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Heartwood Haven: COVID-19 Operation Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The money from the grant was used to purchase an automatic coop opener for our chicken coop.

Due to COVID-19 we have fewer volunteers to care for the animals in our care. The automatic coop opener ensures that our turkeys, chickens and ducks are safely locked up at night and their coop opens in the morning to let them all out. It saves the sanctuary caretakers extra trips to open and close the coop and lets the animals out early to graze.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

The grant has helped us to improve the facilities for our chicken and turkey area. As soon as it is light outside, chickens and turkeys come flooding out of their coop to find all the bugs. This includes 30 hens who were rescued from egg factory farms. They are red and adorable, following us around, looking for treats. Before their rescue, they spent their lives living in cages inside of huge factory farms. They love going outside to dust bathe and warm up in the sunny spots during the day. At night they come back to the safety of their coop and all pile into a corner to sleep.

For two years they only had access to tiny wire cages with no sun, fresh air or ground to scratch on, and when they arrived, they were missing all their feathers. After six months of rehabilitation, they have learned to be brave and explore the outdoors and do natural chicken behaviors. Of those 30 hens, 20 have been adopted, going to their new homes in groups of twos, fours and more. Most recently, four hens were adopted by a nearby neighbor. They went home to their own safe coop and run. During the day, they get to go out and forage and eat grass. It’s the best life they could have hoped for. Their old, stressful life and environment is long behind them and for the remainder of their life, no matter how long or short it may be, they get to experience freedom, something they never used to dream of before they were rescued.

We rescue hens from going to slaughter, the soon we will be welcoming another 30 hens to the sanctuary who will be available for adoption once they are healthy.

The photos show some of the animals who sleep in the coop: a turkey family. Also you can see the opening for the door and chickens and turkeys going in and out of it. The door is installed inside the coop and opens and closes at a programmed time.

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