We just picked up eight hens from the chicken rescue. We were excited as these were ‘rescued’ from a free range chicken farm, so we figured they would be in pretty good condition. The thought of letting them live out their lives with the rest of our well looked after flock was nice. What a shock we got when we saw these hens! Okay perhaps not as bad a rescued battery farm hens, but considering these are from a free-range chicken farm we are appalled.

So here we are encouraging people to buy free range eggs and free range chicken meat. It is not cheap but at least we are letting the animals have a better life, right? Well apparently not really. Sad to say that these free-range hens don’t strike us as having had so much of a better life than battery or cage hens. They are covered in lice, sores, scales and have had their beaks trimmed, are almost bald and not a good example of a healthy looking bird.

The poor hens looked very confused when we sprinkled their food around the yard for them to have a scratch and look for their food. Fortunately instinct soon kicked in and they were having dust baths, scratching around and generally looking like life was a little more enjoyable.

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