Kaporos, The Fight Continues

penelope meme


I first want to start by saying thank you all for your beautiful comments and support with regards to our film.  I have received messages from all around the globe and it warms our hearts to know that Penelope’s story is making an impact.  Duncan Skiles did an amazing job and we are so grateful for his dedication to this project.

We had high hopes that shortly after the film was released, the use of chickens in Kaporos would be a thing of the past (or at least in the public streets of brooklyn) due to a lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court to issue an injunction against Hasidic rabbis and synagogues in Brooklyn.  Unfortuantley the judge denied the claim and 50,000 chickens will lose their lives in this practice between now and tuesday morning 9/22.  In some locations, the chickens arrived last night.

“Supreme Court Judge Debra James, dodging the claimed conflict between religious rights and public health, ruled that city officials had discretion to decide whether to enforce sanitary codes, and private parties couldn’t sue over an alleged “public nuisance.” To read the full Newsday article click here.

As you can imagine we are devastated and shocked that the judge would deny our claim when 15 laws with regard to public health are being broken each year.  Here is a statement from The Alliance to End Chickens As Kaporos.  It is appalling that a judge would allow 50,000 chickens to be slaughtered on the streets, especially when there is an avian flu outbreak.   There are feathers, feces and blood from these birds all over the sidewalk and people get that on their shoes and track it onto the subways and into their homes. There is a reason why there are laws in place that state that you can’t have a public slaughterhouse within a certain amount of feet from a residence.     Potentially these diseases could spread all over New York so this is much more than just a Borough Park/ Williamsburg/Crown Heights issue.  Last year there was a dead pile that was left on the street for a week that you could smell from blocks away.  The police and sanitation department were notified and there wasn’t anything done about it.  This year we really need the public support.



What You Can Do: 

  • Sign this petition.
  •  If you are in the NYC area, please consider attending the protests that are happening on sunday and monday evening in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  Please click on the link for more details.
  • Contact the police department and 311 asking them to enforce the laws with regard to public health. Document your calls!
  • If you witness the practice, document it by taking photos and video
  • Share Penelope’s documentary with your family and friends! The most common comment that we have received is that people have never heard of this ritual. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llFZmcy5Whw


Thank you for your support! 

Penelope: A Rescue Story- A Short Documentary




It has been quite a year.  I launched this blog about compassion towards animals exactly one year ago, today.  Little did I know what the next year would have in store for me and how much my life would change.

A HUGE thank you to Duncan Skiles for taking an interest in our story and creating this documentary.

This is being released just days before a judge will rule on the Kaporos court case and a couple of weeks before Kaporos is scheduled to take place again.

If you like what you see, please share to help raise awareness and spread Penelope’s message.

Thank you!!!!

How I healed my sick chicken and detailed instructions


I promised that I would post what I gave to Penelope to help her heal from the “incurable” Marek’s disease.  I should say that I am not a veterinarian or a homeopathic dr. but this treatment is what I had some success with.  I wanted to put this info out there because many chickens are being euthanized for Marek’s disease because conventional medicine doesn’t have a cure.  My chicken was completely unable to walk or stand  and her legs stretched out in front of her. The x-rays showed no broken bones and the vet was sure it was Mareks. They wanted to euthanize her because she was rapidly getting worse.  But within 9 days of giving this to her she was up and walking again! See previous blog post for details about her rescue and healing.  Many other rescued Kaporos chickens came down with very similar symptoms and I was contacted by their rescuers for advice about what I did to heal Penelope.  Amazingly after using this remedy they have also been healed…some in a couple of days.

To help heal her I alternated giving her Colloidal silver and a homeopathic remedy called Hypericum.

Here are the instructions: You will need 2 separate medicine droppers, clearly marked so that you don’t mix them up. The hypericum comes in little tablets and it can be found at most health food stores or whole foods. The brand I used is called Boiron. I used Hypericum Perforatum 30c.  Just look for the homeopathy section. They are tiny little blue bottles. Also you will need some distilled water. Fill a glass shot glass (nothing metal) 3/4 of the way full with distilled water. Don’t let the tablets touch your hand or anything metal..like a spoon.  Drop 2 tablets into the water and let it dissolve. Fill the eyedropper with about 5-10 drops of the remedy. Give your chicken the  hypericum. I just put the dropper up to her mouth and she drinks it right up.

4 hours later give her colloidal silver.  I used the brand Source Naturals, Ultra Colloidal Silver, 10 ppm.  Same amount, 5-10 drops. I tend to fill it a little more than 10 drops because there is always some that misses her mouth and more won’t hurt her. You can also find colloidal silver easily at any health food store. You need separate droppers because the silver will deactivate the hypericum. This is also the reason for spreading the remedies out over 4 hour increments.

Give the remedies until symptoms subside.  I now give her a maintenance dose of the colloidal silver…a few drops in her water every morning.

Best of health to your feathered friends!

If you do use this remedy and it works for your chicken, I would love to hear your success stories!


Penelope update 12/30/14


Hi! Thank you so much everyone for your concern  about Penelope.  We have been getting many questions about how she is doing and where she is living so I will answer the most popular questions here in this blog.  For info about her rescue and Kaporos (the ritual that she was saved from) please see previous blog posts.

Where is Penelope living now? 
Penelope has been living with us now for almost 2 months.

Why did you decide to keep her with you? I thought you were bringing her to a sanctuary. 

When she began walking again we debated about what we wanted to do as far as bringing her to a sanctuary or keeping her with us in our NYC apartment.  We love her and want to do the best thing for her.  Some factors that we had to keep in mind were that she has a blind eye and lost a lot of feathers around her wings from when she wasn’t able to walk.  She had scabs on the end of her wings too so we had to at least wait for those to heal.  Chickens tend to be cruel to sick or injured chickens because they pose a threat to the whole flock if a predator comes around.  Also, if Penelope did have Marek’s disease she could be a carrier of the disease and could pose a threat to other chickens.  So with those factors in mind we decided to keep her with us. Plus, we grew kind of attached to her.

How do the cats get along with her? Are you worried that she might get attacked? 

That was a huge concern of ours.  The whole time that we were nursing her back to health she was separated from the cats in different parts of the apartment and they never saw each other.  We researched how to introduce cats to other animals in the best way.  We did it very slowly and monitored their every encounter while making sure that both the cats  and the chicken got the same amount of attention and affection.  Amazingly, it worked.  There has never been any sign of Penelope being threatened or in any danger.  She is just about as big as they are so she is not viewed as a food source. When she flaps her wings the cats get scared and run away.  But they hang out in the same room now and are actually friends.   We still separate them when we are not home though just to be safe. IMG_1213

She stays with you in the apartment and not outside? 

Right now it is a little too cold for her to be outside all alone, as a single chicken.  We do bring her in the backyard though if it is a warmer day for a few hours and of course, she loves it.  In the spring we will build her a little coop outside and will consider getting another chicken friend for her.  2 chickens in the apartment right now would be a bit much.  We have a spare bedroom that has become her room.  We bought a baby gate to close off the room at night  and we put puppy pads down to catch her droppings.  We also have a chicken diaper for her during the day.

Chicken diapers? 

Yes, they make chicken diapers! They are reusable and they strap over her back to hold it in place. IMG_1079



What does she eat? 
I make her homemade food.  I don’t want to give her any feed containing GMOs.  It’s a mix consisting of oats, hemp seeds, barley, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, lentils, millet, amaranth, nutritional yeast, kelp and flax.  Throughout the day she gets a small amount of treats.  Her favorite foods are mashed potatoes, cranberries and yams.  She also likes bananas, mushrooms, apples and yogurt.

Does she get bored in the house? 

I was worried about that so I thought of things that I could do to occupy her. When she is outside she pecks at the dirt and the greens the entire time.  So I made her a planter box that I filled with soil for days that she can’t go outside.  I hide dried meal worms, sprouts and greens in there to keep her entertained.  She seems to like it!

Is she social? What is her personality like? 

She loves to follow us around the house.  Chickens are flock animals and we have become her flock.  She doesn’t like to be alone and we do the best we can to be with her at all times when we are home. She is incredibly sweet and loving.  It amazes me the ability that animals have to forgive after enduring so much abuse.  She trusts humans again and its a beautiful thing.

Does she like being held or pet? 

When she was sick all that she wanted was to be held.  Now, I think being held reminds her of being sick so she would rather not be picked up.  But she does love to snuggle.  She will sit in our laps as well.  She loves getting pet on her back and under her chin.  She actually will fall asleep if you stroke under her chin.

Enjoy this video of Penelope enjoying her first christmas!IMG_1221