Free as a Bird: Rescued Chickens find Healing at the Care Farm

In May, the Sanctuary One Care Farm’s animal population grew by 20 overnight.

It’s due to an influx of chickens rescued from a large egg factory outside of Portland. Over the past month and change, the birds have been recuperating at our 55-acre Applegate care farm.

In late April, another rescue called Out To Pasture in Estacada got in touch with Sanctuary One to see if we could take the birds following multiple rescues from the egg laying facility.

Animal Care Manager Colleen Avery was on the phone with rescuers who were inside the facility. “It sounded like there were thousands of birds in there,” Avery said. “It sounded awful…the chaos of the birds while they were trying to rescue them – just total fright because they’re not really used to people.”

Avery committed to 20 hens – all Rhode Island red hens that are each about two years old – and a volunteer from Out To Pasture transported them in seven crates all the way to the Applegate, an “honorable” act, Avery said.

On May 2, they became official Sanctuary One residents. “They’re just starting now to decompress,” Avery said, adding “they are now able to go in and out of their new coop into the sun and grass.”

“They were regarded as nothing more than laying machines. They were living in such tight confinement, and some of them are pretty aggressive toward each other, so we had to separate them out to give them some TLC and get them over the hump. Now they can actually act like chickens.”

They are now up for adoption.

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