Heartwarming Story: How Adopting Abused Chickens Saved This Man’s Life

Heartwarming Story: How Adopting Abused Chickens Saved This Man’s Life

  • Sarah Von Alt
  • Sarah Von Alt

Adopting former battery hens has changed one man’s life for the better.
Traumatized by past abuse and dependent on alcohol, Paul Checkley has anything but an easy life. After being attacked in broad daylight in 2011, Checkley developed PTSD. He became increasingly paranoid, even resorting to self-harm to cope with pain and stress.
One of his friends suggested he look into adopting former battery hens, those who had suffered a horrific life at the hands of the egg industry.
Skeptical at first, Checkley contacted a local rescue organization and visited the hens up for adoption. As is all too common, their beaks had been cut off. They also suffered from feather loss.
He explains in a recent Guardian piece:

I took in four hens to start with,
and they changed my life. I quickly realized that these hens depended on me,
and that gave me a purpose. I thought, if they can cope with the trauma they have experienced, then I’ve got to find the strength myself.

Checkley describes how the birds’ ability to cope with their trauma has given him the strength to talk about the abuse he has suffered. He adds:

One of the most crippling aspects of mental health is the desperate loneliness and discrimination from some members of society. The hens accept me. They calm me down and I feel that,
through the horrors in both their lives and mine, we connect. As ridiculous as it sounds, they give me what I need.

As this touching story reveals, chickens have a lot of love to give and deserve a life free of suffering.

Click here for nine fascinating facts that will change how you see chickens.
*Cover Photograph: Shaw & Shaw for the Guardian