Carnation Rose Rescue Chicken ….. Update …..

I just wanted to update everyone as to our progress. It is almost June. Carnation Rose has been with us since last September. Her progress is both inspiring and a remarkable experience for me.

For starters, I knew hens lay eggs, as I am well aware of the horrific conditions factory farm laying hens have to endure. Even what is called ‘free range’ layers endure horrific conditions, with tens of thousands of chickens ‘free range’ on the floors of huge factory hangers, never experiencing daylight, soft dirt, grass, never stretching their legs or wings ….. the entire industry is a sham of abuse and cruelty, just to bring us eggs. But hens are absolutely remarkable, a gift from G-d, of this I am sure ….

The day Carnation Rose laid her first egg, I thought she was dying. I didn’t know what was happening, and neither did she. She was crying to me. You have no idea what it is like to have this beautiful rescued chicken, now fully mature, crying through your back porch screen for you. Her crying was like nothing I had ever heard before …. long soulful cries …. similar to a rooster’s crows, but long and drawn out, almost mournful …..  I know dogs and cats cry for us. Now I know that chickens also do. We never really know about animals until we are willing to really get to know them. And then the miraculous happens.

All I can say is that I am glad I was home. I have heard that birds can get impacted from stress and then they can die. We once had a cockatiel this happened to. I also wasn’t fully aware what was happening, as I had never owned a chicken before and surely not one that was about to lay her first egg! So both of us were finding out what was happening for the first time!

So it turns out that she wanted me to be with her when she laid this egg, and I didn’t realize this was what she was saying. It was a very warm day, and I thought she was just dehydrated or very uncomfortable from the heat, so I decided to go outside and spray her gently with the hose, something she loves to cool off with. But when I did this she got even more upset, making even louder noises, terrifying me as to what might be wrong.

I had to leave for work within the hour, so I thought that, if she is going to die, there is nothing I can do. I threw some organic oats into her outdoor cage (I don’t let her free roam in the yard when I am out) and she went in. At least she was in a shaded area, cool, with water and some food, and I left her as comfortable as I could.

I was at work for about 4  hours. When I came home I checked and she was alright in the cage, resting quietly on the cool dirt. She had made a dirt bath for herself and then I saw the egg. A beautiful pink-brown egg. This beautiful chicken laid an egg, something that is a given whether we want to eat eggs or not. This is a gift from G-d. Something that is just as a part of her as anything. Inseparable. Hens and eggs. Like fruit trees and their fruit. Gifts from G-d. Provisions from Ha-Shem.

I think I have realized, since this first experience (I still have to chaperone her every day into her cage to lay an egg … she calls to me through my back porch screen when she is ready) …. that there are certain animals who appreciate what they can do for us … they actually appreciate the fact that we appreciate what they do …. she knows she is going to lay an egg and she needs me to participate in this way …. and she announces it ….. heralds the laying of her egg as the remarkable event that it is  …. letting me know that I have to put her in her cage around 10 am …. I make sure I am home …..

So there you have it … an evolving relationship between me and this beautiful, remarkable, smart, social, and very conscientious rescued hen that has fully acclimated to her new life here in my yard and my back porch (she sleeps in a home made cage on my back porch at night and sometimes I put her in there when I go out during the day … we have raccoons prowling the neighborhood, who I discovered were very interested in her, and actually surrounded her outside cage one evening when she was there. They will dig through the soil to get under a cage and kill a chicken, so onto my back porch she goes for the night).

Just a quick view of how things are now:

Carnation Rose - a happy girl on patrol ...

Is she beautiful, or what?

Thank you, from me and Carnation Rose!  G-d bless …..

Carnation Rose – my beautiful all white rescue kaparos broiler chicken

I have to begin with this:  ‘I never planned to rescue a chicken’. I often thought about having a farm in Israel, and I would love to have one here in the States, but I don’t know of any farm near a Jewish community in Florida, so I never pursued it. However, I do have an organic home based plant nursery (Leaf Mulch Lady Organic Tree and Plant Nursery: http://www.leafmulchlady.com/ ), numerous butterfly gardens, and a small group of cats I rescued in and around my home – but I never thought of chickens as something that would enhance my already frenzied life. But, as life does have it, I now do have a chicken.

Carnation Rose was rescued on September 21, 2015 from some bushes near a four lane highway in North Miami Beach, Florida. She was a pathetic, balding, and bleeding small filthy white chicken found attempting to cross a major highway by Miriam, the daughter of one of my dearest friends. Miriam, age 19, who is vegetarian and loves animals, called her mom to ask who she should call to help her with the chicken, who she spotted on her way to the bus stop. Her mom immediately said to call me.

Just the day before, I expressed interest in buying some chickens that were going to be brought into our neighborhood to be used for the Jewish custom ‘kaporos’, where a live chicken is publicly slaughtered in front of young children and families, watched as she dies, and ‘supposedly’ given to a family in need. Beside being one of the most horrifically barbaric Jewish practices, many rabbeim have already condemned this as nothing within halacha, and actually against the Jewish law of ‘tzaar baalei hayim’ (kindness to living creatures:  http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/ethical-treatment-of-animals-in-judaism/#   and   http://www.endchickensaskaporos.com/a_heartfelt_plea.html ).  I told my friend it would be nice to give these gentle creatures something other than this horrific fate. So it was to my surprise that Miriam actually found one of these chickens that somehow had escaped. Our Carnation Rose either fell or flew off the truck coming off of the highway while driving towards the shul.

Below are pictures I took of her the day we got her (September 21, 2015). These are taken from my house:

carnation rose 1carnation rose 6carnation rose 3

I want to add that how we finally got her, particularly since she kept running inside the bushes off a major highway, was nothing short of miraculous. Miriam and I were out in the Florida sun for over 1 1/2 hours to no avail, as the chicken kept on darting back into the bushes (thank G-d not into the traffic) every time we attempted to catch her. She was bleeding, had open sores, and Miriam and I were not about to touch her with our hands. I brought plastic gloves and a cat carrier that we were trying to coax her into, but that was definitely not working. Finally, we gave up and were on our way to the car when she decided to come out of the bushes and lead us to the parking lot. It was almost like she knew her only hope at being rescued was leaving and she decided to take the opportunity to join us. Since then I have realized that this chicken (and probably all chickens) is much smarter than I thought ….

The parking lot was fenced in on the side she walked into, so this was a tremendous improvement. However, she went under a parked car and kept running under the cars parked near the fence. I asked Ha-Shem to help us get her if it was what He intended. At that moment, a frum woman coming out of her car in the parking lot noticed that a chicken was under a car. Yes, we were trying to get her but couldn’t. Then this women went over to the car, tapped gently, the chicken ran out towards the fence, the woman quickly followed her to the fence,  quickly grabbed her gently with both hands, and put her in my cat carrier. A miracle beyond belief! Turns out this remarkable woman had chickens as a child and was fully versed in how to catch them, barehanded. Carnation Rose was intended for us, of this I am sure.

Since we have had her, I have come to learn that she is most likely a chicken called a ‘Cornish x’, which is a chicken specifically bred for slaughter and specifically for breast meat. I have researched some articles about Cornish x hens here:

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/01/why-we-havent-seen-inside-a-broiler-chicken-factory-farm-in-a-decade/#.VgOEsH2RrnA

https://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/factory-farmed-chicken-issues-and-alternatives

https://www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty/farm-animal-cruelty/the-truth-about-chicken

Please view these pages carefully. Our beautiful Carnation Rose was once one of these.

And here is what she looks like now, after daily feedings of organic raw oats, a small amount of corn, and lots of backyard foraging. She didn’t have a clue what to do in the yard until about a week after we got her and she had had daily walks every day. She was a factory farm chicken, and most likely had never seen dirt or grass. She also didn’t know how to clean or preen herself until days following her rescue. She has become in these few short weeks a fluffy pearly-white stunner, on the mend. The only feathers that are still in need of repair are her tail feathers, and these will come in as she continues to be in recovery:

on the mendon the mend 37on the mend 17on the mend 14on the mend 13on the mend 1on the mend 39on the mend 41on ther mend 3

I would like this blog to be a testimony to the incredible power all creatures have to heal under the right circumstances, how much all creatures truly love their lives and want to live pain free lives, and the horrific abuse these very gentle and amazing animals have to endure simply to satisfy our meat-heavy appetites!

Please reconsider the practice of kaporos if you partake in it …. and please consider becoming vegetarian ….. or reducing your consumption of meats to a very small minimum ….. there are so many delicious things to eat without causing harm to animals … !!

I thank you, and Carnation Rose thanks you !!! G-d bless …..