1,200 retired laying hens bound for East Coast sanctuaries

Sept. 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM   |   Comments

GRASS VALLEY, N.Y., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers say 1,200 retired hens are being shipped via cargo plane from California to their new homes on the East Coast.

The Animal Place sanctuary in Grass Valley, N.Y., said it was contacted by the Northern California egg farm about rescuing the 1,200 chickens that had been slated to be euthanized via carbon monoxide and the sanctuary teamed with numerous other rescue groups for the $50,000 chicken shipping scheme,The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee reported Wednesday.

The chickens are scheduled to depart California Wednesday night and will end up at numerous East Coast sanctuaries.

"We're ready," said Jenny Brown of New York's Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, which is taking in 200 of the chickens. "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."

Mitch Head, a spokesman for trade association United Egg Producers, said laying hens are generally too lean to be sent to the slaughterhouses for human consumption.

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