From Lynn Kennedy:
Becoming vegan in December 2015 changed my life in countless ways, and Contented Clucks Farm Animal Sanctuary grew out of that awakening. I was already struggling with my place in the world, and how to find a way to make even a small difference for animals raised for food. I owned a small six-acre property just outside Kemptville in rural Ontario, and unhindered by bylaws preventing the ownership of farm animals, I pondered what to do next. I received a Facebook message from a friend who has her own farm animal sanctuary. She had a school project hatch of 9-week-old Leghorns that she was interested in rehoming. That struck a chord: why not provide a safe loving home for chickens?
Current residents at Contented Clucks are Zeus, the alpha rooster; Jack, his underling; Penelope, a rather haughty hen; and Diana, the sweetest most endearing little girl I’ve ever met. The latest addition is Jasper, who arrived in mid-October via the Montreal QC Humane Society. He is a beautiful Easter Egg rooster with a bright eye, gorgeous feathers and lots of rooster personality. Jasper currently lives in our house until his coop is ready for occupancy. He enjoys the goings-on that he can view from the sitting room sunporch off the kitchen, and is seemingly unperturbed by the resident house cats staring through the screen door, mesmerized by him. He is getting used to being handled, and enjoying his treats of raw shelled sunflower seeds.
Contented Clucks is also home to 16-year-old Quarter Horse mare Rosie, who suffers with Equine Cushings Syndrome (an endocrine disorder), and navicular disease (which affects her feet); Willie, a 17-year-old Mammoth Donkey gelding who was rescued from a cattle operation where he regularly witnessed the rounding up and shipping of his bovine friends for slaughter; and five indoor rescue cats. Willie had extreme trust issues when he first arrived, but has learned to enjoy ear and face scratches, as well as hugs and kisses.
In March of 2017, I will be adding to the family from a local “free-range” egg barn. They will only be 17 months old, which breaks my heart that a being so young would be sent to their death. I hope that, in addition to the hens that I am able to keep, I can find loving homes for many more.
Chickens have changed my life–literally. I never imagined how much joy these feathered beauties could bring to me, but I am constantly amazed at how being in their presence makes me feel. I’m also able to share tales of their antics to family, friends and colleagues, and hope that by doing so, I am changing perceptions about these “food animals.” A close friend has already had her eyes opened by being around my roosters, and witnessing the many duties they perform for their flock.
I’m very grateful for the support and construction manpower of my partner, Glenn. Without him, I’m not sure how I would have been able to make Contented Clucks happen. He enjoys the birds as much as I do, and together we work hard to ensure they are safe and loved.
I will be using my Microsanctuary grant to complete the main coop and get it ready for winter.