Thursday we were contacted by a friend, Valerie. Her friends Dan and Beth found an injured chicken on the side of the road near their home by Harrisonburg, VA. She was injured but alive and had likely fallen off a transport truck. When asked we agreed to take her even though we were already at capacity. We just couldn’t say no! Chickens are fairly delicate and can sometimes have broken legs, wings or necks as a result of their rough handling. The goal when they load the transport truck with chickens is speed, not the safety or comfort of the birds. Food and water is usually withheld from them before transport as well. During their transport they are not protected from the elements at any time of the year. How scared they must be.
So on that cold and windy February day in Virginia an entire family’s heart warmed to a hungry, thirsty, broken little chicken. Dan and Beth have four young children, and their four year old girl Emma, named her after a popular Disney character, Elsa. We made contact with them on Friday and they were happy to bring Elsa to us on Saturday afternoon. They purchased food for her and got some straw for bedding and took very good care of her while she awaited her new home. As a result of her fall she has some abrasions which Beth reported had healed up considerably since they first found her. Her lower beak has a small crack, but she was eating and drinking just fine! She did lay a broken egg, which is not unusual given the circumstances. She doesn’t appear to have any broken bones.
So Dan and Beth and their children took a road trip to give Elsa her forever home. And we really enjoyed their visit! The kids had a fun time petting and feeding the chickens, and we were happy to educate Dan and Beth on the grim conditions chickens face in “modern agriculture”. They seemed very receptive and we hope the compassion that Elsa ignited will carry though to other aspects of their life. We have two missions at Peaceful Fields Sanctuary. The first and most important is, of course, to provide a safe loving home for animals, but the other is to educate people and to help them realize they too can live happy, healthy lives without harming the wonderful souls that exist within every animal.
Elsa is now resting on our porch, still healing from her ordeal. She has some more healing to do before joining the rest of the flock and just needs some peace and quiet we suspect. I just love the honesty and pureness of heart with which children speak. Emma, the four year old, and I (Jen) were talking and she told me two things that melted my heart. First she said she no longer wanted to be a baker when she grew up, she now wants to be an animal doctor. How exciting! The second, and most profound is that she will no longer eat animals. I told her they are too nice to eat anyway. She nodded in agreement. She made my day. They all want to come back and visit Elsa and all the other animals in the Spring and we would be delighted to have them visit again. Thank you Dan and Beth for stopping when you saw a soul in need of compassion and thank you Valerie for reaching out to us. Elsa is in good hands and will warm many more hearts in her lifetime, I’m sure.