Chicken Keeping

Information and help for keeping Hens in your Garden

Meet a lady who saves rescued Battery Hens

Wendy speaks about her hens and what they mean to her

After seeing a program that had a piece about The Battery Hen Welfare Trust. My husband and I decided to adopt some Battery hens.
My father had owned chickens when I was a child, and my husband’s parents had geese. But this was a new venture for us both.

We rang a co-ordinator in Kent and were told we had to wait until October, this was June. It seemed a long while, but it did give us plenty of time to get everything set up. We cleared out a section of the garden, and a friend built us a little hen house. Now all we needed was the hens.
When we picked them up on 31st October 2005, they were oven ready. So terribly plucked, that I cried when I saw all these poor little souls in a stable awaiting their new families.

I duly came home with four Marion, Brenda, Janice and Priscilla and it was trial and error. Thank goodness I found the down the lane site, because I had [what now seems] many silly questions, I was such a novice. They have survived and have grown into quite magnificent birds, although I may be biased. It still breaks my heart when I remember the first day home.

When they stood rigid at the sight of ˜the big world’ and at first would not walk, they were used to wire under their feet rather than lush grass. How they pitifully ducked when a bird flew overhead. Vegetables were another new experience for them.
But how lovely they were, how funny and how very rewarding to think I had saved then from slaughter. Many others in the battery with them had, had the same life of hell my girls had.

Then were rewarded for all their efforts with death and stock cubes or chicken nuggets. How badly we treat animals that have no worth. I was asked for 50p per hen, if that is what the farmer charges from people who want to give them homes. What is he paid by a large company….. certainly no where near 50p each.
These dear little birds who have supposedly laid themselves out, cramped in tiny cages. With no room to move and nothing to do for 15 odd months just to give people eggs at 99p per dozen.

But my girls weren’t finished their laying. They have laid 4 eggs a day for many, many months. Eggs were not the reason I got them, but how they have repaid me for giving them their little lives.
I love these little girls so much that I have now started a forum where those of us who have adopted girls, and anyone interested in chickens can come on and chat. It really is a great help to me, because even after a year there are times that I am not certain about something. We have chicken owners of many years who have had their chickens from chicks and others who, like me, only have ex battery hens.

Wendy is from Bushey in Hertfordshire and has been a Canine Behaviour expert and Trainer for over 30 years.

See Wendy's website at

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