Santuary Upkeep & Expansion

Since 2000, the sanctuary has grown from the corner of a garage blocked off for a handful of chickens to a multi-structure 100-acre site sheltering not only hens and roosters but also cows, ducks, doves, emus, geese, and sheep. Looking at the timeline below, we can see how far we’ve come. But every day we know how far we have to go.

Maintenance of existing fields and structures requires constant labor—and there’s always room for improvements and expansion! Even as we work to complete the latest round of cow-related expansion, we are thinking ahead to a scheme that would allow the physically fit and genetically near-wild survivors of cockfighting breeding operations to safely form feral flocks if they chose to do so. Stay tuned and please do support the sanctuary if you can afford to help us pay for the actual nuts and bolts of the infrastructure upon which everything depends.

Infrastructure Timeline

Record of the Organic Growth of a Sanctuary

  • 2013Making room for more birds
    • Erect a spacious second aviary, with enclosed coop, for pigeons
    • Build a new coop and foraging yard reserved for vulnerable heavyweight chickens
    • Renovate the “iso-coop” for injured and infirm birds
    • Build multiple mini-coops and sheltered feeding stations
  • 2012The expansion continues

    • Erect an additional barn, so that the sanctuary can welcome more cows
    • Clear, fence, and seed additional pasture for those cows
    • Construct an outdoor aviary for the parakeets “down the hill”
    • Build a shed and feeding station for emus
  • 2011Settling in “up the hill”

    • Construct cow-proof feeding sheds for chickens, ducks, and gesse
    • Set up a rooster rehab area under the solar panels
    • Clear, fence, and seed an additional pasture to be called “the back pasture”
    • Erect a run-in shed adjacent to the new pasture
  • 2010The year of major expansion
    • Acquire adjoining property, fencing a total of 17 acres for pasture as well as additional chicken coops and yards.
    • Erect a 3000 square foot hoop barn featuring both active and passive solar heating, solar electricity, sand bedding, and a special solar-heated trough.
    • Build at a truly “green” house for sanctuary caretakers (our first employees—Miriam, pattrice and Aram had worked for free), featuring solar energy and hyper-insulation.
    • Install an array of solar panels attached to a “net metering” system, so that power not needed by the barn or caretaker’s house helps to power the original sanctuary property, with the surplus sold to the grid.
    • Construct two new chicken coops with tunnels into the barn, allowing the birds to go between the buildings.
    • Construct pigeon aviary and coop.
    • Build outdoor dove aviary attached to their indoor dwelling.
  • 2009The year of the move
    • Fall—Erect yet another coop and foraging yard, to accommodate an influx of roosters.
    • Summer—Transport animals and equipment to new site. Build another coop, fencing off an adjoining foraging yard.
    • Spring—Convert barn and build a coop, fencing off foraging yards around each, on new property.
  • 2008—Begin planning for move to larger and more sustainable location.
  • 2007—Well fails due to declining water table associated with over-pumping by local poultry industry. Upgrade pump and install water catchment equipment.
  • 2006—Clear and fence an addition to the main yard to allow rehabilitation of more roosters at any given time; install more indoor isolation cages and indoor sleeping crates for use during the rehab process.
  • 2005—Install larger barn for the heavyweight hens, lightweight roosters, and ducks in the yard reserved for them. Convert old barn to storage shed.
  • 2004—Install new infirmary coop; fence off adjoining foraging yard.
  • 2003—Dig duck ponds in both heavyweight yard and main yard; fence off  a new “misfit” yard for birds who don’t fit in anywhere else.
  • 2002—Install wading pools for ducks; expand heavyweight yard, fencing off much more land for foraging. Install movable outdoor cages and indoor sleeping crates for rooster rehabilitation.
  • 2001—The year of rapid growth
    • Fall—Set up infirmary yard for injured, juvenile, and elderly birds
    • Summer—Install a barn just for  heavyweight “broiler” hens and lightweight roosters, clearing and fencing an adjoining foraging yard.
    • Spring—Give over all of garage to chickens, adding partitions and extra exits.
  • 2000—The year it all began
    • September—Block off more of garage for hens from an egg factory; fence off more land for their foraging yard, which will forever be called the “side yard.”
    • May—Block off more of garage for roosters and hens rescued from a local factory farm; expand the main yard.
    • March—Spring thaw allows us to fence off a foraging yard, which will forever be called the “main yard.”
    • January—Block off corner of garage for first chicken.