Find-a-Friend Friday: 395 Rescued Hens @ Animal Place!

April 22nd, 2011 1:02 pm by Kelly


356 hens from an egg farm rescued by Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch being unloaded.
CC images via Animal Place farm manager Marji Beach on Flickr.
(Please note that all of the photos featured in this post come from an earlier rescue.
These hens are not the same ones who are currently available for adoption!)

Founded in 1989, Animal Place is a farmed animal rescue group located in California. The group operates a 600-acre sanctuary in Grass Valley (tours are available! or will be soon, anyhow!), as well as a 60-acre adoption center in nearby Vacaville. The Vacaville facility includes both a “Rescue Ranch” – where newly rescued farmed animals receive medical treatment and are prepared for adoption – and a “Dog Rescue” program, which provides temporary housing for canines who are headed to their forever homes.

The Rescue Ranch program is unique in that it offers farmers a chance to retire unwanted farmed animals, rather than sell them for slaughter:


Rescue Ranch places a special emphasis on the placement and adoption of chickens from the egg-laying industry. We work with farmers in coordinating the removal and placement of spent hens prior to their depopulation or slaughter-date. All farm information is confidential.

There are few programs aimed at placing needy, adoptable farmed animals into permanent homes. Animal Place is filling that niche with Rescue Ranch. […]

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.


Recently, Animal Place provided refuge to 395 such animals – all of them “spent” “laying” hens who, unlike so many of their sisters, were lucky enough to find their way to a sanctuary instead of a slaughterhouse.


March 30, 2011 – 395 Hens Ready for Adoption

Nearly 400 2-yr-old hens are settling in at Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch, awaiting adoption. The lucky 2-yr-old chickens were slated for slaughter if not for our innovative and cooperative program, Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch. Now the hens are ready for a new beginning…maybe in your backyard! The hens are Black Star sex-linked hens, which are a cross between Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks. They are black in coloration with rust-colored lacing.


The Arrangement

Every rescue starts with a phone call. But usually it’s to Animal Place, not the other way around! Instead of waiting – possibly forever – for egg farmers to call us, we call and introduce them to our innovative program – Rescue Ranch, located on 60-acres in Vacaville, California. The offer is simple: We will take in hens the farmer may normally send to slaughter and place them into new homes. All the costs of the rescue – catching, transporting and re-homing – are covered by Animal Place.

Since January of this year, 956 hens have been saved. And since the start of this program in late 2010, 1206 hens have been rehomed. While the philosophical differences between Animal Place and the egg farms may be stark, common ground is possible and the end result is lives saved.

All information about the farms is kept confidential to prevent farms from using the program as a means to promote their eggs and to ensure the privacy and protection of the farms.

The Rescue

While the hens woke up in their barn, Animal Place staff left early in the morning. It took 2.5 hours to catch all the hens, making it a full day of hard work.

Once loaded up into crates, the hens were driven to Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch and let out into a nice, grassy pasture.

It was a long day for everyone!



At the heart of Animal Place’s Rescue Ranch is its adoption program. To save as many lives as possible requires placing birds into loving and permanent homes.

The 356 hens are ready for new homes. The hens were beak trimmed at the farm (a portion of their beak has been cut off) but they can engage in normal behaviors, like preening and eating. The hens are 2-yrs-old and can happily live another 6-8 years.

If you are interested in adopting any of the hens, please fill out the adoption form. Currently, northern California residents are given priority for placement. These hens are for companion homes only.

Large rescues are costly – veterinary, feed, and bedding costs are not cheap, not to mention transport costs incurred when picking up the birds and placing them into new homes.

But with your generosity and compassion, we can make sure these hens are healthy and, more importantly, rescue more birds!




Yes! I would like to help the rescued chickens!


If you’d like to adopt one or two or ten of these lovely ladies, please visit Animal Place’s website to learn more about the adoption process. If you’re not in a position to adopt, worry not, for there are plenty of other ways you can help! Animal Place is in need of monetary donations to help fund its rescue operations – and care for its permanent residents – as well; donations are accepted via PayPal or check. Or go score some AP gear, for yourself or a loved one! (The 2011 calendar is hanging in my kitchen. Thanks, sis!) Last but not least, Animal Place is still looking for items for its upcoming silent auction in May; to inquire about donating, click here.

Thanks much, and remember meat’s not green. “It” is also someone’s mother, daughter or sister. (Ditto: milk and eggs.) Go vegan now, on Earth Day and every day.




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