The Battery Hen Welfare Trust
Oh, my goodness. You have never seen anything as sweet or as sad as these skinny cage-raised hens who have now been rescued and sent off to live a happy life in the countryside. Why don’t we have something like this in the US?
Well, if you are in the UK, you probably already know that you can adopt a hen who would otherwise be headed for slaughter at the end of her short period of peak egg-laying production. This group has saved an incredible 11,457 hens in 2005.
The most poignant part of the site for me is the list of care tips for these rescued hens, which include:
“The hens have stood in a tiny cage for a year, so their muscles are not strong. They will struggle to jump up to a roost and usually sleep in a heap on the floor. (A ramp placed up to the roost is a useful way to encourage them to go up). However, it doesn’t take long for legs to strengthen and you will see a difference usually within a couple of weeks.
“The most obvious problem with the hens is that many come out almost totally featherless. Feathers will, usually, begin to re-grow within weeks though some take longer. The main points to be aware of with naked hens are extremes of temperature, ie they will feel the cold, wet and wind more keenly and can also easily suffer from sunburn, especially as they relish sunbathing and don’t know when they’ve had enough!”