Rescue & Adoptions
2007 Featured Rescues
Rescued Hens Shed Light on Horrors of New York City's Live Markets
Some of the hens are rust and beige. Others are black and white. A handful sport full plumage, while many more are tattered. And then there's Dianna.
While it's clear she's a red layer hen, the only consistent hue distinguishable on the small bird is that of her skin, the patches easily visible through the smattering of red feathers on her body.
But what Dianna lacks in plumage, she more than makes up for in spunk.
When guests enter Farm Sanctuary's New York Shelter Rescue and Rehabilitation Barn, Dianna is the first on the scene. The small hen strides right over, peering up at the visitor with curious eyes. It's an awfully forward-and awfully friendly-attitude when you consider the kind of abuse she's endured.
Dianna and 29 other hens came to the New York Shelter at the tail end of August, the animals taking refuge from the horrors of New York City's live markets. Live markets proliferate in the city's five boroughs; nearly 175 are open for business. At these markets, customers select from chickens, goats, ducks, geese, piglets, cows, sheep and turkeys, who are then killed on the premises. Many of the animals are kept in filthy conditions and visibly ill.
Given Dianna's feather condition and clipped beak, it's clear she is a "spent" layer hen, discarded from the egg factory farming industry when her production dropped off. New York City's live markets are frequent destinations for spent hens, who arrive near death and are sold for a few dollars.
Thankfully Dianna and her peers were rescued and brought to our shelter. Upon their arrival, the chickens were given immediate medical attention. The birds were all underweight, covered in lice, had overgrown nails and some had injuries to their wings and feet. One will most likely lose a wing due to an infection left untreated.
Though tragic and inexcusable, the body condition of these hens is standard operating procedure for the egg industry. Hens are jammed together in battery cages, four birds living their entire lives in an area with the floor space of an album cover. The proximity causes feather loss, and the hens are "debeaked" to keep them from injuring one another in the stressful environment.
Now, Dianna and her friends are in need of loving sponsors to provide for their daily care at our New York Shelter, which includes feed, straw bedding and ongoing veterinary visits.
Through your sponsorship support, the disregard these hens experienced in their first few months of life will be all but forgotten. Please call 607-583-2225 ext. 225 or click here, to sponsor Diana and her friends today through Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-A-Farm Animal Project and help provide them with the loving care every chicken deserves.