VACAVILLE -- What started out as caring for a few chickens left at a recently purchased home has turned into an animal rescue and sanctuary in Vacaville that houses 150 abandoned, abused and injured chickens.
The nonprofit operated by Darcy Smith called Funky Chicken Rescue now has 31 chicken coops housing 150 chickens.
Every one of them has a name and a personality known intimately by Smith. They include blind and crippled chickens, as well as those rescued from egg-laying factories and a victim of the Camp Fire in Paradise.
After two and half years of operation, Funky Chicken Rescue has a Facebook following of 30,000. Many sponsor chickens and get to name them.
The operation now uses 50 pounds of chicken feed a day. Dozens of eggs are collected each day and delivered to food banks.
Smith said Monday that chickens can be as loving as dogs and cats. She also said many people she talks to are shocked that animal shelters have farm animals like chickens up for adoption.
She has rescued chickens from animal shelters from Marin and Napa and has chickens that she's collected from Sacramento as well. One Facebook follower drove a crippled rooster from Oregon believing that he would find a good home at Funky Chicken Rescue.
Some of the chickens spend part of their time at senior care facilities where they are popular therapy animals.
"Everybody here will live out their life here and have a good, happy life and, you know, I think every animal deserves a chance at a good life," Smith said.