forum: Chicken

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#1 Mon 07 Jan 08 11:21pm

AndrewActon

Member
Occupation Healthcare related Directorships
From London
Member since Mon 07 Jan 08

Free Range in the Garden

Hey, it was a chance opening of Jamie at Home when I was waiting for my missus to buy something at a shopping mall where it all started. I was staggered by the stat that a battery hen survives on the equvililent of an A4 sheet of paper.

Well, from here we contacted the ex-battery hen welfare trust (great guys, doing great work - keep it up) and we now have 3 lovely chickens running free in our backyard. I live in London and have a reasonable size garden (by London standards!) and my four kids love it. The buzz of seeing chickens develop from being timid and scraggy to confident and well feathered is awesome.

Yes, we also get some eggs too. Not that many, but that adds to the excitement for the kids - is it an egg day?

Like the majority of the country I don't think I had given much thought to the life of a chicken but just from a personal well being viewpoint always look to buy the best I can. When you see how these living creatures are treated it is totally wrong. I can't think of any other living creatures that would be subjected to such treatment and it be allowable.

Chickens don't cluck that loud - so they need us to cluck up for them!

See ya

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#2 Mon 07 Jan 08 11:40pm

Martin B

Member
Member since Mon 07 Jan 08

Re: Free Range in the Garden

Great news about your rescue hens!

Thanks for giving them a home, I work with the Worcester branch of the trust. big_smile

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#3 Tue 08 Jan 08 12:28am

chickensrus

Member
Member since Mon 07 Jan 08

Re: Free Range in the Garden

We have a few free range chicken farmers around here (I think many of the battery farms have closed down) - even so - it seems our free range farmers also send all their 18 mth old hens for meat paste.  We have approx 24 birds that we have rescued from the 'paste lorry' and many of these have lived for 3 years plus - we don't get as many eggs as we used to but we still get them.  We don't have artificial light so in the winter months the girls have a holiday from laying.

Whilst they have a large pen, we also let them out accross the garden for 'weed/slug control' in the winter.  They dessicrate everything in sight (you wouldn't know I have strawberry plants by the time they have finished), yet in the summer we have beautiful strawberries (slug free). 

In the spring we let them out when we dig the garden as their scratching helps to break up the soil.  My wife has a select few people who buy the eggs and everyone says they taste brilliant.

We have two small children - so the chickens get extra scraps as treats.  Our kids love them and there is nothing more rewarding then collecting the eggs.

Our garden is now decreasing as we have gone into having our own turkeys for christmas - we started off with three one year and now have gone up to nine this year - these live happily next to the hens and take it in turns in the winter months to go across the veg patch - obviously some go by christmas yet others stay until easter.

We are now looking at finding chicks that we can rear for food which do not need a heat lamp. 

I think its better to rear your own then you know how it was reared, what it was fed, plus you know when the time comes it has had a stress free and humane ending.

I can't believe the way that chickens are kept in battery farms and think it is nothing more than downright cruel.  I know everyone wants to make a profit, but even getting rid of birds at 18 mths old seems a waste - especially when ours have been going for so long. 

All gardens should have a little patch for chickens!!!!

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#4 Tue 08 Jan 08 12:29am

Poet

Member
Member since Mon 07 Jan 08

Re: Free Range in the Garden

I have 4 ex batts of my own, well said!

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