We have a flock of over 100 rehomed ex-battery hens, all from the British Hen Welfare Trust and they are our beloved pets. The children love the hens, especially 3-year-old Bertie who carries his “mate” around under his arm. we like to think its a mutual thing.
Rescued and Rehomed
These hens were all brought by the BHWT on the way to slaughter, from colony egg rearing units (battery farms) across the U.K. The hens are deemed no longer viable at the age of 14-18 months maximum because their egg-laying naturally drops. They have never seen sunlight, scratched the dirt outside or felt the sun on their faces. They have had their beaks cut as chicks to enable them to be kept in high stocking numbers without pecking each other, and appear bald having lost or pecked our their feathers due to boredom or stress. This is the life of a battery hen, and it is slaughtered only for chicken flavouring as by this time there is no meat on the hen’s body. We think it is a rotten life.
Tender Loving Care
It takes a little bit of time, patience, TLC and lots of quality food and these thin, bald, colourless cropped hens return to full glory. To bring an ex-battery hen back to life is an absolute pleasure and a privilege- and if you have space in your back garden for hens- we encourage you to rehome a few from the BHWT. The hens never return to commercial laying scales – but we don’t require them too. Our girls lay every other day from spring to autumn and usually take the winter off to moult and rest.
These special girls are the stars of Bernard’s Farm Egg Club – where we deliver super fresh farm eggs to our regular customers weekly, as much as possible on foot/bike to reduce food miles where possible. We also sell surplus eggs at our farm gate via an honesty box.