Henny's New Friends
When Henny arrived at the sanctuary for chickens she found many new friends.
However, Penny and Sweet Pea became her special pals. When they saw Henny, they
chirped to her in Chicken Talk, "Come on. We'll show you around."
Penny and Sweet Pea had a terrible life before they came to United Poultry
Concerns. They spent their entire lives stuffed in a tiny wire cage. The cage was stacked
among rows of cages filled with thousands of other miserable hens in a long building like
a factory warehouse full of boxes. They weren't allowed to do anything but lay eggs and
eat powdery food to be turned into more eggs. Penny and Sweet Pea never even saw the
sun until they were rescued one day in March.
Three months later in June, these sad little hens were completely changed. In
March, their feathers were scraggly, their combs were sickly, and their eyes were murky.
They had never walked or spread their wings. They could hardly stand up, let alone fly!
Now they run around the yard on their strong little legs with snowy feathers, red
combs, and bright eyes. They dart around like dancers. Their food at the "henitentiary"
was horrible, like sawdust mixed with medicine. Yuk. Now they eat sunflower seeds,
grass, grapes, and spaghetti!
With fresh air, exersise, good food, and friends, Penny and Sweet Pea got so strong
they could soon fly up to the roof of the chicken house and back down to the ground.
Chickens don't fly straight ahead like pigeons or geese. They fly in an arc like a rainbow.
Now that they could fly, Penny and Sweet Pea began to perch in a big tree next to the
kitchen porch. Imagine walking outside and seeing these two beautiful hens resting
quietly in the branches of a tree!
One day Henny flew up to the tree with her new friends. Henny, Penny, and Sweet
Pea are now so happy together in that tree that sometimes Karen Davis, the director of
the chicken sanctuary, has to climb up a ladder to bring them down at night so they'll be
safe from raccoons and night owls. "Oh, Cluck," they grumble when they see her coming
through the branches.
One by one, she brings down Henny, Penny, and Sweet Pea. She sets them carefully
on their perch inside the chicken house and locks the door. Soon, Henny, Penny, and
Sweet Pea are asleep with their heads tucked under their feathers until tomorrow. When
she unlocks the chicken house the next morning all the chickens come bursting out.
The cover the grass like wild flowers. Henny, Penny, and Sweet Pea are ready for
another great day. Pola, the gorgeous red and black rooster, runs over. He stands on his
tiptoes and stretches up his head. "Cock-A-Doodle-Do!" he cries. "I'm here to protect
Henny, Penny, and Sweet Pea!"
Copyright 1997 by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns