We’re working in conjunction with Farm Sanctuary to rescue and provide a home here for some goats/sheep. They have 200 from an abuse raid in NJ where the county charged a couple with 18 counts of animal cruelty and are seizing and relocating about 200 goats and sheep. Currently we have housing space for 2-3 more goats and at a minimum are committed to that. We’d like to provide a safe, forever home to many more which would require building a couple three-sided shelters. That is where YOU can partner with us and help save lives!!! Please make a donation so we can raise funds to build these shelters and save many more of these poor animals that have been neglected and abused. Each shelter will only cost a few hundred dollars to build and if we raise more the extra funds will be used for food and vet care. Let’s commit together to showing love and care!
Yesterday morning we went to the garage (a.k.a. the temporary chicken coop) and discovered that one of the sweet and friendly Cornish Cross chickens had passed away in the night, at just 5 months of age. There were no signs of trauma or illness so we suspect she succumbed to a heart attack and crossed over peacefully. Why do we suspect this? Because she, and millions like her were bred to go from egg to slaughter in eight weeks. They are still babies, not even being fully feathered when they are trucked off to the slaughterhouse. No consideration was given to the health of the individual chicken or the quality of life for the Cornish Cross breed beyond the “slaughter date” upon it’s creation. The only objective was to create a chicken that would grow large quickly, so every 8 weeks the “farmer” would get paid. Their hearts cannot keep up with their massive frames if they live beyond their planned slaughter date, and they usually pass due to heart failure. Some even die before they reach the slaughterhouse. This cruelty is perpetrated 24/7/365 in every state in the nation because of consumer demand for “cheap chicken” like canned noodle soup, pot pies, nuggets, hot wings, and fast food sandwiches. When you see a truck like this rolling down the highway (left), please remember it is likely filled with eight week old babies. It may be the only time in their short lives they smell fresh air and see sunshine since they are raised in large barns, usually with poor ventilation and little to no natural daylight (right).
We rescued these Cornish Cross chicks on November 8th, 2014 when they were one week old. They had been ordered by a man and sent by mail as a prank to an ex-girlfriend in Washington DC. Our friends at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland rescued the 15 chicks, and asked us to give sanctuary to six of them. We were not quite ready for chickens here at PFS, but felt we were up for the challenge! We were delighted to take part in their liberation. They were adorable little yellow peeping fuzz balls! We had no idea what breed of chicken they were but did notice them growing rapidly and spending a lot of time resting on their tummies. We suspected they were a breed of chicken with a man made purpose of being used for their meat. Here they are pictured at one week old (left) and five weeks old (right). You can tell how quickly they grew in one month by their relative size compared to their food dispenser.
Chickens are one of the most exploited animals on earth. Their genetic makeup and traits are SO far away from their ancestors, they are scarcely the same animal anymore. Wild chickens lay one to two eggs per month and are lean and agile. Chickens bred for the sole purpose of exploitation at the hands of and to the benefit of humans will lay 20-30 eggs per month (for “egg laying” breeds). This can and usually does cause reproductive cancer, impacted oviducts, chronic and acute infections and much more. Chickens like the Cornish Cross (a “meat” breed), will grow to a massive weight rapidly, causing hearth failure and sudden death while they are still babies. So, you see, even chickens coming from exploitation to liberation at a sanctuary are not truly free. They are still enslaved by their defective bodies. Chickens are lovingly cared for and given every opportunity for happiness at sanctuaries around the world but will still suffer and die because of their carefully planned exploitation.
Some people will believe that “humanely raised” Chickens are the answer. Exploiting and killing them in a nicer way is not a solution.The solution is to reject the exploitation of all animals and to adopt a vegan lifestyle. As demand decreases for the exploitation, and demand rises for cruelty-free alternatives, more and more lives will be spared. There are many delicious vegan meat substitutes on the market, available in such places as Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s to help you make the transition. There may even be a few at your local grocery store, just ask! There are many meet-up groups for people who are seeking veganism. There are many Facebook groups full of supportive vegans. Please reach out if you’d like to help end their suffering. Volunteer at and/or donate to your local vegan animal sanctuary. Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to consider the cruelty that goes on when making food, clothing, and entertainment choices. We can make a more compassionate world, together!
For most of us, Spring is here! Let’s rejoice that we made it through the winter! Retail establishments are breaking out the gardening supplies and bathing suits. Two well known farm supply stores even have annual sales events called “Chick Days”. People are able to walk in, purchase tiny chicks, who are not even old enough to be away from their mothers, and raise them at home for one sad purpose: to be further objectified.
Having animals in our lives is a big responsibility. They have so many needs to be met, and they count on us, their human guardians, to meet most or all of them. People often times impulsively get a baby animal because they are dazed by the cuteness, without any consideration to how much time, effort, or money they will require. Many people get the animals home and have regrets. Some animals never even make it home. Such was the case for the chicks that arrived at Peaceful Fields Sanctuary yesterday. They were found in a box in a Wal-Mart parking lot in North Carolina. The Wal-Mart happens to share their parking lot with one of the big farm supply stores holding its annual “Chick Days” event. They were graciously and carefully transported by our friends at Triangle Chance for All in North Carolina, who also took part in freeing them from the shelter where they were being held.
The chicks are safe and sound, with all their needs met and we are delighted they are now free from a life of slavery and objectification for their eggs, and potentially their body parts. They are adorable, friendly and a real pleasure to watch play and just be chickens. We do not yet know their gender, but once identifiable, they will be given names. For now, they are “the peepers” and live up to their temporary name, making the most adorable sounds.
Having taken in these four babies, our total number of chickens is now twenty (20)! We have yet to build an official coop, so the 16 adult chickens are taking up residence in our garage, which we have converted into a large coop. Please be on the lookout for an upcoming event and fundraiser regarding “Operation Coop Build” at Peaceful Fields Sanctuary. It will be a weekend event and we graciously ask all who are able to contribute in some way: Time, Talent, or Treasure. We are not building a coop for twenty chickens, but more, because undoubtedly we will come across many more that need to be rescued and allowed to live a life of freedom and love. Once a date has been selected and invitations go out, we hope our supporters will step up with us to make this mission a reality for the sweet chickens in our care. This is a photo of a “dream coop”. Ours may not look like this, but it never hurts to dream!
Warm, sun kissed days have melted the majority of snow. Robins red-winged blackbirds and starlings have returned cleaning the holly tree of berries. It can only mean spring has dropped by for a visit to Peaceful Fields, like an old friend to chat over coffee. We’ve followed these cues by cleaning out the chicken house. Over winter, we used the deep litter method to keep our chicken guests warm and prevent cold injury to toes and body. All of this litter was removed to compost and replaced with new liter of regular depth. Roosts, feeders, nests were cleaned. What a surprise when everyone wandered in from being outside in the sun!
Also, it was time for the regular replacement of the bedding for the goats in the barn as well as for Elvis and Brownie in their area. Buster treated himself to a pedi with freshly trimmed hooves. He’ll tell you that’s how a goat keeps the sure-footed edge. Elvis and Silver have taken off their winter jackets giving us a convenient time to clean and mend them.
Soon it will be time for planting the garden, gazing into the ponds and mowing hay. Fresh, green carpets of wild grasses will spread out across the fields to overtake the shades of white and brown. Until then, everyone will enjoy spending lazy afternoons in the sun on each warm day and dodging the impromptu streams of melted snow following the contours of the fields to wind down into the ponds. Welcome spring!