Mesa: From Brutality to Sanctuary #AnimalRescue #Cockfighting

Blueberries, snuggling with humanimal friends, treat balls, and freedom are all things that Mesa hen enjoys at Farm Sanctuary’s Northern California Shelter in Orland, CA. These are things this amazing and outgoing little hen could never have dreamed of before her rescue.

Mesa in full-on preening mode.

Video: Mesa’s story. (Footage by World of Vegan.)

Mesa is a jungle fowl hen, and while she was lucky enough to find sanctuary, vast numbers of jungle fowl like her do not. Jungle fowl are a favored breed in cockfighting

— where the males endure vicious and deadly fights for human entertainment, and the females are often kept in miserable conditions. So when she was found by the Orange County Humane Society, they reached out to us at Farm Sanctuary to find placement for her. Mesa was probably used as a breeding hen in a cockfighting operation

— forced to produce young roosters who would in turn be forced into combat. (Often, these cruel and illegal operations even outfit the roosters with sharp knives strapped to their legs to cause the greatest possible amount of damage to their opponents.)


Mesa exploring at our Southern California Shelter.

Mesa was originally brought to live at Farm Sanctuary’s Southern California Shelter after her rescue, and it was there that we first realized just how friendly and amazing she is. Mesa spent her days frolicking through the sanctuary courtyard, following her humanimal friends around hoping that she might get her favorite treat: blueberries. It was not uncommon for her to try and sneak into the shelter office to hang out with her human buddies.


Mesa just loves visiting with her humanimal friends!

She and many of her chicken friends eventually made their way up to our Northern California Shelter, where she lives currently. Not much has changed for her in her new digs, though

— she still loves to hang out with her human friends, and still loves getting blueberries. She has even added grapes to her list of preferred treats (still a definite second to blueberries, though!).


It is impossible for any of the shelter staff members to resist the lure of Mesa’s charm, and she always gets a good amount of snuggle time whenever a humanimal visits her. It is not uncommon for her to get so comfortable on a human friend’s lap that she peacefully falls asleep.


Mesa snuggling with her good friend, former shelter intern Claude Roy.

It’s not all snuggle time for Mesa, though! She is also one of the most outgoing hens on the farm

— always ready to be the first one to investigate anything new. In fact, when she was moved into our North Turkey barn, where she currently resides, she explored every nook and cranny

— including the swamp cooler in the barn, which helps to keep it cool on hot summer days and nights. She gave us a scare the first time she perched on top of it

we couldn’t seem to locate her when it was time to close the birds inside before dark. Thankfully, though, on closer inspection we found her perched on top of the cooling unit

— her head almost reaching the ceiling of the barn!


On top of the world! Mesa has a special fondness for perching in spots high off the ground.

Mesa has gone from a life of peril to a life of love and care, and we are better for knowing this very special bird.


Please share Mesa’s story. Together, we can increase understanding about the rich emotional lives of birds like her and raise awareness about the cruelty of cockfighting. With your support, we can continue to promote compassionate vegan living through rescue, education, and advocacy efforts. A compassionate world begins with you!


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