VACAVILLE (CBS13) – It’s being called the largest farm animal rescue in the state of California and second largest in the U.S. Thousands of malnourished hens were rescued from a Turlock shed late last month.
But now the non-profit caring for the birds needs the public’s help in their recovery.
The recovery process has been intense. “Animals that lived in battery cages for a little over a year,” said David Phinney, animal care coordinator for Animal Place.
Phinney says the birds lived seven to a cage, starved for weeks and were unable to move. Those were the conditions the 50,000 hens endured.
“It’s really, really sad,” he said. “It’s a terrible situation.
Some 40,000 hens did not survive. The majority that did are now being cared for at the Animal Place Rescue Ranch in Vacaville.
“They are a thousand percent healthier than they were when they first arrived,” Phinney said.
Since arriving, the hens have received medical attention and a diet of high-protein, high-calcium feed.
“They lost more than 50 percent of their body weight and they are rapidly putting that back on,” he said. “They’re happy now. You can hear them back there cooing, walking around, scratching, dusting, sunbathing.”
But getting the hens back to good health hasn’t been easy.
“This has been absolutely overwhelming,” Phinney said. “this has been sun up, sun down, an army of staff and volunteers.”
It’s taken a toll financially as well. The sanctuary goes through 2,000 pounds or $400 worth of feed per day. The group is looking for any help from the public, either through financial donations or adoptions.
“You would want to have a backyard, need to have a coup to protect then from predators and access to the yard,” Phinney said.
The hens are $10 each to adopt and will be ready next week.