Chickens are social animals who can recognize their friends. They are loyal to each other and have been tested to be more intelligent than a three-year old human. A normal, wild hen will lay about 20 eggs per year, not the 260 eggs per year that she lays in captivity (with terrible physical results). Mother hens teach their chicks how to be chickens: how to dust their feathers to keep clean, where to find food, how to take a sunbath. She makes different sounds to alert her brood to dangers. The bonds she makes with her chicks can last a lifetime.
Compare this life to life at a factory farm for eggs, where 4-10 chickens are kept in a space the size of a filing cabinet. They cannot stretch their wings, they don’t have nests as a place to lay their eggs, and they never see sunlight. Of course, these chickens get a bit cranky and peck at their closely confined neighbors. As a result, farmers “debeak” chickens, cutting off the sensitive beaks and causing severe pain (similar to cutting of a human’s lips). Some of the chickens at Safe Haven have been debeaked, resulting in chronic pain.
We hope you get to spend some quiet time with our chickens. You will begin to notice that they have different personalities – each is a someone, not a something!
Edna is a lucky bantam hen.
She was found in a small cage with no food or water by a caring man on his way to work. With temperatures in the 20’s, she might not have survived for long.
The man contacted Safe Haven and we were pleased to welcome this sweet hen to our farm family.
She joined some friendly hens here at the farm and will never have to worry about being in a cage again.
Stuart escaped from a live market in New Jersey, chased by the butcher. A compassionate young woman rescued him from under her car and took Stuart home to her apartment where he lived comfortably for two months. She realized an apartment was no place for a rooster and called Safe Haven.
Stuart is a brave but very lucky rooster. He escaped at just the right time to be rescued by a compassionate and generous young person. Roosters are often killed at birth since there is hardly any market for them (as males, they don’t lay eggs!). The few who survive rarely find permanent homes since many communities hae ordinances prohibiting roosters.