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Forest Hills Chicken Taken to Upstate Animal Sanctuary

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | December 25, 2012 11:32am

QUEENS — Forest Hills has lost its favorite pet to an upstate farm animal sanctuary.

Queeny, a tiny hen named after the borough where she was found, made headlines this summer after running loose on the streets around Station Square.

“She's doing incredibly well,” said Kurt Andernach, 49, the owner of the 60-acre And-Hof-Animal Sanctuary in Catskill, where Queeny has been living. “It’s a big wooded area and there is so much for her to do here.”

Queeny is a small Araucana chicken, according to Andernach. He said the hen is not afraid of big roosters that also reside in the sanctuary.

In fact, he said, Queeny seems to have tamed a group of roosters that he calls the Frat Boys, who were rescued from a crystal meth lab.

“She is all over the place, and the roosters follow her everywhere,” Andernach said.

Currently, roughly 40 animals, all of them rescues, live at the farm that Andernach founded in 2010. He is also an architectural designer and builds furniture.

Among them are also Brook and Lyn, a pair of chickens that escaped from a Brooklyn slaughterhouse, and Exxon, a duck that was found covered by oil at a truck yard. Geese and goats are also part of the menagerie.

Queeny was taken upstate just before Hurricane Sandy hit.

Even before that, a group of residents worried that the chicken would not survive winter and the dangers of Queens traffic.

They asked Andernach to come to Forest Hills to take her.

Catching a chicken is not an easy task, said Daisy Alter, a Forest Hills resident who was involved in the rescue mission.

“I began gathering information on how to catch a chicken, including watching the many videos on this topic available on YouTube,” she said.

When Andernach came over on Sunday, Oct. 28, he brought deer netting with him.

“It was quite a chase,” Andernach said, adding that the little hen “can fly very well.”

Eventually, they were able to net Queeny and put her in Andernach’s truck, where he had a hay-filled crate waiting for her.

While some people in Forest Hills may miss the chicken, Andernach says that “she would have died (during Sandy)… no doubt about it.”

“Now," Alter said, "she is part of a flock of hens and roosters who spend their days foraging for treats in the woods and then return at night to the warmth and comfort of the coop, where they also have a ready supply of food and water.”