Category Archives: Blog

RIP Della 

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our beautiful Della who died of a heart attack during the night. Your life was too short precious girl, and the odds where stacked against you. We gave you as much as we could while you were with us, however your selectively bred body and your impoverished miserable life before we got you, left you too vulnerable. Our darling Della I am so sorry that you were born for meat, and that’s all you were seen as while you were deprived of water and food. I am sorry that you were cruelly exposed to the winter elements. I am sorry that humans continue to eat chickens and create a market for your suffering. I am sorry our lives didn’t collide sooner. I am grateful we had the time we did together. Della will be sorely missed by our family, but most of all by myself and my wonderful sister Karen who witnessed her suffering the day we got her, and assisted nursing and loving her for subsequent weeks. RIP Della.

Stuffed Baby Ostrich souvenirs in South Africa a big No-No

Stuffed baby Ostriches sold as souvenirs
Stuffed baby Ostriches sold as souvenirs

Early November I posted this picture on our FB page. Baby Ostriches sited at local main road Plettenberg Bay market (South Africa) being sold as gruesome souvenirs. The post attracted some attention.

One of our favourite animal activists Sue Randall wanted to take this further. Under our banner Sue wrote the following letter, which we posted on a few sites relating to Plettenberg Bay and the South African Garden Route. The posts were removed.

However, the letter cannot be removed from this site.

To whom it may concern

Recently on Facebook, I saw some photos of items that are being sold at the “Market on Main” in Plettenberg Bay. I was horrified. These items consist of little dead ostrich chicks, preserved by taxidermy. Each dead baby bird is sitting in an open half of an ostrich egg.

Baby birds – of any species – are a symbol of new life and ecological diversity. A dead baby bird is a sad thing, especially when it’s so obviously been killed by human hands and preserved for sale as an ornament. To see a tiny, helpless creature that has been killed so soon after hatching, and has then been pushed back into an eggshell from its own species, is plain bizarre. It makes a grisly trinket.

I, and many others who saw the photos on Facebook and commented on them, find these “ornaments” most offensive and unattractive.

Allowing the sale of these macabre trinkets ruins the quiet and gentle nature of a coastal town such as Plett. Although such sale is not illegal, it is both unethical and unnecessary. Africa has so much more beauty to offer than this. Our animals and birds should be cherished alive, not butchered and abused. I don’t think it creates a good impression for tourists.

I strongly encourage the organisers of Market on Main to relook at their policy about what items should be allowed for sale, and why.


Sue Randall

On behalf of Chickens as Pets not food – Chicken Rescue and Rehabilitation





Plea to those considering using live chickens in Kaparot

If you are partaking in Kaparot using live chickens, consider this: for thousands of years the Jewish people have been persecuted, often begging for the freedom to live. As the persecutor of that chicken, look into her eyes and know that she too is begging for her life.
Celebrate Kaparot 2015 by choosing the alternative humane option of monetary donation. Live the New Year with dignity.

Please feel free to share this post to increase awareness.


Ashas recovery

4 months ago Korlia Schmidt who operates out George branch of Chicken Rescue and Rehabilitation SA rescued a mom and 7 chicks that were in trouble. 

Mom and chicks have prospered in this protected environment. Just over ago, Asha (one of the chicks) suddenly developed splaying legs and  lameness. 

See video below   

The vet wasn’t entirely sure what was up but after some observation time felt it was mechanical damage from an injury.

Asha was put onto a strong anti inflammatory and bed rest. We added vitamin B complex and the homeopathic remedy  ‘opium’ which we have had huge success with before for spinal injury. Opium was suggested for use by our talented and experienced homeopath here in Johannesburg. 

A week on and look at Ashas progress. Well done Korlia. O

Meet baby Pippa. What is it that makes Pippa a commodity?

Pippa and Candy

Announcing the arrival of baby Pippa!

Delivered into my arms by my friend and colleague in rescue, Janine, who grabbed Pippa when she fell out of the cage in a recent rescue.

This is Pippa, a 4 week old broiler baby.

What is a broiler?

A broiler is a chicken specifically designed for the meat industry and genetically modified to go from 0 to slaughter in 4 to 6 weeks. These chickens are designed for their meaty breast and thighs and for accelerated growth to minimize the cost of rearing to slaughter age.

What does this mean?

For Pippa and the billions of other broiler babies shackled for slaughter at this young age, it means they never get to know the love and protection of a mama hen, they suffer the pain and discomfort of accelerated growth (think growing pains continuously x 10), the associated difficulty walking having to support their bourgeoning weight on ill equipped baby legs (often leaving them lame by slaughter age). Heart troubles later down the line when their organs can no longer support their massive weight gain.

What does this mean for rehabbers and carers of these intelligent, curious and affectionate birds?

For us, it means being full time mama to a baby chick in a large body. Their bodies might be ‘mature’, but their psychological development and needs remains that of a tiny chick. It means constant care, an early regime of heart Meds for the broiler, and a broken heart for their carers when they leave us, their lives often cut short by heart failure somewhere between 6 months and 14 months.

We watch them become more sedentary, less able to partake in natural chicken behavior, and the steady decline of quality of life of our beloved babies. Sometimes we need to preempt heart failure and make that difficult decision to euthanase. It means we look at people who choose to eat chicken with confusion, and those who continue to eat chicken when they have the facts with horror. Not judgement, just plain disbelief. Why why why would you choose to contribute to this cruel industry when you know better.

What does this mean for you as a chicken eater?

Chicken eaters are eating baby chickens regardless of wether they are free range or not. ALL chickens slaughtered for meat are broilers. They have all experienced the trauma of transport and horror of slaughter. It’s not an easy or nice end, and it is certainly not a comfortable life prior to that. Don’t be conned into believing these babies have a good life and swift end.

For me, today I love and hold Pippa, offer her the safety of my wing, and tell her I will make her as loved and comfortable as I can for her short life with us. I start to steel my heart today for the inevitable loss to come.

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Pippa and Candy 2