More Eco Living, Musings

Rescuing Ex-Battery Hens: Where do I even start?

I seem to be someone who always needs a project. The latest one?

Chickens. We have decided to rescue some battery hens.

Now, my mild fear of flappy birds aside I’m actually quite egg-cited about it. (Sorry).

We literally decided this last night and I am fully running with it. I have done extensive Google based research on it and not only do I feel like morally it is the right thing to do, I also feel like it will be such a nice thing for my girls too.

We don’t actually eat eggs anyway so if they don’t lay, it doesn’t matter. If they do, then I may give them out to friends. Which in turn means they are buying less eggs from the supermarket and not supporting the horrendous industry of farming chickens industrially.

It’s a bit of a grey area in terms of veganism I think, having chickens at home. We aren’t personally doing it for the eggs, it’s more to give them a nice retirement home after the dreadful conditions they have been living in up to now.

Researching the lives these chickens have has been horrifying. Many chickens go to their new home having never seen the sun or walked on grass before.


Rescuing Ex-Battery Hens: Where do I even start?

There will be something very satisfying about nursing a very scraggy looking chicken back to health I think and giving it the chance to enjoy a few years of being a happy chicken without the fear of the chopping block.

Firstly, we need to get the garden ready.

Next steps:

  • Research and source the right coop. I want something that is easy to clean and that is fox proof.
  • A run. They need plenty of space to roam around, but nothing that is going to take over my garden.
  • To secure and ready a space in the garden. Apparently they like dust baths so I want a nice bit of a sandy area for them ideally so I’m sacrificing a bit of the lawn.

Apparently they are very sociable creatures so three is the minimum number they recommend you get them in and we have a fairly small garden so we are starting with just three. Though the initial set up of buying the run and the coop can be quite high, buying the actual chickens themselves is only £2 per chicken.

How awful that a chickens life is worth only £2?

I couldn’t bear for a fox to savage one of my hens so my plan is to let them out to be free range in the garden when I am home to keep an eye on them and to lock them in their run when I’m out.

At night they apparently take themselves off to bed when it starts to get dark so I just go and lock the hen house and they chill out there until I let them out again the next morning!

It’s certainly going to be a learning curve. I’m going to share it all on here and hopefully I might inspire some of you save a few chickens too!

Wish me (c)luck.





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