On November 30th we adopted 4 more hens, the reason for this is my husband and I have heard a lot about battery hens and to be honest it is appalling how they are kept, there is no reason for it and they could have a better life if people refused to by cheap/value eggs from the supermarket.
We found out that BHWT were rehoming some battery hens and that there was a collection on the Saturday so rang them and applied to rehome three, so we would have 3 sets of 3 hens. The hens that aren’t rehomed are sent to slaughter to make dog and cat food. They are only 17 months old and they deserve to live a happy life.
When I got there it was like a cattle shed full of hens, I must admit they were not as bad in state as some of the rescued battery hens I have seen in the past, these were walking and had most of their feathers but they were skinny.
As soon as I saw them my heart broke I wanted to take them all home with me, although I knew that was not possible due to room. It made me think of all the times I had bought cheap eggs with not a care about the welfare of the hens that lay them. I am pretty disgusted with myself and have vowed never to get shop bought eggs again.
I would love for the government to stop this, those poor hens are in a small cage, with a shoot at the back of the small cage to catch the eggs, and food and water basically thrown at them at certain times. They have 18 hours of daylight all year round and are basically little egg machines and nothing more. They get so bored they peck their feathers out and the hen in the next cage too.
They have never ran in the mud or grass or been able to just go outside and scratch about like hens should do.
We have had the girls for three weeks now, and when introduced to my hens there was a bit of rivalry between the leghorns and ex-bats but they settled really quickly. I was surprised they managed the coop steps as it was the first time they had probably seen one, a couple had a few wobbles using it but they soon got the hang of it.
They are practically bald around the neck area, apart from Drumstick who has a lot of bald patches on her tummy, neck and wings, she looks like she has been half plucked for dinner bless her. They are starting to get some regrowth now so hopefully it won’t be too long until they have a full body of beautiful feathers.
Here we have Drumstick, Minnie, Nugget and Ruby in their cage coming home.
They are in their nightly routine of going back into the coop at night although they leave it a little later than the other girls and we have found one or two of them roosting on the steps when we checked to make sure they were all in bed. We have an automatic device which opens and closes with the light.
I have never known such affectionate hens, they often come up for a stroke and are always by my feet when I go out to them. It surprised me at first as they have never been shown any affection I thought they might be a bit pecky.
They seem happy that they can do their own thing, eat and drink when they want and walk, scratch and catch worms as often as they like and they have rewarded me with many eggs bless them. Oh and they LOVE mealworms!
I will post an update about the hens when their feathers have grown back and look out for another post about the bantams soon.