Hundreds of unwanted backyard chickens are ending up at animal shelters


What’s happening to the birds that backyard hobbyists are too chicken to kill once they’re past their egg-laying prime? NBC reports that they’re ending up in animal shelters:

Hundreds of chickens, sometimes dozens at a time, are being abandoned each year at the nation’s shelters from California to New York as some hipster farmers discover that hens lay eggs for two years, but can live for a good decade longer, and that actually raising the birds can be noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive.

It’s not clear from this report what portion of these birds are adopted once they’ve been dumped at the shelters. Chicken Run Rescue, one of the groups profiled, has stringent adoption terms:

  • commitment for the life of the bird. Chickens can live 14 years and so require the same commitment as dogs and cats.
  • prohibit slaughter, breeding, fighting or exhibit
  • limit adoption only as a companion…

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