Chick­ens ‘don’t de­serve to die’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

He­len Whit­field can fit ex­actly 46 chick­ens in her car.

It’s a lot of birds to jam into a Honda Jazz but could still mean hun­dreds of trips for the an­i­mal lover who has found her­self in a life or death race against the clock.

The chick­ens that the Ka¯piti woman is driv­ing come from a lo­cal farm. No longer wanted, they are des­tined to be­come dog food at the end of the month. There are 3000 of them. There’s been a lot of car trips since Whit­field heard the chooks’ days were num­bered. The Ota¯ki farm own­ers let her res­cue as many as she likes and then she sells them for $5 to cover costs.

‘‘It’s re­ally ex­pen­sive but I just hate the thought of them dy­ing, they don’t de­serve that. I’d like to give them away for free to good homes but I just can’t af­ford it.’’

Whit­field was adamant the farm own­ers were good peo­ple, they cared about the an­i­mals, and the chick­ens were in good con­di­tion on their re­lease.

A farmer’s daugh­ter, she un­der­stood the busi­ness: the chick­ens have stopped pro­duc­ing the amount of eggs that would make them vi­able. That’s how it works.

‘‘They want the chick­ens in homes, they don’t have to let me do this but they’re re­ally lovely.’’

De­spite not lay­ing reg­u­larly enough to pro­vide a busi­ness, ‘‘the ladies’’ would still pro­duce enough to keep their new fam­i­lies in sup­ply for at least two years.

While most peo­ple adopted the birds for their eggs, peo­ple also de­lighted in re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing them into their new lives.

‘‘They don’t know how to be a real chicken so see­ing them ex­plor­ing their new en­vi­ron­ments is great.’’

She never planned to be­come a ‘‘crazy chicken lady’’ but a love of an­i­mals and, fi­nally, a prop­erty to care for them com­bined to al­low her to help un­wanted crea­tures. ‘‘I feel that chick­ens are the un­der­dog, that’s why I wanted to help.’’

With about 100 re­homed so far, Whit­field was work­ing as hard as she could to find homes for the birds, but knew she prob­a­bly wouldn’t be able to save them all. ‘‘On the day the truck comes I’ll be bring­ing as many as I pos­si­bly can back to my house. They’ll be safe there.’’

Con­tact He­len through her Face­book page: Elam­ore Farm An­i­mal Res­cue and Re­hom­ing, or givealit­tle.co.nz/cause/elam­ore­an­i­mal­res­cue

VIR­GINIA FAL­LON/STUFF

He­len Whit­field de­scribes her­self as a ‘‘crazy chicken lady’’.

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