Meet Beatrice, the fierce hen that yearned to be free

The Montreal SPCA says the laying hen somehow found her way onto the back of a truck, perched among stacks of egg cartons, and made it to a grocery store in Montreal's north end.

Montreal SPCA says grocery store found laying hen in shipment of eggs

Beatrice, a rebellious hen, was found sitting in a delivery truck at a local grocery store. (Louis-Marie Philidor/CBC )

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." 

The Montreal SPCA says Beatrice is curious and enjoys spending time with people. ( Louis-Marie Philidor/CBC )


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?