From factory farm to freedom

Discover how one lucky chicken, rescued from a factory farm, ever so briefly experienced life's simple joys — and touched the hearts of those she met...

PUBLISHED ON: 30 June 2012

Rescued broiler chicken, AutumnThis is Autumn. She was quiet by nature, but when she chirped, she sounded like a baby. She never knew her mother, but constantly sought comfort and protection from those around her.

Until the last weeks of her life, all she knew was the inside walls of a factory farm. She had never seen the sun. She had no room to move, and lay in faeces covered litter every hour of every day.

Autumn was valued only for how much meat she could produce. Her body was bred to grow many times faster than nature intended. At just 30 days old, she already carried the weight of an adult, and struggled to walk.

Chickens like Autumn are not designed to live past six weeks. After her rescue, and in her last weeks of life, Autumn was given the chance to discover what brings joy and meaning to life. Her eyes closed in delight whenever the sun hit her face. She developed a profound love for watermelon. She quickly learned how to dust bathe...

She enjoyed time with her feathered companions. In fact, she would become distressed if she and her best friend Summer lost sight of one other. Upon her passing, Summer mourned for her close friend.

Not long after her rescue the chickens Autumn grew up with were packed into crates and trucked to slaughter. A week later they were on supermarket shelves.

Though Autumn has passed from us, her story lives on. By sharing this, you'll ensure that 'meat' chickens across Australia will have their stories heard.

Autumn was someone, not something.

Thanks to Tamara Kenneally Photography for providing Autumn's photo and providing sanctuary for her to live out her life in peace. And thanks to you, for caring. Every meal is a choice. Animals like Autumn are depending on us to make compassionate ones.

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