Farm Sanctuary

URGENT ALERT: Dozens of chickens scattered across a California freeway. 
Help Farm Sanctuary care for the survivors. Please donate today.


Dear friend of farm animals,

We wouldn't normally turn to you so soon after our year-end campaign, but we’re in the midst of an emergency.

Farm Sanctuary has taken in the survivors of a deadly accident on a California freeway and we are asking you for help.

The sun hadn’t even risen Tuesday morning, when reports started flooding the airwaves. Dozens of birds were zigzagging across lanes of a Southern California freeway, being hit by cars, or running for their lives. Sadly, one bird even had a heart attack.

We don’t exactly know how these chickens got there, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen this happen. Far too often we’ve gotten that fateful call from supporters like you who hear news of animals tumbling from transport trucks headed to the slaughterhouse. Sadly, we can only imagine the worst: these chickens (known as “broilers” to the meat industry) very well may have experienced such a harrowing journey prior to their appearance on the highway.

From this horror, nine chickens miraculously survived. They are at Farm Sanctuary and we are doing everything in our power to save them.  

I’m very worried because they are just babies. As a “product” of the meat industry, so-called “broilers” are bred to grow unnaturally fast so that they can be jammed into crates and trucked to slaughter at 42 days old, already weighing around five pounds.

So while our brave survivors are big in size, they are fragile chicks desperate for our care.

Please help. We have the chance to nurse these babies back to health and give them the happy life they deserve—but we cannot do it alone. Please donate now to help Farm Sanctuary save these chicks and continue to be the rescuer and caregiver that farm animals so desperately need.

Police officer holding chicken
A CHP officer removes a chicken from the roadway early Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. (Photo courtesy of the California Highway Patrol)

We’ve been carefully examining each survivor. One girl, Bonnie, has a dislocated wing and a broken toe. Her friend, Clyde, is suffering from a broken foot. These are not easy injuries to treat, or to recover from, especially for this breed of bird that grows so fast, but Bonnie, Clyde, and all of their friends deserve our very best effort.

So far, we have had bloodwork, fecal exams, and x-rays performed on their injured feet and wings and have splinted the injuries—and the splints will need to be changed regularly. The birds will also need medication to manage their pain, and we will soon receive the results of blood work to see if they have non-visible ailments. 

Rescued chicken

Please help us save these baby birds and others like them by offering your most generous support.      

As we peer under each wing and between each toe, I’m struck by the thought that no one ever looked at these animals as individuals before. They were likely warehoused in a “growing” facility that possibly held 20,000 birds. These animals are bred to be slaughtered and many don’t even make it to 42 days old because of health issues and poor treatment. They were likely handled only when someone grabbed them by the wing and tossed them into a crate for the transport truck. Boxes of cookies and loaves of bread are handled with more care and treated with more respect! 

Yet we can already see their unique personalities emerging! One survivor, whom we’ve nicknamed “the secretary”, couldn’t hold back her curiosity as one of our team members was logging events of the rescue in a notebook. She kept coming over to watch that pen move and peck at the notebook.

To think of this spunky bird crammed onto a truck with less care than is given to a box of apples or bunch of grapes is outrageous. 

It’s also sickening to know that incidents like this one happen all the time. This was not a freak accident. Farm Sanctuary responded to a similar incident just a few days after Thanksgiving. And, we have been on the scene of countless other transport accidents, often with no survivors.      

But today, we have the chance to save these nine birds and give them a wonderful life of happiness and care. Please donate now to support our Emergency Rescue Fund to allow us to rescue farm animals no matter what the circumstance, provide them with lifelong care, and treat them as the unique individuals that they are. 

Yours for farm animals,

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Susie Coston
National Shelter Director

P.S. Despite their injuries, these birds are the lucky ones. They likely fell from a truck that was carrying hundreds of other chickswho have likely been slaughtered by now. However, these nine survivors can live! Not only that, they can live great lives—with your help. I also hope you will tell others about these birds and about the suffering that goes into every chicken nugget and drumstick—and invite them to share a compassionate, plant-based meal.


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Farm Sanctuary | PO Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891 | 607-583-2225
Farm Sanctuary's financial report and state registration information.

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