Meet Beatrice, the fierce hen that yearned to be free
Montreal SPCA says grocery store found laying hen in shipment of eggs
Workers at Montreal's SPCA are used to seeing animals in all kinds of situations, but even they were shocked by the call they got Thursday.
Someone phoned from a grocery store in Montreal's north end: the store had just received a shipment of eggs, and perched among the stacks of egg cartons in the back of a truck was a bedraggled-looking hen.
"It is a really weird mystery, and we were really curious to understand how this could happen," said SPCA Montreal executive director Élise Desaulniers.
The hen, now called Beatrice, arrived at the shelter dehydrated and dirty, excrement stuck to her feathers. She was sent to the Laval veterinary clinic where she got a lookover and a bath.
"After eating and drinking, she seemed fine," Desaulniers said.
"Everybody was absolutely in love with her: she was super calm and quiet. She likes people, and she was curious."
No one is sure where she came from or how she got into the truck, but Desaulniers assumes she made her escape from a factory egg farm.
No slaughterhouse for Beatrice
"I'm really curious about it because, from what I know about the egg industry, birds are not in the same areas as where they do the packaging of the eggs to send to stores," she said.
Beatrice is thriving and enjoying the company of the people at the shelter, but she'll soon be starting a new life with other animals at a Quebec sanctuary.
"She will live a wonderful life in the country," said Desaulniers.
"Usually laying hens are killed after less than two years. They're sent to a slaughterhouse after their production decreases," she said.
"It's really a great ending for her."