Chickens Make the Farm at Shady Grove Farm

Of course our main farming activity is growing hay, but the chickens just seem to help make a farm feel like a farm. Shady Grove Farm is also part animal sanctuary, and as with all our animals, the chickens were rescued from various unfortunate situations. These peace-loving birds each have a story and are described below by breed.

Meet the chickens

The chickens (13 as of this writing) at Shady Grove Farm constantly entertain us, our bed and breakfast and vacation rental guests, and visitors. They are:

The Faverolle Rooster (tall and colorful and usually has long tail feathers)

A few of our feathered friends

A few of our feathered friends

We’re not positive about his breed, but we do know Charlie is the lone rooster in the group, and technically the only chicken not rescued. He came with the property but did not have secure housing protecting him from predators or the cold. He also wasn’t able to roam freely. Now he has the run of the farm and keeps a close eye out for the hen’s wellbeing. We love that he calls to the hens when he finds food, then lets them eat first. A real gentleman.

The Lacewing Wyandotte (black feathers outlined in gold)

Maya is a real beauty and the oldest of the flock; at least 10 years old. That’s more than three times the average lifespan of hens kept in factory farms. She was “let go” because she was no longer laying eggs. Egg production starts declining at two or three years of age.

The Brahma (white with black around the neck and tail)

We found Alice (Maya’s best friend) wandering through a mobile home park at night several years ago. She’s very sweet, and now blind in one eye. She’s adapted pretty well, but still runs into things once in a while.

The Leghorns (small and pure white)

These lucky hens are a few of the 4,460 hens saved from starvation when a Turlock, California-based company A & L Poultry abandoned 50,000 hens without food and left them to die. Some 20,000 of these hens starved to death by the time authorities discovered the deserted sheds in February 2012. Others drowned in giant manure pits under their cages. 25,000 more had to be euthanized to end their immense suffering. Animal Place, Farm Sanctuary, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary stepped in to rescue the remaining birds.

The New Hampshire Red (all red)

Redwing was part of a group of neglected animals confiscated by law enforcement from a hoarding situation near Grants Pass.

The Barred Rocks (black/brown and white stripped feathers)

These two large hens came from an educational facility that no longer wanted them. They’re new to the flock and rather bossy.

The Sexlink (black with a little red on the front of her neck)

Also new to the flock, this iridescent beauty was found wandering through downtown Medford. We don’t know if she found what she was looking for, but we think she’s happy here on the farm.

Stay tuned for interesting chicken facts in next months blog.