My Christmas Gift, Mr. Pickles, prompted me to explore not only chicken raising, but also his home a little more -- The Farm Sanctuary, in Watkins Glen, New York. Mr. Pickle's story is here in a press release. The Farm Sanctuary started in 1986 and after reading story after story of rescues such as Hurricane Katrina chicken victims (stranded and abandonded in poultry "warehouses"), I started to cry and couldn't read anymore. They started the Adopt-A-Turkey Project which encourages folks to eat something other than turkey at Thanksgiving. They hold an annual Walk for Animals each year in numerous cities across the United States to raise awareness of factory farming and the cruelty subjected to the poor things. Suffice it to say, the Farm Sanctuary is a credible organization that's been featured in numerous stories by major media networks. Read some of their press releases. And my pet chickens? After a little research, until retirement in two years, I'm not so sure I'm ready to take on chickens as pets with all I have going on already. Well, mostly my HUSBAND isn't ready -- he's already saved me AND him from 15 years of farm animal collecting! If he left me do what I wanted over the years, I'd have sheep (for shearing wool and grass mowing), goats (for goats milk and grass mowing), a cow (for milk, grass mowing, fertilizer), geese (just cause I like them), and of course chickens have been on my list for a long time (for eggs). I tell him all the time, "Honey, we have 7 acres that should be used for something other than raising beneficial insects in the weeds (which is also a good thing!) But I sure like the idea of adopting them and donating to organizations such as the Farm Sanctuary to continue saving them. I especially like their statement on the latest Agriculture Secretary appointment -- it reiterates what many folks are saying -- Vilsack may not be the ideal candidate, but we'll give him a chance.