Peanut: From Apartment Dweller to Sanctuary Resident #AnimalRescue

A peanut is a tasty legume — or a goat, a steer, or a rooster (depending on which one of Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters you’re visiting — our New York Shelter is home to Peanut goat, and Peanut steer calls our Northern California Shelter home). Peanut rooster of our Southern California Shelter is the latest and tiniest Peanut resident to grace us with his presence.

Peanut excels at posing.

Peanut hanging out with his pal Jessica.

A friendly shoulder is a great place to be!

Young Farm Sanctuary supporter Hazel Levi-Lang holding Peanut. Hazel was quite enamored of this special little bird!

Peanut makes an exceptional paperweight!



Peanut came to us during the last days of
summer this summer. A tiny nugget of bantam hen
cuteness is what we expected to welcome; instead, we met Peanut, the smallest
rooster in all of the land.


Tiny Peanut being towered over by his hen friend June.

Many of our residents come to us with histories of abuse,
exploitation, and neglect, but not Peanut. Instead, Peanut came to us after spending the first two years of his life being
pampered and spoiled as an apartment-dwelling chicken.
His guardian acquired young Peanut after her son rejected him because
Peanut was male and would therefore never produce any eggs.
Rather than let her son kill the little bird, Peanut’s guardian accepted him
into her life. However, she did not
have a backyard in which to raise him, so Peanut lived with her inside her apartment and
was spoiled to his little heart’s content.

After two years of living with and loving Peanut, his guardian began to feel guilty. She started to feel as though he deserved to live as a chicken, surrounded by fresh air and
other chickens. So she called us. Though we rarely accept guardian surrenders,
we made an exception for this wee one.


When Peanut arrived, he was not afraid like many of our new
residents; he expected — nay, demanded — to be pampered. And pamper him we did!


Peanut in his temporary quarters in the shelter office.

Tiny Peanut did not appreciate his quarantine period (a precaution we take with each of our incoming animal residents). He chattered at us incessantly while living temporarily in his micro-fiefdom in the shelter office. The begging and pleading stopped only when he was picked up and was able to sit on one of our shoulders or nestle in our hands. Obliging Peanut in his demands was our pleasure.


Peanut sitting on buddy Kim’s shoulder.

Entertaining us was Peanut’s pleasure. This tiny bundle of joy delighted us
constantly with his special antics.
During the month he spent in quarantine, Peanut would often bury himself
deeply under a pee pad or in a shoebox.


Burrowing Peanut! (Perhaps he was hiding a tiny chicken-sized flashlight and comic book under there.)

At first, we would panic when we didn’t see him, wondering if the little man had somehow escaped his
crate. (The lump under the pad was barely
noticeable and easily overlooked.) Of course, we quickly found Peanut buried contentedly under the “covers” and left him in
peace. He recreated this scene for us
over and over again, much to our amusement and delight each and every time.

Alas, every youngster must eventually leave their nest, and so
it was for little Peanut. His introduction to the flock did not go smoothly at first.

Peanut’s first meeting with his new flockmates.

Having never known other chickens, Peanut
feared them and wanted us to protect him from them.


Peanut hanging out on his buddy Danielle’s shoulder.

He immediately rejected life in the flock
and jumped onto Facilities Coordinator Danielle Petrovich’s shoulder for
protection from the big wide world.
He cowered under May, June, and July hens.


Peanut between pals June (on the left) and May (on the right), with July in the background.

Peanut bravely strutted through his initial fears and now is
a proud and lively member of the flock.


Snacktime for Peanut!

As he has assimilated into the group and been accepted by his flockmates, he has become less and less enamored of us. He knows he’s a chicken, and enjoys his chicken friends more than us.



Though we are a little sad about losing our shoulder-sitting feathered companion, we are thrilled to witness him
thriving among other birds and enjoying being a chicken.


Peanut particularly enjoys dirt-bathing, a natural activity he missed out on during his pampered days as
an apartment chicken. He loves dirt-bathing so much that his once-pristine bright white feathers are now always slightly
off-white and tan. We know that this means he
is happy and content, and living the life every chicken deserves to live — free to
express all of their natural behaviors in a safe environment among other
chickens and valued as an individual deserving of life.


Please share Peanut’s story. Together, we can encourage awareness and understanding about the impressive intelligence and rich emotional lives of birds like him!

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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