Anonymous Donor Funds “Operation Chicken Airlift” To Save Doomed Hens

images-1Finally, a happy ending for some laying hens who can no longer produce eggs!

According to The Sacramento Bee, 1,200 white Leghorn chickens are on a $50,000 cross-country private cargo flight this evening from Northern California to upstate New York where they will be taken to nine different sanctuaries to live the remainder of their lives outside of cages and roaming the land without the expectation of producing breakfast for the egg-loving public. What’s even more impressive is that the donor who was willing to foot the exorbitant bill to transport the hens to their “retirement homes” remains anonymous.

The Animal Place Sanctuary in Grass Valley, California received a phone call last month from a California egg farmer who was interested in saving thousands of laying hens that had outlived their “usefulness” from their demise. Thus began this unique rescue effort.

“We’re ready,” said Jenny Brown of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in upstate New York, which will take 200 birds. “We’ve got perches and nest boxes for them, lots of grass, even a small area where they can wander into the 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.”

UnknownAccording to Marji Beach, education director for the Grass Valley sanctuary, the airlift effort is unprecedented in its scale and complexity. “Getting the birds across the country has proved a complicated task. Rounding up the chickens took two days and the effort of about 30 people.” The private cargo plane was chartered to transport the chickens to New York because commercial airlines do not transport adult chickens.

Sadly, laying hens are usually sent to slaughterhouses or otherwise destroyed after they can no longer produce large eggs at extraordinary rates. However, this is a very happy ending for the birds saved by Operation Chicken Airlift who endured suffering and deprivation in tiny cages for so long.

My “hats off” to the animal sanctuaries which have made this possible and, of course, to the anonymous donor!

Click here to read my post Backyard Chickens Are Not The Answer





  1. Love the article… and great pictures too!

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