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Jimmy is our handsome ‘larger-than-life’ rooster who was abandoned in a rabbit cage in front of a feed store with a sign on it “Free to a good home.” We had been on the farm a couple of months and went to town one day to start looking at pick-ups but we came home with a rooster! Jimmy was only about 6 months old when he was rescued. He was a friendly and confident little guy who has grown up to be the ruler-of-the roost! These days, he freely roams our property, protecting his little flock of hens and keeping us on our toes. Jimmy is also quite the ‘ladies man’ as he can be caught giving food to his hens and will wait until they eat first. Roosters are seen as by-products and waste in the commercial egg industry and are ‘culled’ (aka slaughtered) immediately after birth. They are also troubling or considered as a nuisance by back-yard chicken farmers who often end up with male baby chicks, which then have to be rehomed or disposed of in some way. Unfortunately, the vast majority of roosters will end up being slaughtered.
Jacqueline, Judith & Juliana
These 3 lovely ‘back-yard’ hens were kindly rehomed to us in June 2021 as their owner did not want them to be slaughtered. Unlike Josephine and Jenoveve, they were in good health when they came to us and also quickly made friends with Josephine and Jimmy. They too, are free to roam our property and be truly free range. They will also never be used for their eggs. Although they continue to lay eggs, as a vegan farm sanctuary, we give the eggs back to the birds to eat (including the wild birds, especially the crow family who also call this place home).
Clementine & Emmeline
These two lovely former backyard hens were rehomed to our sanctuary with Finnegan the duck. Emmeline is definitely the leader of the pack and she is also an adventurous, curious, and independent little gal. Clementine is a very cute hen who also has lots of character matched with her little beard and ear muffs, which makes her an Ameraucana. This chicken breed is among many that have been selectively bred to have certain ornamental physical characteristics for show or appearance and of course high egg production. Sadly, backyard hens that are kept in the city often end up needing to be rehomed, when their owners can no longer take care of them or when they stop laying eggs as they age. Clementine and Emmeline will never be used for their eggs or exploited in any other way and will get to live out their lives happily and freely at our sanctuary.
Josephine (In Loving Memory)
Josephine was one of 100 “free range” older hens that were released from a commercial egg farm and re-homed to several sanctuaries in BC and Alberta in September 2020. At the time, our only sanctuary were only set up to take a couple of hens and we named them Josephine and Jenoveve. They (like the whole flock) arrived in poor condition, they were both underweight with feathers missing (which commonly occurs from chickens pecking each other when they are confined in small spaces and are not allowed to express their natural behaviours). Josephine also had a deformed beak, possibly due to it being stuck in a cage at some point of her life or perhaps from her beak being painfully trimmed (a common practice in the egg industry to try to reduce pecking and injuring other chickens). Josephine and her partner really flourished over time. She was a kind, curious, and cheeky
little hen who was frequently known to greet visitors by her friendly little pecks.
Unfortunately, due to selective breeding of these types of chickens they have a shorter life span of between 2 and 5. The small bodies of commercial layer hens have been unnaturally bred made to produce as many eggs as possible and are highly vulnerable to developing reproductive cancers and other illnesses such as egg impactions. They are also typically “culled” when their egg production drops so most never die a ‘natural’ death. Her partner Jenoveve passed away in May 2021 after a brief and quick decline of her health. Whereas Josephine continued to be in good health until she started to slow down with the cold weather in December 2021. We brought her into the house and she got to live the last month of her life as a house chicken, where she got to sleep in front of the fire place, rest and relax, and eat all her favourite treats. She initially seemed to bounce back but then in the last week of her life, she slowed down again, was sleeping more, and eating less. We ensured that she was getting the best possible health care by consulting with a veterinarian who specializes in poultry. However, one evening, we found her collapsed and she was unable to get up. We wrapped her in a blanket and let her lay in front of the fire place. She passed a few hours later taking her last breath looking into the sanctuary founders’ eyes. We greatly miss Josephine’s presence in our house, her chattiness, and friendly greetings
and we are very thankful for the time we had with her.
Jenoveve (In Loving Memory)
Josephine and Jenoveve were two of about 100 hens that were rescued from a so-called free-range chicken farm in the fall of 2020. As Jimmy definitely needed hen friends of his own, we cautiously decided to start small by only taking 2 hens given that we didn`t know how the 3 free-range peafowl would treat them. Fortunately, these two sweet, smart, and friendly hens settled in quickly and Jimmy was on cloud-nine with his new ladies! Over the next while, the hens grew more feathers back and gained weight and could finally be truly free-range to spend their days foraging, taking dust baths, basking in the sun, and raiding our garden.
However, it is common for laying hens, who have been bred for egg production to be at risk for various reproductive diseases, such as ovarian cancer. But most never get to live long enough to die naturally and are culled (slaughtered) as soon as their egg production begins to drop.
Unfortunately, Jenoveve’s health suddenly declined in May 2021 and she unexpectedly passed away her in sleep.
Finnegan was rehomed to our sanctuary along with two hens (Clementine and Emmeline) when his previous owner could no longer keep them. At the time, we happened to have space to gladly give this little feathered family a life-long home together. Finnegan grew up with his two hen friends and he is very bonded to them and happily follows them around all day. He is a chatty, charming, and curious little duck, who like all ducks, loves his water and making water messes! Sadly, backyard ducks, just like backyard chickens often end up either in a ‘rehoming ad’ or the ‘cooking pot’ but fortunately, he will be protected and cared for all of his life here at our sanctuary.
Elvis, Prince & Priscilla
Our peafowl family – the peacocks (Elvis and Prince) and peahen (Priscilla) actually came with the property as the previous owners asked the founder of the farm sanctuary if they could remain on the farm as it would have been very difficult to safely relocate them to a new home. Although strikingly beautiful, peacocks (male peafowl) are also territorial and make a lot of noise, especially during mating season. Due to their uncertain fate if rehomed elsewhere, they were welcomed into the sanctuary. They continue to be able to roam the property and also have a specially made ‘peacock house’ that the previous owners made for them but most of the time they perch on the top of the house at night. They have also become the guardians of the property and will vocally let us know if something is wrong. Although they can be more aloof when visitors come (especially small children), they do sometimes make a mesmerizing appearance with their vibrant coloured feathers and plumage.
Eden’s Way Farm Sanctuary
Registered Charity ##713808277RR0001
Located approximately 30 minutes east of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada