Since arriving at our New York Shelter, the peeps have enjoyed all the comforts of home. They spend their days scratching and pecking together, and all have been given health checks ensuring that the only thing out of place is their bizarre plumage.
Peeps with stained feathers can be produced by injecting a dye into the egg as the chick embryos develop. This puts the gaudy color only on their down — not their adult plumage. Already our birds’ wing feathers are beginning to fill in, and soon the rest will follow suit.
Once they do, the Easter peeps will look more like adult chickens — white, brown and tan — not holiday-hued products used to make business boom.
And that’s a common thread that binds the histories of all of our farm residents: Their value was defined by their commoditization; their worth measured in pounds of “white meat,” gallons of milk or dozens of eggs.
But at Farm Sanctuary, these 49 souls, like the other rescued animals who came before them, will find something different: a lifetime of care and affection-even after the “novelty” wears off.