Edith: Latest Rescued Chicken, Found in a Plastic Bag on a Busy Street

edith the chicken dustbathing

Edith made contact with the earth for the first time in her life. She was literally entranced. Photo: Robert Grillo.

I got a call from a Facebook friend that a chicken had been found in a plastic bag on the street near a Chicago live poultry market — still alive, as if she were just trash. The kind young man named Javier who’d first taken her home realized, after a few weeks, that he could not properly provide for her as a companion in his apartment.

When I went to meet him to pick up the chicken he had named Edith, he explained to me that a man had been selling live chickens out of plastic bags to people out in the street near a live poultry market. He described these chickens as bloody, defeathered and emaciated. Edith too had had large patches of missing feathers, but she’d grown them back.

Miraculously, considering the ordeal that Edith has been through, she appears to be in good health. In fact, upon arriving at our sanctuary and being placed on the ground to explore, she immediately began scratching around and dustbathing. It was her first contact with the earth, and she was ecstatic.

In the next day or two we will take Edith to the vet for an exam. She must be cleared of any infectious diseases before we can introduce her to our flock. We would welcome your tax-deductible donations (in any amount) to hep cover the costs of Edith’s care. Free from Harm is a non profit 501c(3) organization. Thank you so much! And please, share this home-coming story with others and help us build awareness about these magnificent birds!

More on Chickens

Edith is a Cornish Rock breed, the most popular “meat” breed; these birds have been genetically modified to grow excessively fast, reaching adult size in a mere 42 days.They have unnaturally large breasts and thighs, which their outpaced skeletons can barely support, and reach “slaughter weight” in their infancy, still chirping like chicks. They develop many health complications due to this breeding. Let people know that the chickens they are eating are just babies, and even younger than calves and lambs when they go to slaughter.

Chickens are the most exploited and abused animals on earth, representing about 90% of all animals killed for food. Each second, 300 chickens on average are slaughtered in the U.S. alone. We must work extra hard to confront this problem. Your donation and sharing of our rescue stories helps us tremendously in our goal of changing hearts and minds about chickens and other animals raised for food. Every little step counts!

Learn more at our Chicken Industry Factsheet.

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009 to expose the food industry’s exploitation of animals and foster greater empathy for farmed animals. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he acquired a behind-the-scenes perspective on food branding and marketing. His new book, Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal Consuming Culture, reveals how popular culture uses a variety of fictions that condition us to consume animal products and perpetuate fasle perceptions of animals that make us feel better about exploiting them


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  4. Is there a petition we could sign to demand the man be brought to justice? or at least be investigated for animal neglect and selling style? I mean what he is doing (selling birds from plastic bags and neglecting to look after them properly) must be illegal.

  5. So wonderful that Edith is safe with you, Robert, ready to begin her life with you and your other rescued, happy hens in a peaceful, loving home.

    I wish Edith joy in the days ahead.

    Karen Davis, President
    United Poultry Concerns

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