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Adopt a chicken: Hens fly the coop via private jet. Moms, here's a pet idea

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AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

(Read caption) Animal Place, a sanctuary for farm animals, has rescued more than 1000 chickens from certain death and is seeking adoptive families to take them home. Backyard chickens have been gaining popularity across the country as part of the local food movement. Here, Sandy Schmidt, who owns a portable chicken coop, rounds up her chickens at her home in Silver Spring, Md., Aug. 11, 2013.

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Why did 1,150 chickens cross the country (from California to New York)? To get to the animal sanctuary on the other side.

My nine-year-old is going to read this story and make us watch the movie "Chicken Run" for the next three days. On the bright side, then next time a child asks if chickens can fly I know that the new answer is “Yes, but only on a private jet when being rescued by Animal Place farm animal sanctuary, of northern California” Today that group flew 1,150 hens to New York in style from the California Bay Area.

According to a press release by Animal Place, the hens were part of a group of 3,000 rescued by Animal Place. 

“The two-year-old white leghorns were saved from gassing at a California egg farm battery cage egg farm, where they lived in cages so small they couldn't stretch their wings. When they were eight days old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off, without painkillers, to prevent injuries from fighting in cages,” the release states.

After being checked by veterinarians and rehabilitated by Animal Place's staff and volunteers, the hens were carefully loaded from Animal Place's two facilities in Grass Valley and Vacaville, Calif., then trucked to the Hayward Executive Airport for a 6:45 p.m. departure. They arrived at Elmira Corning Regional Airport in Horseheads, N.Y. around 7 a.m.

If you woke up somewhere in the Midwest or Northeast this morning to a breakfast of tofurkey and soy milk thinking, “What I think my child really needs is a two-year-old white leghorn as an animal companion,” you’re in luck because these birds are up for adoption.

They will be available for adoption through partner sanctuaries in the Midwest and Northeastern US from the following sanctuaries and shelters:

Farm Sanctuary (Watkins Glen, NY)
Catskill Animal Sanctuary (Saugerties, NY)
Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (Woodstock, NY)
Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Inc. (Ravenna, OH)
United Poultry Concerns (Machipongo, VA)
SASHA (Manchester, MI)
Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester (Fairport, NY)
VINE Sanctuary (Springfield, VT)
Coming Home Animal Sanctuary (Candor, NY)

I hate to be a mother hen about this, but I just can’t read a story about raising chickes that involves New York State without remembering my favorite "I Love Lucy" episode when Lucy and Ethel decide to raise chickens.

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They take much greater care than the California egg farm allegedly gave them. In fact, after buying 500 chicks in the dead of a New York State winter, Lucy and Ethel bring the poor little yellow fluff balls into the house to keep warm.

Little Ricky accidentally lets them loose to flock to every nook and cranny of the house just as a magazine crew from Better Homes and Gardens is about to arrive for an upscale story on the family’s new country home.

Mama Lucy’s solution is to imitate a mother chicken to get the 500 chicks to follow her back to their crates.

Lucy is mid cluck when the people from House and Garden Magazine arrive.

The moral to this story for those considering a poultry parenting experience is – when working with children and animals, Mom often ends up playing chicken with disaster.


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