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Norwich, United Kingdom
I'm Susan and I live in a small village north of Norwich, UK. My main hobbies are reading, gardening, spinning and knitting, though not necessarily in that order....

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

My rescued ex-battery hens. Sorry if photos upset.

On Saturday there was an appeal on TV and radio for new homes for almost 4000 ex-battery hens. After spending approx 60 weeks in a cage the size of a sheet of A4 paper, unable to move much or even turn around, the hens were considered "past their best" and were due to be slaughtered.
A group called "Little Hen Rescue" had bought them off the factory for a nominal amount and needed homes for them. They run a full time rescue centre which not only rescues battery hens, but also barn and free range hens once they are considered too old for good egg production.

Having already got 3 chickens who give us so much pleasure, we decided on the spur of the moment to get some more. My future father in law also wanted some more chickens (he has lots of land and keeps chickens too).

Its crazy that the ex-battery hens are considered "past it" as they are a good 6 months younger than my existing chickens, and once they are up to full health, should continue producing eggs for a couple of years - though naturally it will slow down with time.

They are currently in my garage near the window, snug in a large run with lots of straw to keep them warm. Once they have feathers (about a month) and are stronger, we will let them run loose. In the meantime we are leaving the door open so that the existing chickens can get used to the new ladies. Their combs were pure white and overlarge when we got them home as they had been kept in a hot, darkened atmosphere. Already the combs are tinged with pink, so hopefully with lots of light and pampering, they will be happy hens in their retirement.

Sorry if these photos upset anybody, but its true life..... The above photo shows them next to Coco, one of my existing hens.

Finally a picture of a nice healthy, fully feathered chicken - Fleck...


Delighted Hands said...

I raised Rhode Island Reds (what we called these red ones) for 20+ years-so glad you were able to save these-they are so personable!

ladyb1 said...

They were running loose around the garden today for the first time. Wings were flapping and they seemed to love their freedom. All they need now is feathers....