We rescued 3 hens who were destined to be slaughtered for dog food.
When we put them in the back of the cardboard box, they actually started to purr. They were so happy to have their own space from having less space than an A4 sheet of paper.
We named them Joy, Doris and Betsy.
When we put them in their new garden ‘Joy’ laid her first freedom egg on the grass. They had never felt grass, never had fresh air, never felt wind or rain, seen the sun or had a bed. They had stood in a metal crate for their entire 17 months of life. We had to show them to bed as they had ‘never’ gone to bed before. We took great enjoyment watching them do things for the first time, like having a dust bath and scratching for bugs.
We had only had the hens with us for a month before Betsy got sick. We noticed straight away she wasn’t herself. We felt so sad that she had only known a month of freedom. It took surgery for her, scans, tests to find out she had liver problems. The vet told us to be realistic but we wanted to give her the best chance and the vet bill came to over £700. She is still on lifelong daily drugs and it’s now 8 months of freedom! Every day with her is worth every penny!
As they were rescued from the egg industry, their little bodies are already spent which is why egg laying hens are slaughtered at just 17 months old. Because they have been manipulated to lay up to 300 eggs a year (naturally they should lay 30 a year) they are deemed only good enough to be slaughtered for dog food, also because they are pumped with hormones and the conditions they live in, most are diseased and very sick.
Because they are forced to lay so many eggs, their little bodies can’t take much more and start to give up. Eggs get stuck, egg shells are deformed and break inside them, or tumours grow where eggs should.
We would like to have the hens be able to experience full retirement without putting them through any more egg laying, and we have been told you can stop this just like the human contraception implant. 2 out of 3 hens are already laying eggs without shells which can be deadly.
The implants are expensive with vet costs on top and as we are still paying off Betsys previous vet bill, we can’t afford to do this for the girls alone, so are asking for help!