Adopt an Ex-battery hen

Hen on first day of rescue

On first day of rescue

Ready for a new home!

Ready for a new home

The Sanctuary often fosters battery hens that have come to us straight from the battery egg farm. These hens are less than a year old, but are scheduled to be killed after just one season of egg laying. Although they produce eggs for many years, all chickens regularly experience a break in laying, and the egg farmers don’t want to feed them while they aren’t producing.

The battery hens have been stacked in small cages, usually 3 hens in a cage with the floorspace of a phone book. They can’t turn to the left or right, or raise their wings. They spend their entire life facing the same direction, shifting their weight from foot to foot to relieve the pain of standing on wire. Their urine and faeces falls onto the chickens below them – so the hens have skin burned red from the uric acid and most of their feathers are missing.

When they are released these hens are petrified by their freedom. They crowd into one corner and are in danger of crushing others to death. We must increase their light and space gradually to get them used to this. Many don’t know how to walk properly at first. It takes days for them to finally discover the joys of dustbaths, flapping wings, and laying in the sun – but when they do, it’s a sight which brings joy to our hearts!!

If you live in the Greater Auckland or Rodney areas and would like to adopt some rescued hens, please register here.