Leo was rescued from a religious ritual called Kapparot that takes place on the streets of Brooklyn every year. Kapparot is a customary Jewish atonement ritual practiced by some Jews on the eve of Yom Kippur. This is a practice in which a live chicken is waved over a person’s head and the chicken is then slaughtered in accordance with halachic rules.  Watch video footage.

Leo was born on a factory farm destined to be slaughtered for meat but was purchased to be a victim of this ritual. Luckily, a chicken rescue group was able to save him along with many other chickens. Leo along with four other flock mates made the long journey by van from New York to Salem, Indiana.

Leo was just a chick when he arrived, though already quite large, he was still peeping as he was only about 8 weeks old. Chickens bred for meat like Leo has been genetically modified to grow extremely large, extremely fast, therefore, suffer a slew of ailments of which usually affects their mobility. Chicken facts the industry doesn’t want you to know.

Leo is healthy and doing wonderfully. He is the quiet leader of the Footloose Flock (meaning spouseless) and can be found exploring on his own at times. He recently crowed for the first time, it’s low but will get stronger. To try to keep him and his flockmates as healthy as possible they are on a restricted diet. It’s hard to keep their weight down as they have been bred to be constantly hungry. Although in a sanctuary setting they will get plenty of exercise and we’ll monitor their weight the best we can.

Leo would love for you to be his monthly sponsor and help provide his daily care!