normal, healthy, and fun.

Why does Animal Place rescue and adopt? This is a question we receive frequently. In an ideal world, farmed animals would no longer be exploited for their flesh, dairy, skins, fur, feathers, or eggs. And we would rely on plant-based nutrition to thrive. As we work towards that world through activism, advocacy, and sanctuary, we recognize there are ways to literally save the lives of animals on farms in the present.

Since its inception in August of 2010, Rescue Ranch has saved more than 8,200 lives. With limited staff, barn space, and funding, our 600-acre sanctuary currently houses 300 animals on a permanent basis. These animals are ambassadors, encouraging visitors to rethink their dietary choices. Unfortunately, we cannot take in 8,000 animals, but we can safely and responsibly place thousands of chickens, goats, sheep, and turkeys each year.

Adopters go through a screening process, pay an adoption fee, and are not guaranteed an adoption just because they apply. When feasible, we perform site inspections and follow-up with adopters to make sure everyone is doing well. Our hope is for adopters to rethink their perceptions of "farm" animals, particularly chickens. Our adopters name their adopted animals. They bond with them. They are literally giving them a life line, a chance at expressing their chicken-hood for the next 3-6 years.

When given an opportunity to pull a hen from a cage and save her life, it is our moral imperative to do so. When given the rare chance to save 800 hens, the only possible way to do so is by inviting the public to participate in the saving these hens. We are creating a more compassionate world - through behavior change, advocacy, education, sanctuary and, yes, adoption.

These hens will be available for placement in approximately a month. We ensure their current health first before placement. The hens are also given an opportunity to learn how to be chickens again, so they can adjust better to their new homes. Interested in adopting? Apply here. There are currently 80 hens from a previous egg farm intake who are ready for adoption.

Thank you to Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary for facilitating the intake and transport of the 800 hens.