Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Sheep Grins and The Turlock Hen Rescue

Adam's Grin

It was a sunny day at the sanctuary last Saturday, but very very windy. The wind made it cold for us humans, though most of the animals seemed to think it was just fine.

Adam is one of the friendlier sheep, bottle raised at the sanctuary from just a few days old, and thus more comfortable with humans than many of the sheep are. He’ll still move off with the herd, but he’s also one of the first to approach humans. Saturday was a good example.

Everyone loves to give Adam attention because if you pet him just right, he wags his tail. It’s a big disappointment when people don’t get the tail wag, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Adam holds out sometimes to make sure people keep trying, and thus keep petting him.


In the pig yard, I framed a shot to document how beautifully blue the sky was and how beautifully dry and smooth the pig yard was. That might sound odd to those who have not waded through thick clay mud or haven’t tried to spear frozen poo pellets out of frozen divots, so you’ll have to trust me – the pig yard was a beautiful thing last weekend! Of course as I took the picture little Patty came trotting over. I’m pretty sure she thought I might have a treat for her, but since I didn’t (and she sniffed the camera thoroughly to make sure), she trotted on past me.


The wind was so strong that we didn’t let any of the birds out into the chicken yard. Not that they would have wanted to be out there anyway with that wind! It gave me a chance to get an interesting pair of shots of Arthur, the younger peacock, inside the barn.

Most people think of brilliantly colored feathers when they think of peacocks. Fair enough, they do have brilliantly colored feathers…but only when the light is hitting them right. So this pair of pictures perfectly illustrates what a dramatic impact the light has on the appearance of their feathers.

Arthur, facing away from the sunlight

Same bird, same day, same camera settings, same sunlight, and I was in exactly the same place for each shot…the only difference is the direction Arthur was facing.

Arthur, facing into the sunlight

Kinda cool, isn’t it?

Up by the gift shop, Nobby came to see us with his two girls, followed by Nelson and his girl, Isa. Such odd couples, but who are we to argue with true love?

Isa in foreground; background (left to right): Nelson, Nobby, Nobby's two girls

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, an enormous rescue of over 4,000 hens took place after a farmer left “his” 50,000 egg-laying hens to starve to death when he could not afford to feed them. The Turlock Hen Rescue, as it has come to be known.

Animal Place took most of the hens, and Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary took a smaller number.

For perspective, at Poplar Spring the bird population hovers at around 60, if I recall correctly. That’s the number they’ve determined they can house based on the barn space that is available. As someone who helps clean the barns every Saturday, I can say that it’s a good amount of work.

4,000 is a number I can hardly comprehend.

Suffice to say that Animal Place especially (but the others who have taken some also) has their hands full. If you can help them out, now’s a good time to do so. Even if you can’t help out financially or in person, go read about the rescue, about the fifteen hens saved from the manure pit at the chicken farm, the hens going outside for the first time, and re-learning how to eat. And go vegan.

Their lives prior to rescue are beyond what any of us can truly imagine. But now that they are rescued we can start to imagine what the rest of their lives will look like, and it will be good. They are why we are vegan.


4 responses to “Sheep Grins and The Turlock Hen Rescue

  1. veganelder February 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Indeed…they and their lives are why we are vegan! Thank you folks!

  2. Marji March 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks, Deb. I love seeing your photographs. Sheep smiles are the best!!

    And if Poplar wants to welcome some of these hens, just let me know. We are doing our best to coordinate a trip out to the east coast when the hens are super healthy in a few months. We have some amazing vegan adopters (one who will even take roosters!) we are going to try and get hens too…and if there are sanctuaries who can welcome some hens, fabulous!

    • Deb March 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      That’s awesome that you have been able to find adopters already! I will ask Terry if they can take any of the hens, or if she knows of anyone who can. I swear I hear about new-to-me sanctuaries all the time, hopefully everyone has a little bit of room for these girls…

  3. Provoked March 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks for posting images and insights into this very perfect day… Everything is just as it ought to be – With regards to those who make it so!

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