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September 17, 2016

When we rescued 800+ battery hens at the end of August, we knew that the hens left behind would be killed. It broke our hearts, but we forced ourselves to focus on the ones we could save. One of our team was at the farm the other day, and saw a ‘customer’ come out with 5 live hens, tied together by the feet and hanging upside down like a bunch of carrots. Although we KNEW the remaining hens would be sold to die, seeing it firsthand was just extra devastating. Especially when we know how loving and personable and happy the hens we rescued are. So we put together a quick emergency plan, and secured the last 200 hens. They’re OURS!! Today Angie, Jules and I, with the help of several wonderful volunteers, are taking the final 200 hens for rehab and rehoming. They’ll take the space at our sanctuaries of some of previous hens who’ve already found good homes. I’m crying as I write this, for all the millions of battery hens who are brutally killed at 18 months of age in NZ every year. But once again, we’ll force ourselves to focus on the ones we can save. Today’s 200 hens brings our total from this rescue to 1000+, and we’re proud of it. If you’ve been thinking of adopting rescued hens, please do fill out an adoption form at

all black duvet


September 15, 2016

With Princess having a leg problem and being restricted in her movement, we’ve been going through lots and lots of sheets. We use them to cover the tarp on the tiles in her indoor area, and change them several times a day. We’ve been really fortunate that the SPCA kindly donated a large number of sheets and towels to help out, and our fabulous sanctuary friend Mac picked them up for us. Yesterday I was delighted to discover a large duvet cover. I cut it open so that it protected the entire area. Michael was seriously horrified! Turns out it was an All Blacks duvet cover, and he couldn’t believe I’d use that for the animals. He said it was a “sacrilege” to allow Princess to soil the All Blacks symbol, akin to burning the flag. He even suggested it might count as treason. I simply thought that white Princess looked absolutely stunning on the black background! :-)



I love all the stories and photos I receive from people who’ve adopted rescued hens from us. This one today really made me chuckle:
“Hey Shawn, thought I’d send you these pics of Henny Penny. My girls follow me everywhere. Today she wanted to come for a run with Tammy and I. As you can see in the first photo,Tammys a little but worried. (continued below…)



“LOL And as you can see in the second photo, Henny Penny ended up booting her out!”
What a gorgeous story. You’ve gotta love a hen with confidence… what a long way she has come since the battery cage!!



September 14, 2016

Little Man is usually a voracious eater, bleating for his bottle and sucking it dry. On Friday morning he was quiet and refused the bottle. I said “Why does he look so chubby?” then realised he had bloat – a life threatening condition where the rumen stops working and the goat swells with gas. We were in touch with the vet throughout the day, and tried several remedies. By the late evening, Little Man was writhing in pain, crying, and couldn’t lay down due to the pressure. I was beside myself. Thank God for our vet Ross, who responded to my late night call. He gave Little Man a shot of penicillan (his temp was up), a shot of tolfedine (for inflammation) and a shot of buscopan (to relax the rumen). Continued below…

lm think


I stayed up with Little Man past midnight, and got up through the night. By morning Little Man’s girth had shrunk from 75cms to 60 cms. I administered 2 more injections, and kept his meals tiny but regular. He’s now down to his usual girth of 54 cms, and is a pocket rocket again. Whew. We’ll never take his slim physique for granted again! Read the final story below to see Little Man in action again.

lm table


After telling you about Little Man’s scare with bloat, I thought you’d enjoy seeing him back to his normal self. He’s such a little pocket rocket! Gaby filmed this in slow motion so we could see it, because otherwise he’s faster than the speed of light! As you can see, Little Man is in serious training for the Goat Olympics. His event is “Obstacle Sprint from Deck to Table”. I think he has true gold medal potential.
You can see his video by clicking on this link:

Barry ostrich


September 11, 2016

The story about the neglected hens with rotting legs last week was a total bummer. So today I’ll share some nicer stories. I was interviewed for Radio NZ’s “Country Life” programme, and she asked how we didn’t lose faith in humankind, having to see the results of so many cruel, neglectful,or abusive people. I said we had to concentrate on all the wonderful, positive, kind people who offer to help. Here are a few recent stories:
1. Barry had just one hen remaining, named Olive. He wanted to adopt 2 of our rescued hens to keep her company. When he came to pick them up, a near naked hen we call Ostrich came running to him as fast as her little legs could carry her. But since we were afraid Olive would pick on a hen with bald patches, we chose 2 hens with better feathers to go home with Barry. Two days later I received an email “I was thinking about that little featherless chook that seemed to want to come to me. Olive seems cool with the two you gave me and I’d like to take Ostrich, too, if it’s OK with you. I’ll make sure she isn’t bullied.” Sure enough, Barry drove all the way back the following day and adopted dear Ostrich. It melted my heart to see such care and kindness!