Nov 5 2010

Urban Chicken Amnesty Week at SASHA Farm

chickensasha
With the general public finally paying attention to the abhorrent and inhumane treatment of hens and the potential for human health risks on commercial egg farms, and the growing local food movement, more cities now are allowing residents to keep a few laying hens on their property. There are usually restrictions on the number of hens allowed and roosters are usually strictly prohibited. This has led to the exacerbation of a problem that already caused farm animals sanctuaries like SASHA Farm some difficulty, and this is a problem that those keeping urban poultry should be aware of since so many have told us that they decided to keep chickens specifically to avoid being part of the cause of animal suffering.

Locally, there are now a significant number of unwanted chickens, especially roosters. The chick someone thought was hen turned out to be a rooster, or the hens they thought would be trouble-free are creating a problem in the neighborhood and drawing mice or other pests into their home, and the chickens have to go. Sadly, we see many end up on sites like Craigslist.com where they are given away or sold for a few dollars to those who intend to eat them. Here at SASHA Farm, our phones ring off the hook as the weather gets colder and people dread those winter chicken chores or face winterizing the chicken coop. The ones who end up here or at other sanctuaries are the fortunate ones, but space and funds are not unlimited and we are not always able to take in every needy chicken.

This fall, though, we’ve found ourselves with a little extra space, so to save as many chickens as possible from Craigslist meat buyers or winter time neglect, we’ve decided to open our coop doors to urban chickens during Urban Chicken Amnesty Week. From Monday, November 1st to Saturday, November 6th, residents of Ann Arbor, Lansing, East Lansing, Toledo, or other cities that allow chicken keeping may bring their chickens to live in retirement at SASHA Farm.

Our chickens are never expected or encouraged to lay eggs and will never be at risk of slaughter. They receive healthy food, including fresh produce several times a week, have access to a large pasture, lots of shade, a stream and pond built specifically for their enrichment, and coops designed with their comfort and safety in mind.  SASHA chickens are lucky chickens.

Details you need to know if you’re bringing chickens to SASHA Farm:

  • Because too many roosters in a flock cause disharmony among the roosters and distress among the hens, we can only accept one rooster from each address unless you also surrender at least three hens per rooster. Please understand that the health and well being of our hens is very important to us.
  • You must relate any health problems you’ve observed recently so that we can quarantine and treat any illnesses.
  • Adult chickens can be brought to SASHA Farm between the hours of 11:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday, November 1st to Saturday, November 6th. No appointment or notice is necessary, but if you’d like to ensure a quick drop off, you may certainly make an appointment. Chicks who require supplemental heat and extra care are welcome, but please make an appointment to bring them so that we can prepare a space for them.
  • You’ll need to sign an official surrender form, so please bring picture ID.
  • While donations are not required, they are always appreciated, and we can make good use of leftover hormone and antibiotic-free feed or supplies that you no longer need.
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate tours during this time.

Contact amanda@sashafarm.org, or call 734-428-9617 with your questions or appointment requests.

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