Today is a very exciting day for us all here, not only is it Dad of 3’s birthday but today is the we re home four ex-commercial hens.
For the last four years my parents have kept hens and we have thoroughly enjoyed spending time around them and helping out. The boys were taken with the hens from the word go and the older two have shown no fear or hesitation in handling the hens on a regular basis. Of course we have also been spoilt and enjoyed the eggs produced by the hens. I have taken the children I care for down to meet the hens on a regular basis and encouraged them to help collect the eggs and then we have used them in baking activities, a truly fantastic experience for children.
Dad of 3 and myself have spoken about the possibility of getting some hens of our own on and off over the last two years. Dad of 3 felt that if we were ever going to get some of our own that re-homing ex-commercial hens would be the route he would like to explore. Having read into ex-commercial hens I felt that this would be a fantastic thing to do but until a few months ago we didn’t really look into it seriously. Then quite by chance I was chatting to a good friend who also teaches Luc piano about hens and she pointed me in the direction of a group who re home ex-commercial hens not just locally but nationally across England and Wales. I found their local facebook page and started following with interest. I started following the group just after a rehoming day in June and read posts from those who had re homed hens from that day. I then showed dad of 3 what I had found and we started looking further into it. We soon discovered that the next re homing day was scheduled for the 7th September with reservations for hens closing a fortnight before hand. It was very coincidental that it was also dad of 3’s birthday.
We chatted with the boys to see how they felt about having hens of our own as we wanted to include them in every aspect for the hens care, they thought it was a fantastic idea. So for a further fortnight we spent time looking at the practicalities of getting hens, where would the coup go, would we have an enclosure for them or let them have the run of the garden. We also spent time searching for the perfect chicken coup. Finally we found a coup that we felt would provide space and comfort for them. We also decided that we would re home four hens as it would be a nice broad to start with. So with coup ordered I went and placed my reservation for the hens and made my donation. The group ask a nominal fee per hen (£2.50) which literally covers their costs. The group operates using volunteers and make no profit. Their sole aim is to re home hens ex-commercial hens that would otherwise be slaughtered. These could be from Enriched cages, barn or free-range. The group go in and purchase the hens just prior to their slaughter date.
I can’t explain the sense of achievement and pride we have felt at being involved in today’s rescue. I learnt a few days ago that 9,000 hens are being rescued today by the group and will be transported to various local collection points throughout England and Wales. The group Fresh Start for Hens does fantastic work.
This week the boys have helped dad of 3 prepare the chicken coup and the area in the garden it is to be located in and this morning have helped get water and food and bedding ready. All we are now waiting for is the hens. But they will not be waiting for much longer as in the next two hours we will be off to our local collection point to finally meet our hens, we can’t wait. I am hoping to bring you updates as the hens settle in and can’t wait to see how they come on, I hope you will join us on our journey into hen keeping.