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Thousands of caged hens find freedom at last

Free at last! Thousands of egg-laying hens will know life outside of a cage for the first time.

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See updates towards bottom of the page…

 1,150 hens are flying in style from Animal Place sanctuary in California to New York for permanent placement. This is the first time in history a private plane has been chartered to fly hens from coast to coast. The hens are part of a group of 3,000 Animal Place saved from gassing at a California egg farm. A private donor stepped up to foot the bill to fly the hens in a private jet!  <SEE VIDEO BELOW>

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary has joined Animal Place in this incredible multi-sanctuary effort, and will be welcoming 200 hens this Thursday! These hens will receive life-long care at WFAS or adopted to loving homes.

“This is the first time adult birds have ever been flown across the country,” says Kim Sturla, Animal Place Executive Director. “A generous donor offered to fly the hens across the country and we jumped at the opportunity.”

“We’re welcoming 200 hens,” said Woodstock Sanctuary Executive Director Jenny Brown. “We’ve got perches and nest boxes for them, lots of grass, even a small area where they can wander into woods. They will be able to spread their wings and feel the sunshine for the first time in their lives. It is a joy and honor and privilege for us to give these chickens a second chance.”

The 2-yr-old white leghorns are from a battery cage egg farm. Hens lived in cages so small they couldn’t stretch their wings. When they were 8-days-old, the hens had a portion of their beaks cut off without pain relief to prevent fighting in cages.

The hens will be arriving at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary around noon on Thursday, September 5th. We are seeking volunteers to help us unload, examine and provide treatments to these birds. Contact us if you can help for at least 4 hrs this Thursday afternoon, or in the week following that.

A group of sanctuaries and shelters will be taking in the 1,150 hens, adopting them our or keeping them permanently at their refuges.  The remaining 1,850 are available for adoption through Animal Place in California. Those interested in adopting on the West coast can visit www.animalplace.org or if on the East Coast, please write directly to our Shelter Manager Scott Sticker at scott(at)woodstocksanctuary.org.

“These hens have been through so much,” says Jamie London, Animal Care Director at Animal Place, who will be accompanying the hens on their flight to New York, “And like dogs saved from puppy mills, these hens have been liberated and will enjoy the rest of their lives in peace.”

The large scale of this operation has only been possible with the shelter and sanctuary community coming together to help. 

Update: Saturday September 9th the hens finally arrived.  Everyone got a quick checkup as they left the trailer and was given a name.  We’ve been collecting a long list of suggested names for the past week — what fun!  They explored their yard and got to spend the night in our newly-expanded coop, with lots of perches and nest-boxes.

Here they are enjoying their first few minutes — they were thirsty from the last leg of their journey.

Below are some photos from their arrival and first few minutes, and we have a followup page to track their progress.

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