SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Their egg-laying days behind them, some 1,200 Northern California chickens are heading for a cozy retirement on the East Coast, where they will live outside of cages and have plenty of room to spread their wings.

The Sacramento Bee reports that an anonymous $50,000 donation is funding Operation Chicken Airlift, which will send the hens on a cross-country cargo flight to upstate New York on Wednesday evening.

From there the white Leghorn chickens will be ferried to different sanctuaries. Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in New York, where 200 of the birds will end up, is providing perches, grass and even a wooded area where they can roam.

Laying hens are generally too lean for human consumption and are usually slaughtered after they stop providing eggs.

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