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1starwars2 · 25/05/2021 08:46
Did you know chickens are still kept in cages?
Having collected my 3 new rescue chickens, I am shocked how thin and defeathered they are.
17 months in an enriched battery cage, and they are completely confused by the outside world.
I was under the vague impression that it was all barn or free range, but they have opened my eyes.
They are sent to slaughter at 17 months, and judging by the state of my 3 their main enrichment was pulling out each others feathers.
It's so sad.
chipshopElvis · 25/05/2021 08:49
My lovely friend rescued some ex battery hens they did look poorly when they arrived. Well done OP for giving them a new home, I hope they feel much better very soon. It is truly shocking the conditions in which they are kept.
HollysBush · 25/05/2021 08:51
Yes, sad. I’d love to do this but can’t seam to take the plunge!
Do you want to share any tips for keeping them as pets? I’d love to see pictures of them/ their coop.
1starwars2 · 25/05/2021 09:20
I can't seem to post photos at the mo. It says, posting, success, but nothing appears.
They are companions for our last remaining hen, although I am keeping them separate for now.
They will probably lay eggs, but I am vegan.
DH and kids will eat them.
Both DH and I were under the uninformed impression that battery farming was a thing of the past.
UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername · 25/05/2021 09:38
Even free range standards are not that great, apparently. We keep our own feathery crew, who are spoiled rotten, and we enjoy the eggs so much more. Plus there's the added bonus of having tiny dinosaurs who sit on your lap to tell you about their day.
1starwars2 · 25/05/2021 11:19
Here they are:
1starwars2 · 25/05/2021 11:21
Our original is in a larger run that surrounds this one, so she can get to know them.
I tried it the other way round yesterday, but they didn't know what to do with all the space and just hid in the hedge and didn't eat or drink. They seem happier for now a bit more enclosed and have been eating a little.
CMOTDibbler · 25/05/2021 11:25
@UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername I love that description! My very free range girls are very much dinosaurs and have a huge amount to say about the world/lack of biscuits/not being let in to sit on the sofa.
Seeing them, their complex social life, and their constant trundling around means that in their off season we either don't eat eggs, or buy only from people where we have seen their hens and know they are actually properly free range
1starwars2 · 25/05/2021 12:13
@CMOTDibbler Yes I am going to be a lot more watchful of the provenance of egg products. Most eggs I see in the shop seem to be "Free Range", but I think these caged eggs end up in processed products. My husband works in food, and was still surprised that there were caged hens in the UK.
UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername · 25/05/2021 12:16
I'm freezing my excess eggs at the moment for the winter, cracked and in batches of 4 in ziplock bags.
CMOTDibbler · 25/05/2021 12:22
Does that work Utterley? I was going to start freezing egg whites as even with only 4 girls who lay regularly, and one who does a couple a week we are still overrun with eggs, but was unsure about yolks
HollysBush · 25/05/2021 14:58
Aw thanks, they’re lovely
ComingToGetUBarbara · 25/05/2021 15:02
I so want chickens but have been informed by all that the feed attracts rats and pests. Have you guys found this to be true?
1starwars2 · 25/05/2021 15:20
@ComingToGetUBarbara No not necessarily. Don't overfeed them, and clear up excess/left over food at night to prevent that. It's only their food the rats/mice are after.
We did have mice in our food shed, but have moved food into a metal bin.
UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername · 25/05/2021 17:06
CMOT, I've read various articles that say it does, but this is my first time doing it.
We have our feed in a heavy duty plastic bin so it's inaccessible. We live beside a stream so there are rats around and they're cheeky enough to come into the run during the day, so there's no way to keep them out of the feeder, but there's a new stray cat around lately and we've found a good few dead ones, so hopefully the cat will stay!
landofgiants · 27/05/2021 19:30
@ComingToGetUBarbara - there were rats at my last house, but no problems at the current one. I think it depends where you live. We do have a few very well fed mice in the garden!
Chickens are great to keep, but they will make a mess of your lawn especially in the winter and can smell a little bit. It is best to fence off an area for them, to contain the mess. You don't need a big garden to keep a few chooks.
Aprilwasverywet · 27/05/2021 19:45
I have read that the barns have open doors so can claim free range. But that ultimately the chickens are too fearful /used to being in they rarely step outside..
We had 12 several years ago. Can't impress enough how great they are for your mental wellbeing...
Awaiting council permission to allow me some on our allotment..
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