GRASS VALLEY - A program to rescue farm chickens is picking up speed, but needs help with adoptions to keep it going.
Animal Place animal sanctuary is in the midst of rescuing 3,000 chickens from a farm in Southern California, moving them to a barn on their property near Grass Valley.
"We have a relationships with farmers and they give us their spent hens. And spent hens are about two years of age. They do not produce enough eggs any longer to make it profitable for the farmer to keep them, said Jamie Holland with Animal Place.
Holland had been up since 3 a.m. Monday helping to bring nearly 1400 hens to the sanctuary to keep them from the fate they usually meet on chicken farms.
"They're typically gassed and then composted, Holland said.
Animal Place has reached out to chicken farmers and many have been more than willing to give up their chickens instead of destroying them.
"We've had farmers call us back a number of times wanting to continue to work with us," said Animal Place worker Jacie Volek.
Now the challenge is finding homes for as many of the chickens as possible.
"They've never had an actual person hold them and show them compassion," said Volek, who pointed out that chickens can make great pets.
"The more time you spend with them they'll eventually be eating out of your hand and jumping on your lap."
Animal Place survives on donations and Holland said that's another way people can help.
But adoption is the best way to help keep the process going.
"Backyard chickens are like the thing right now. Why wouldn't we try to place these girls in loving homes just like you would adopt a dog or cat," said Holland.
Those interested in adopting can log on to www.animalplace.org