We collected six scruffy ex battery hens (our very first hens) from a Bedfordshire based hen rescue called Free At Last, four years ago today.
I’m really chuffed to announce that two hens from the original six that we collected are still here, still laying when the occasion takes their fancy and most definitely still scratching up the flower beds and chasing flies.
Ive been so busy lately that I have been neglecting the blog a little, also our readers blogs. So sorry! I shall make some time to get back into the swing of blogging a bit more than I have. I just don’t seem to have enough hours in the day lately.
Anyway, I realise its also been quite some time since I updated the photos of our new ex battery hens that we re-homed in February from Free At Last hen rescue. As some will recall, we lost our dear Shazzy hen and were left with 3 rather scraggy hens. Well, here is how they look now:
Brenda seems to be doing well since recovering from sour crop which is good news. On a sadder note, Chrissie has gone on to develop EYP. She was a bit of a mess in the egg laying department when she arrived but she did lay. I want to point out that I specifically asked for needy ex batts this time, so these sort of problems I’m afraid come with hens that have been pushed to the limit. I’m not at all sorry that I did, they have brought me much joy which far outweighs the sad times. Chrissie’s EYP is manageable at the moment, I shall keep a close eye on how she copes with it and take it from there. Its all I can do.
I thought I would do a photo comparison that some may find interesting, it also shows why I do what I do! Below is a photo of Auntie Marge on the day of her rescue from a battery farm. Her condition was shocking, as were the other 3 hens we rehomed with her due to spending a longer period of time than usual in the battery farm. This was all down to an increase in egg sales over the Christmas period. I would like to thank those people who contributed to her longer sentence by knowingly buying eggs from caged hens. Not!
A few months later this is the same hen, not completely feathered up yet but much healthier and happier.
Would you like to re-home some ex battery hens? Free At Last hen rescue based in the Bedfordshire area, need new homes for the next rescue which is scheduled for Saturday 25th April. If you are interested in giving some ex battery hens a new life, please please visit the Free At Last website for more details and contact information.
Its here! Today is the day we collect another 4 hens. They will be among 140 hens being rescued by Free At Last hen rescue.
We are expecting ‘hand bags at dawn’ type behaviour from our existing flock, so it is sensible, we feel, to house the new hens separately for the time being. The new girls will just be too weak to cope with our other 6 very fit ex batts, pecking at their heels.
Yesterday my dad and Rich built the new enclosure and coop. Only one slight blip with putting the roof sheets on the enclosure but it all came right in the end. I’m amazed that the swear jar remains empty. The positioning of the new housing being right next door to the main enclosure, will enable all the girls to see and interact with each other safely. This should help with introductions later on. Well that’s the plan anyway.
We are setting off in a couple of hours to collect the new girls. Yay!
Have you ever considered rehoming some ex battery hens?
Battery hens that are deemed no longer productive to farmers are slaughtered. I will spare you the gory details of the undignified end to their already miserable existence.
These hens will be aged just 18 months old and would have spent most of their short ‘life’ in a CAGE. Row upon row of cages filled with 5 (sometimes more) hens jostling to stand on a wire bottom tilted cage the size of an A4 piece of paper. They have no means of expressing or carrying out natural behaviour. They NEVER see the eggs that they lay, see natural daylight or stretch their wings. Most are bald or ‘oven ready’ due to feather pulling from other hens, an act performed out of pure frustration and understandably boredom. Many hens die in their cage, sometimes unnoticed by the farmer, especially if they are in a top tier cage.
Just because the farmer does not need them any more does not mean that their egg laying days are over, they are just not producing enough eggs to make them commercially viable. Please consider re-homing a few ex battery hens and give them a home in a better environment. They are no harder to look after than a rabbit and will reward you with fresh eggs.
Likewise, please reconsider before buying eggs from caged hens.
Free At Last hen rescue are based in Bedfordshire. Their next rescue will be 22nd February. If you would like to re-home some hens from this rescue please visit their website for more details: http://free-at-last.org.uk/
A rescue is happening this weekend on the 24th January, over 2,000 battery hens will be freed from their cages, many with homes already lined up. There may possibly be a joint rescue with another hen rescue, a possible 7,000 hens could very well be free very soon!
If you have room in your life for some chickens please consider ex battery hens. They are so worth it.
If you would like to find out more please visit the following rescues: