Farm Sanctuary Rescues Hundreds of Starving Hens from Turlock Egg Farm

Farm Sanctuary Rescues Hundreds of Starving Hens from Turlock Egg Farm

Group’s Emergency Rescue Team is on the ground bringing out survivors and providing urgent on-site care

ORLAND, CALIF. – February 24, 2012 – Today, an Emergency Rescue Team from Farm Sanctuary is on the ground providing urgent care to hundreds of neglected egg-laying hens at the Turlock factory farm where more than 50,000 birds were left to starve. Staff from the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization and several other rescue groups were granted access yesterday to 2,000 neglected birds by the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency after urging local authorities to give the surviving birds a second chance at life. The group has also sent a letter (available upon request) to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Agricultural Crimes Unit, urging them to seek criminal charges against the facility’s operator.

“We’re very grateful to the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency for allowing rescue groups access to these long-suffering birds,” says Susie Coston, National Shelter Director for Farm Sanctuary. “Despite unfortunate treatment and neglect, our experience with several large-scale rescues has proven that many neglected chickens can be saved from these kinds of situations. Our ability to provide emergency medical attention, expert care, and a specialized diet will allow many of these forgotten animals to live happy, healthy lives.”

The group is preparing space at their 300+ acre sanctuary near Orland, Calif. for the several hundred birds they expect to rescue today. After receiving urgent care and rehabilitation, many of the birds will be placed into permanent adoptive homes through the organization’s Farm Animal Adoption Network, the largest rescue and adoption network for farm animals in North America.

Over the last decade, Farm Sanctuary has worked on a number of large-scale chicken rescues. Because the factory farming industry sees the birds only as production units, many are thoughtlessly disregarded during disasters and in neglect cases, like this one. In 2000, Farm Sanctuary worked with the OohMahNee Sanctuary in Western Pennsylvania on a large-scale disaster rescue involving nearly 5,000 birds who had been left without food or water for almost two weeks following a tornado. Hundreds of birds were able to be taken directly to foster homes and placed at smaller sanctuaries. The organization cared for nearly 1,400 birds at their shelter near Watkins Glen, N.Y., and later found many of the hens permanent, loving homes.

Then, in 2005, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Farm Sanctuary participated in another large-scale chicken rescue, where animals were left in hurricane-ravaged areas for weeks without care. Many wandered the desolate fields near the remains of their barns, while others were pulled from mass graves by animal rescue workers. Farm Sanctuary rescued over 1,000 birds following Hurricane Katrina, taking nearly 700 to their shelter where a number are still residents today.

Coston notes, “Chickens are sensitive, beautiful animals who deserve better lives than they endure in the factory farming system, where they are often routinely starved for weeks at a time to stimulate egg production.  Those who can be rescued from the Modesto site surely deserve to be cared for rather than killed.”

Donations are urgently needed for the hens’ immediate care! Please call Farm Sanctuary at 607-583-2225 ext. 221 to make a donation to the EMERGENCY RESCUE FUNDclick here to donate online, or mail payment to: Farm Sanctuary, P.O. Box 150, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, promotes legislative, policy, and individual lifestyle changes to help farm animals. Farm Sanctuary’s shelters in New York and California provide lifelong care for nearly 1,000 rescued farm animals. For more information, please visit