Down on Their Cluck: Abandoned Farm Animals Fill Humane Societies

The growth in urban farming is sprouting some negative side effects, such as the influx of barnyard animals to humane societies across the country.

| May/June 2012

  • Chicken Coop
    A handful of humane societies take unwanted poultry and goats, but even they are stretched thin.
    KRISTEN TAYLOR / WWW.FLICKR.COM / PHOTOS / KTHREAD

  • Chicken Coop

Hens pecking near privacy fences and milk goats bleating greetings to overflying airplanes are the hip urbanite’s bucolic dream, but the city homesteading movement has a dark side, reports E Magazine (January/February 2012), as rescue centers become overrun with abandoned livestock. From a homeless goat wandering a Brooklyn park to a container of chicks left by a trash bin with a note reading “Please love us,” farm animals are being forsaken by clueless city dwellers in record numbers, and animal humane societies do not have the facilities to house them. A handful of humane societies—such as New York’s 23-acre Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and Oregon’s 54-acre Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary—take unwanted poultry and goats, but even they are stretched thin. Minnesota’s Chicken Run Rescue has experienced a 780 percent increase in rescue requests.

Metropolitan homesteaders are encouraged to think hard before they leap into livestock husbandry, and to consider adopting a rescue animal from a local shelter. It also seems high time for someone to develop a city-to-country program to funnel cosmopolitan livestock to rural poultry farms and working goat barns for their golden years.

xmaspuppy
4/26/2012 4:08:59 PM

Mary Britton Clouse and her husband Bert do great work at Chicken Run Rescue. There's a new book about them coming out called "City Chickens" with a website at www.citychickensbook.com.


Mary Payton
4/20/2012 9:14:07 PM

I'm a transplant from the country to a mid-sized city and I would like to know how to find out if I can have my chickens, legally, where I live.




Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter