Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Life from The Henhouse

I'm always asked about my ladies and how they are doing. Its very rare I come across anyone who doesn't actually like chickens. They really hard to dislike as they rush over to the pen door as soon as they see a human face or hear the kids running out the back door to play in the garden. They are very sociable pets and love our company. They remind me of little old women and they are so comical to watch as they investigate the Hen House. They are an inquisitive bunch and love to explore, their expressions priceless as they rush over to check out anything new in the pen. And they are so bossy in character...It really is hilarious to see.

We have had them seven months now and the change in them really is obvious now. As you may or may not know they are ex battery Hens rescued from slaughter and when I received them they were in a bit of a sorry state.

Life in a battery farm is stressful. Three to seven hens crammed into a cage the size of an A4 piece of paper. They fight for space and food, their time is spent grasping onto sloping wire mesh. They can not scratch in the soil, have a sunny dirt bath, flap their lovely large wings or nest in peace and comfort as a free range hen can do.

They are prisoners kept in horrendous conditions simply because the consumer demands cheap eggs from their supermarket. Stressed in their environment hens will quite understandably peck at each other as they struggle for space pulling out feathers and causing injuries so the farmer will cut off a third of the hens beak with a hot wire guillotine causing extreme pain to the bird. This procedure causes so much pain that some even die with shock.

Quite featherless, stressed and not very strong they arrived to their new home with us anxious and unhappy. Their combs on top of their heads are pale in colour instead of the natural bright red colour that they should be and are usually flopped to one side as they have acted as a heat dissipidater in the cramped, hot conditions of the battery cages.

As you can see in the before and after photo below their combs become vibrant after a few months of free ranging.

The day our ladies arrived they struggled to walk as they were becoming acustomed to a normal, free happy hen life.

As you can see the difference in them now is evident as the sun shines on their cheerful little characters. I Love My Hens and they really are such a pleasure to keep.

If you are interested in giving a new lease of life to some beautiful hens then click here for The British Hen Welfare Trust.


  1. Your "girls" are gorgeous, the difference in the before and after photos is incredible, they clearly have a happy life now and hopefully reward you with tasty free range eggs. I foster and adopt ex RSPCA rabbits, they've normally been living in tiny, cramped, filthy cages then they come to us and live out their days free range in the garden. Unfortunately they don't provide us with eggs just great big ankle twisting holes in the lawn!

  2. What gorgeous girls! We used to have six hens too- you are right, they are the best pets ever - so sociable and such little characters! One of ours (Princess Emma - don't ask!) used to come into the living room and make herself comfortable on the armchair in front of the telly! Awww I miss them. Lovely to see your pics; you are obviously doing a great job as they are looking very well indeed x

  3. Aw they are too lovely! I love chickens...I always wanted some when I was younger and was so jealous of my friend who's parents had some.

    I do actually know someone who hates chickens - but then she hates all birds :(

    Your girls look gorgeous xx

  4. I'd love to have some chickens if I had room. So nice that they were saved from a pitiful life on a battery farm too - they look so much better for it

  5. Gosh, the "before" pics are quite shocking. They look sooooo healthy now.

    It's one of my ambitions to keep hens. My friend has some and the eggs are simply the best eggs I've ever tasted.

  6. It's so fabulous to see how much your girls have changed!
    We rescued some battery hens a few years back and it just makes you feel good to see them feather up and enjoy life doesn't it!



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