Farewell Barbie

This past Sunday, Catskill Animal Sanctuary lost a legend. Barbie, the broiler hen who had been a fixture in the barn for the three and a half years she lived at CAS, and whose friendship with Rambo the sheep was featured in Animal Camp, was euthanized after breathing problems became too much for her.

Barbie was found as a young chicken in New York City, but it took her no time to adjust to life at the sanctuary. She was a husky broad who would come charging down the barn aisle like a feathered gorilla, sometimes for no apparent reason other than exuberance. Her often opinionated personality did not keep her from making friends, though, with everyone from birds to humans to sheep. Especially as she aged, Barbie always stationed herself like a matriarch on a bed of straw with Rambo the sheep, Atlas the goat, and a turkey or two.

In the meat industry, “broiler” chickens are slaughtered at a mere six weeks of age, and even in a sanctuary environment, their grotesquely overgrown bodies often give out before their first birthdays. Barbie was a survivor, though; despite her chronic arthritis, prolonged recovery from a bad wound, and some breathing trouble, she trucked on to the ripe old age of three and a half, earning her the title of one of CAS’s oldest broilers. When she could no longer lumber around the barn, prowling for spilled grain, Barbie accepted her limitations with dignity, still managing to live a full life to the last.

Farewell Barbie, we will miss you.

Close Friends, Barbie and Rambo



Herd Around The Barn, Saying Goodbye


6 replies on “Farewell Barbie”

  1. I recently visited the sanctuary for the first time and photographed these ‘close friends’ and most of the other very special residents of  this amazing  place. Including the beautiful black beauty which also passed not so long ago. I hope to share the pics from my visit with you sometime in the future.
           your friend, liz frank-New Paltz, NY

    1. Hi Liz,
      We would absolutely love to see the special pictures you captured. We actually have someone who is interested in doing a news story about inter-species relationships. He will be highlighting the relationship between Rambo and the birds, as well as Atlas and the birds. If you have any pictures of these friendships I would really appreciate it if you could email them to me at leah@casanctuary.org – of course we would give you the photo credit!
      Hope to see you at the Sanctuary soon!

  2. I’m interested in knowing how Rambo is handling the loss of his soulmate. Thier story was so special.     liz frank

  3. It is touching that Barbie was blessed to have  been able to live her life out with special friends at Catskill. Catskill is a little bit of heaven on this earth. I recently read both of Kathy Stevens books. Must reads!

Comments are closed.