45 Ex-Battery Hens Get Their Very Own Photoshoot

When a truck carrying thousands of hens overturned on the way to the slaughterhouse, sanctuaries from all over Spain stepped forward to provide the survivors with a second chance at life.

Here at Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary, we were lucky enough to be able to give 45 of the little feathered ladies a home with us. As we prepared to share their story with the world, we decided what better way to help educate people about the individuality of the animals lost within the system than by giving each and every hen their very own photoshoot?


New Names and New Beginnings

Once safe and sound at the sanctuary, we enlisted the help of our passionate supporters to find names for the whole flock and then we treated them to a photoshoot in celebration.

Deformed beaks, featherless bodies and wilted combs wasn’t going to stop us from showcasing how beautiful and unique each one of these gorgeous girls truly was.

When viewed en masse, it’s easy to overlook the individuality of any being, but this project allowed us the opportunity to slow down and realize how important it is for us to take the time to see each of these animals for who they really are.


Putting Numbers into Perspective

In the United States alone, more than 7 billion chickens and 452 million egg laying hens are raised and slaughtered each year. These numbers are so enormous that there is no possible way that we can comprehend them, leading to a detachment between the figures and our emotional reaction to the situation.

The human brain is only capable of relating to numbers and figures with which we actually have experience. We can all imagine what one hen looks like, what 10 hens look like, what 100 hens look like. It’s possible that if you have ever visited or seen footage of a factory farm then you can also comprehend what 1,000 or even 20,000 hens look like (the amount held in many ‘free range’ barns). Anything above that and we quickly lose the reality of the figures as they are simply a sequence of numbers which have no relation to our lives.

It’s important for us to remember that these statistics are made up of individual lives, and that each one of those lives matter.


Someone, Not Something

In her introduction to The Inner World of Farm Animals, Dr. Jane Goodall writes that “farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined…they are individuals in their own right.”

Each one of the 45 hens here at our sanctuary, just like every other animal we have ever rescued, has a unique personality with their own distinct likes and dislikes, needs and wants.

Liboria wants to spend all day basking in the sunshine and hunting for bugs among the forest floor, whereas Juno prefers to stay inside running frantically around in a dizzying excitement at all the new things she has yet to discover.

Pip likes dustbathing and finding the snuggliest of places to make a nest, and Mabel loves nothing more than running between the legs of Luna, our rescued dairy calf.

Inside the factory farm where they spent the first year and a half of their lives, there was no way for them to express their individuality, but now they are finally free to do whatever they please, and for Penelope, that involves a whole lot of wing flapping.


To meet all 45 of the rescued hens, check out the full gallery here.


Mark Donners
Mark Donner3 years ago

The human race is an abomination

Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Jennifer Haughton
Jenni Haughton3 years ago

lovely thank you.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Marje Szelmeczka

thank for posting the story.

Deborah S.
Deborah S4 years ago

It is wonderful that many of these poor hens were rescued, but there are many millions of hens still out there, living in horrific conditions. They will only be free when each and every human being on this planet says NO to factory farms. The only thing these factory farmers understand is "the bottom line", so... if you really care, you will NOT buy another grocery store egg or chicken. Either raise your own, humanely, or do without. Sympathy without action is merely hypocrisy.

Sara G.
Sara G4 years ago

Wonderful story. Not only the hens benefited from this, but all of us reading it and getting a lift secondhand. The ripples of kindness spread. Blessings to all those who brought this about.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

What horrid conditions these poor birds must face. Thanks for saving them.

Michael Ruo
Michael R4 years ago

I don't have a typical human brain. Unfortunately(for my sanity and for the animals afflicted) I can all to well picture the millions of animals abused, deprived, molested and eventually unmercilessly killed for humans to wear, eat or use in some fashion.
I rejoice for every life rescued.