Thursday, June 6, 2013

City Chickens

City Chickens

Little baby chickens are the cutest little balls of down, aren't
they? Our children ooh and aah when they hatch in a classroom
incubator. They can seem like the perfect Easter gift. But when the
lesson unit ends or they morph into smelly, gangly creatures who poop
a lot they can find themselves homeless, joined by the birds who are
found to be too much work for would be poultry farmers, turn out to be
roosters, or are liberated from illegal cock fighting operations. Ill
equipped for urban survival, where can they go?
If they're lucky enough to be abandoned in Minneapolis they may
end up in Chicken Run Rescue. Here they can receive vetinary care,
nourishing food, shelter, outdoor space to take dirt baths and hunt
for insects, names, and attention until they are adopted. (The ones
who aren't have a home for life.) Christine Hepperman's City Chickens
tells the story of this haven and the couple who have made it their
life mission.
Mary Clouse was deeply disturbed by the sight of a neglected
pony at a county fair. Although he grew up in a hunting tradition,
Bert Clouse gave his guns away after shooting a chipmunk. When they
moved to Minneapolis they bought a home, started a business mending
old books, and began taking unwanted animals. At first they took in
all kinds: dogs, cats, birds. Then Mary was told about thirteen
roosters taken when a cock fighting operation was broken up. Seven of
the birds were euthanized because they were too badly hurt to
survive. The other six were about to be put down because no one
wanted them.
Mary decided their home would become a home for unwanted
chickens. Bert went along with her. There was a lot of work: building
pens, acquiring a permit, getting in the loop to learn about abandoned
birds.. When they received their first feathered guest, Henrietta,
Mary knew how she wanted to spend her life.
The stories of Mary and Bert's feathered friends are
delightful. The pictures are lively and colorful. This gem of a book
is, in my mind, a must read for animal lovers.
On a personal note, if you take time to watch chickens you will see
they are very individual sentient creatures with many endearing
traits, beings who deserve much better than the inferno created by
factory farming.
A great big shout out goes out to all who enable chickens to enjoy the
lifestyle God and/or evolution designed them for.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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