Spring-Summer 2009 Poultry Press NEXT
UPC Welcomes 60 Hens from Mississippi Cockfighting Raid
Photo by: Holly Wills
miss3 (86K)

United Poultry Concerns welcomed 60 chickens, including 5 chicks, permanently into our sanctuary in Machipongo, Virginia following the raid of a suspected cockfighting operation in Olive Branch, Mississippi by the Humane Society of the United States. On January 23rd, the day of the raid, UPC received an urgent call from HSUS asking if we could immediately adopt any of the 95 hens and chicks seized at the Mississippi location. We said, "Yes! We can!"
Forty-eight hours later, on Sunday morning, January 25th, a truck pulled into our sanctuary, and we carefully unloaded sixty weary but very happy chickens into one of our predator-proof yards. We placed four of the hens with our two bachelor roosters, Mackenzie and Prince, who welcomed them enthusiastically.

Seeing more room was needed, we quickly arranged to have a spacious enclosure built especially for the Mississippi hens, thirty of whom took up residence in their new predator-proof fenced yard and house on February 13th. They share their happy home with our handsome black and white rooster Oliver. We kept telling him during the construction: "Despite the housing crunch, you're getting a mansion!"

The remaining Mississippi hens are living in the yard they first set foot in. They share their home with ten bantam Wyandottes (cute little snow white roosters and hens), thirteen Old English Hens (beautiful black and gold "tiny dancers"), and a small lovely black and white Seabright hen named Starlight.      

Photo by: Holly Wills
miss2 (74K)

The sad side of this happy adoption story - the remaining 35 hens were adopted by other sanctuaries - is the death of all the roosters seized in the Mississippi raid. The problem is not so much that "cockfighting" roosters are innately too aggressive to be placed in good homes, but that there are so few places that can take them, including UPC at this time. (We currently have 15 adult roosters, and two of the five Mississippi chicks are young males already starting to crow - watch out!) The majority of the poor traumatized roosters from cockfighting operations can probably be rehabilitated once the fear factor is replaced with tender loving care. For information about rehabilitating former cockfighting roosters, go to www.upc-online.org/cockfighting/.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi hens are thriving at UPC. They're as pretty and sweet and friendly as they can be, and we're thrilled to have them as permanent sanctuary residents. Our grateful appreciation for the building assistance provided by HSUS is extended to anyone wishing to provide further assistance for our lifelong care of these delightful hens.

Photo by: Holly Wills
miss1 (108K)
Spring-Summer 2009 Poultry Press NEXT