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Backyard breeding, farming puts strain on animal rescue organizations

As the local food movement takes hold, a number of Americans are inspired to raise their own chickens, hens and other farm animals in order to be more sustainable. However, these well-meaning amateur farmers are often unprepared for the responsibilities of raising farm animals, and have to surrender them to animal rescue organizations when they can no longer handle them, Mother Nature Network reports.

The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York is one such organization. Though it started with just a few chickens and a rooster, the 23-acre farm now has more than 200 animals, many rescued from the streets of New York City, where previous owners' attempts at urban farming were met with failure, according to the news outlet.

While the sanctuary takes in animals rescued from large-scale farms and slaughter houses after investigations, programs coordinator Elana Kirshenbaum told the news outlet that they get calls all the time from overwhelmed owners or neighbors concerned about neglect.

"People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals," she told the media outlet. "People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal."
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