In north Minneapolis, neighbors wonder at times about all the clucks and crows coming from behind this house, but why? It's a sanctuary for neglected chickens.
Mary Britton Clouse started Chicken Run Rescue 12 years ago, an advocacy group for hens and roosters in the city. She holds one that she suspects had been tethered to a fence and now walks on stumps.
"The girls are put into a rotating machine where a hot blade comes off and cuts their beaks off," she added.
"I'm saying if they are going to be welcomed into the family as a companion animal with proper care, proper veterinary care attention and affection that works."
Most of the time, she says that's not the case.
"I would say easily to do it all right we'd probably be looking at a $3,000-$5,000 commitment at the beginning," she said.
Instead, Mary says this growing trend of backyard coops in the city is being done on the cheap, and when owners start to realize raising chickens isn't that glamorous, they put them on Craigslist.
On Craigslist, you can find hundreds of chickens for next to nothing and free in some cases. Mary is also working with Minneapolis Animal Control; they take in around 400 chickens a year that are simply abandoned on the streets.
"Which is why we have so many birds that have frost bitten limbs that have to be amputated," Mary said of the chickens who must wander in the bitter cold.
While Mary knows she's facing head winds from the organic and natural food crowd, she just wants to make sure people understand what they're getting themselves into before raising a chicken at home.
"There's a lot of unknowledgeable people training lots of unknowledgeable people," Mary said.
Chicken Run Rescue on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicken-Run-Rescue/475016785200