cages to coops

Welcome to our ex commercial chickens welfare website


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OUR WORK

What are we trying to achieve?


What do we do?

This website is for anyone who is interested in adopting, or already has adopted, ex-battery hens. Here you will find information on how to prepare for adopting your hens, information about housing, feeding and the special needs they require when they are first released from the hell of the cages they have lived in.

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THE REALITY OF THE CAGES

How are the hens treated?


The hell of the cages

We are a group of people who rescue and adopt chickens that have spent a whole year standing crammed in a cage with a wire floor with no way to carry out any behaviour that a chicken would normally do e.g. stretch/flap its wings, sit, lie, scratch either the earth or themselves if they're unlucky enough to have any lice or mites living on them.

Welcome to our ex commercial chickens welfare website


A hen never even gets to see the eggs that she lays because once the egg is laid it rolls down a slow gradient into a conveyor belt system that carries the eggs to a convenient collection point for the farmer.

Once the hen reaches a year old, and because of the system of using artificial lighting switching on and off on a three shift basis, the hen no longer lays an egg every day and therefore is no longer financially viable to the farmer. This is when they are sent to slaughter to go into the food chain. They are used for dog or cat meat, or any packaged stuff such as cake making powder (note on the list of ingredients on the reverse of any ready made food stuffs 'egg/chicken derivatives'). This is what an ex-caged hen ends up as.

There is not enough meat on an intensively farmed chicken be it caged, barn or free range even. I've seen free range chickens in a worse state than a caged chicken - but the caged hens stand in their own excrement for the whole time they are in that cage and even have to endure living with a dead body next to them, especially if the cage is above the second tier of a row. They have never seen daylight, felt the earth beneath their feet or felt wind or rain on their feathers, if they have any! Due to sheer boredom they peck at one another and if a chicken is at the bottom of the pecking order or too weak to reach any food or water they are pecked mercilessly ending up with no feathers hence the term 'oven ready' you will see on some of the postings because they look exactly as if they should be on a supermarket shelf (but with the head and legs still attached).


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A few of the lucky ones

See what a difference you could make


Isobelle on her first day out of the cage


Isobelle hen

Isobelle three months later


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Ruby on her first day out of the cage


Isobelle hen

Ruby three months later


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First day out of the cage


Isobelle hen

Two months later


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Starting from Scratch

A simple guide outlining the needs of ex-caged hens

This book is dedicated to all caged hens that lived their short lives in barbaric cages and suffered mental and physical injury in order to provide the public with cheap eggs.
The book is not for profit. All monies received from sales goes to the 'Starting From Scratch' fund to whom I can make a small donation to buy crates or pay for fuel for transport on rescue days, or other things that the hens may need.



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'Starting from Scratch' extract


Starting From Scratch Adopting Ex-Caged Hens As Pets

A simple guide outlining the needs of ex-caged hens

This book is dedicated to all caged hens that lived their short lives in barbaric cages and suffered mental and physical injury in order to provide the public with cheap eggs.

INTRODUCTION

By Eirlys Goode

In this current climate of eating healthy foods and people’s insistence on knowing where their food has come from, this book is aimed at helping you, the public, make an informed choice as to whether you want to keep your own hens that will lay you the most delicious tasting egg there is. Many people already keep chickens in their garden, more commonly known as ‘Backyard Chickens’ but many, many more people are now turning to the idea of doing the same thing. Within the pages of this book you will learn about how to adopt battery hens who have come to the end of their commercial laying lives and are no longer of any use to the battery farmers who then send them to slaughter.

On 1st January 2012 battery cages were made illegal and had to be replaced with enhanced cages, sometimes called colony cages. These larger cages hold up to eighty hens, have a perching area, a space for nest boxes, approximately four to each cage I believe, and a piece of astro turf for scratching on. Despite the larger size of the cage and the addition of equipment that hens would use if they were free, unfortunately the amount of space per hen has changed little, each hen has extra space of approximately the size of a post card! Even though they are legally now caged hens and those that are lucky enough to be adopted by families to live a life as a free hen should be termed ex-caged hens, everyone who has given these girls a home and all people who have any contact with them outside of the cages still call them ex-battery hens, or the more familiar term ex-batts. So throughout the pages of this book I still intend to call these friendly and loving hens ex-batts.

There are several re-homing organisations that now have an amicable arrangement with battery farmers who allow a certain number of these ‘spent’ hens to be taken for re-homing. So if you are thinking of taking on ex-battery hens you will find out all, or at least most, of what you need to know, in this book. All ex-battery girls are taken on as pets; eggs are regarded as a bonus. Not only is there guidance on how to prepare for the hen’s arrival in their new forever homes, there are articles about what to expect in the first few days, information about health issues and how to deal with any health problems; the use of alternative and natural remedies, and stories that will have tears of laughter running down your face from their antics.

Ex-battery hens are a breed apart, each one with her own characteristics. They are great comedians, wonderful stress busters, but most of all they can become your best friend.

What you give them in the way of care and attention, food and love, they will return tenfold. They are excellent listeners and it won’t take long before you learn ‘chickenese’ and can hold a conversation with them.

There are those in the echelons of power that say these hens will never adapt to living life as a normal chicken and they will never, ever go broody. Those of us who have the privilege of keeping these girls can prove otherwise. So, if you are considering keeping chickens of your own, please give a thought to the needs of the battery hens. You will never regret it.

Oh, and a word of warning – ex-battery hens are addictive.




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OUR TEAM


Eirlys Goode

Creator

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Meet our Team

We are a happy, homely, helpful group who call ourselves The Battery Rechargers, so if you have any problems all you have to do is ask. The forum is there for anyone to ask a question, particularly new chicken keepers, and to update one another on how your ex-batts are progressing.

You and your chickens can log in and ask any questions that you would like. No question is too silly, there is no such thing. The silliest question is the one you never ask. Also get your chickens to log in and get them to tell us what they’ve been up to during the day. It helps to have a sense of humour, something you will need when you take on ex-batts with their antics and the mischief they get up to.

We don’t promise it will be roses all the way, but the joy these hens bring to you and your family outweigh any problems that you might incur.





Jacqueline Jones

Moderator

Jacqui Bates

Moderator

Roger Brenton

Moderator

Carl Fisher

Web Designer


Contact Us

Address

For any more information dont hesitate to get in touch.

  Lincolnshire, UK

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