19 February 2020

Outstretched hands trying to grab a falling hen

Ridgeland Chicken Toss:
Animal Rights Witnesses & Rescuers Report

The Ridgeland, Wisconsin “chicken toss” took place Saturday, February 15th. The animal rights group Milwaukee Animal Save documented the event. For photos and information, see Milwaukee Animal Save. Scroll further down their Facebook page for videos of the chicken toss and the greased pigs wrestling contest and coverage by Fox21 Local News.

We are so grateful for the work of Milwaukee Animal Save, Farm Bird Sanctuary, and for these two photos of this year’s event by Unparalleled Suffering.

Terrified hens being thrown from a rooftop

Activist and rescuer Amy Leinen of Minnesota-based Rooster Redemption posted her observations of the day:

The panicked looking chickens in the arms of a group of cruel humans who said they were taking them home to kill them. The chickens in the arms of people who laughed and said that chickens are food. Three chickens held by their feet, being paraded down the street by people who swore they'd turn them over to us after the event who had no intention of giving us the chickens and laughed when activists came to them afterwards.

The chicken that a boy tried to get money from us for . . . but his smirk indicated he was just tormenting the activists as he kept walking by even after we explained we don't buy animals but could give the chicken a safe beautiful life if “donated.” The tiny rooster, held firmly by a huge guy in a bear coat who allowed us to pet him but wouldn't surrender him, as he said this rooster would be going to a farm.

A rooster who had scaly leg mites, frostbite and a tumor on his wattle who didn't get turned over to us and will not be considered “worthy” of vet care by the woman with a backyard flock. The frostbitten rooster who was terrified and panting in the arms of a person who didn't care that he had frostbite, saying he's a farm animal and can handle being outside in all weather, not caring when we explained that chickens are descendants of tropical birds and should live in temps above 50 degrees.

The rooster a boy surrendered with a happy heart, whose mother got mad and demanded the rooster be given back...and the boy cried when the rooster was returned. The three roosters I tried to calm who struggled in the callous arms of three friends, young boys (12- year-old self-proclaimed farmers who need to raise animals for their livelihood, they said).

Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd reportedly called United Poultry Concerns a “terrorist organization” in this exchange with a member of Milwaukee Animal Save:

Basically what happened was he asked which group I was representing and I told him Milwaukee Animal Save. He said, “Are you a part of that UPC group?” And I said no, so he’s like, “They’re a terrorist organization. And they have a PETITION that sends us a robo-email every time someone signs the petition. I’ve gotten 3-4000 of them and I have it set up where they all go to spam. Getting those honestly makes me want to get up on the building and throw chickens off myself.”

On January 31, Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, submitted the following Letter to the Editor of the Dunn County News. It was rejected because “We reserve the letters to the editor portion of the newspaper for letters written by local community members.”

January 31, 2020

Letters to the Editor
Dunn County News
Dunn County, WI 54751
Via email: editor@dunnconnect.com

Dear Editor:

On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, I respectfully urge the citizens of Ridgeland to cancel the annual “chicken fly” this year. Many people have begged Dunn County for years to put an end to this cruel entertainment.

If citizens want to find new homes for their chickens or give new homes to chickens, they can do a peaceable exchange in a warm interior without abusing the birds, many of whom are already sick and frostbitten and in need of immediate veterinary care, as was visually documented last year by rescuers.

If citizens want to throw things from a roof for entertainment, why not throw small household items, clothing, toys and other things for people to capture from the ground? The point is to stop mistreating the birds and create interesting ways to have fun that do not involve animal abuse. The chicken drop/toss/fly is animal abuse, pure and simple.

Thank you for your consideration for these birds. We urge that chickens and all creatures be treated with compassion and respect for their feelings and fears. We hope for good news this year.



Karen Davis, President
United Poultry Concerns
12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
Office: 757-678-7875
Email: Karen@UPC-online.org


United Poultry Concerns is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. https://www.upc-online.org

Federal ID: 52-1705678