Monday, 20 April 2009

Battery Hens

Well, I have been saying for several weeks now that I would write up some of the information that I have found regarding chickens. These are the first addition that I would want to add to whatever property that we end up with. So, in the usual fashion it is best to be prepared so I am brushing up on my chicken knowledge early and as I learn, so too shall I share with you! Today is a basic overview of the plight of the Battery Hen.

After all I have read, and although we are in a situation where we could probably get some free chicks from friends who have chickens already I am more keen than ever to rescue a battery hen. I am sure everyone has heard the plight of the battery hen - kept in small enclosures with no room to move around, kept in a continual mid-summers day all the 70 day long lives and encouraged to lay a huge amount of eggs. But what I am not sure if many people know is that it is possible to rescue these birds and you will end up with a great chicken that, although egg yield is not as high as a non-bat hen, still produces well and has the added bonus of the feel good factor of knowing you have given her a better life.

I have spent much time looking through the website of British charity Battery Hen Welfare Trust, from here, and many other similar charities you can rescue a battery hen and know that the money you donate to the charity will go towards caring and campaigning for better rights for chickens. If you are looking for chickens I do encourage that you consider a battery hen, check out the website above, for Britain dwellers, if you are from another country I am sure there are similar cahrities around or why not go direct to the battery farm?

Don't be put off by the appearance of the chickens in photographs - bald! - they won't stay like that! Give them the proper treatment and they will soon be looking as lovely as they were intended to be. I said above that they don't give as many eggs as a 'normal' hen but the general opinion seems to be they are about halved in egg number. This is due to being 'egged out', so if you want on average 3 eggs a day, get 6 chickens, that aught to give you around 3 eggs a day, although you might be lucky and get more! If you are looking to experience the 'cheep cheep' of baby chicks then the battery hen can provide you with this, she is not unable! But remember that you will need a cockerel to have your own chicks and then you have the added noise factor. But having experienced farm living with added 'cock-a-doodle' it is not unplesant but maybe not suitable for the inner city chicken farmer! You can still have chicks however, just purchase some fertilized eggs and give them to one of your own hens, she will raise them as her own.

I do want to give you some more suitable posts once we get our own little flock but until then you will have to cope with only the excited musings of a desperate-to-be chicken owner. I would like to investigate the possiblities in chicken coops so this will also form the basis of my future posts.

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