In March, we saved 120 battery hens from slaughter. They are now safe, loved, and enjoying life with their new families. Let’s take you behind the scenes of last month’s chicken run! The day before
The day before a Chicken Run is a busy time and involves:
Setting up our hen hospital with the medical equipment and medication we may need. We don’t know what sort of issues, illness and injuries we will encounter so we need to be prepared for anything.
Reserving time with our vets for the afternoon of the chicken run so complex cases can be assessed and plans put in place quickly.
Confirming final rescue numbers, and checking our families are set up and ready for their new family member.
Check and double check our amazing team of volunteers are briefed and ready to go.
It’s an early start!
Chicken Run days start early. We’re on the road by 5:30am, but it’s easy to get up early when your mission is to save lives.
We work with the incredible team at Who Gives A Cluck on our rescues. Who Gives A Cluck’s founder – Julie – is a passionate chicken rescuer and powerhouse of hen knowledge. She works with egg farmers and organises the surrender of the hens.
We meet Julie at the farm and load the chickens into the henmobile, a purpose-built horse float to secure the hens safely on their freedom ride.
Every hen we load we tell them that life is about to change, it will be scary at first but we promise they are going to love their new life and do all the things hens are supposed to do.
Imagine how overwhelmed they must be, coming from a tiny cage in a dark, airless, noisy shed that holds thousands and thousands of chickens, into the fresh air and sunshine and hearing kind words and feeling the kind touch of humans for the first time.
This time we saved 120.
There are hundreds more we couldn’t save that will be slaughtered in the coming weeks.
We take a moment and apologise to them and tell them we will keep advocating for their species and working to inform people about the horrible plight of battery hens.
We see you.
Health Checks & the Hen Hospital
Every time we do a big Chicken Run, we perform a comprehensive health check on every hen. Any hen who doesn’t pass the health check, stays in our care for treatment. We call these hens the ‘hospital hens’.
We have hens come in with broken wings, broken legs, respiratory illness, egg yolk peritonitis, and many other reproductive illnesses.
So, for each chicken we:
Treat mites and lice
Check for breaks and sprains and any other injuries
Make sure they can bare their own weight and walk
This group were in much better condition than the last time we did a Chicken Run in August 2022. They have better body condition, more feathers, more hydrated, and had more energy.
8 hens with broken wings
1 hen with a severe eye infection
3 hens with severe lameness
These hens are now all in our hen hospital, and have been treated according to their conditions.
105 hens and 3 roosters were adopted into their forever homes on Saturday 25 March.
This is the best part of a rescue. Watching the kind humans fall in love with their new family members. Picking out names, telling us about their enclosures, and the life that waits for their ladies. It makes it all worthwhile
The cost of saving lives
We budget carefully for each Chicken Run.
We have a $15 adoption fee for each hen. That covers the hen’s health check, worming, mites and lice treatments, the transport costs and their food and bedding. Whatever is left over goes toward the care of the hen’s who don’t pass their health check. We average 10 in every hundred rescued hens who require hospitalisation and ongoing treatment.
We budget $3,000 for medical bills for each Chicken Run.
This run, we have 8 surgeries, 10 chickens on 6 different medications and the costs of assessment and follow ups. We will spend closer to $4,000 this time around.
Is it worth it? Absolutely! We promise every chicken that comes into our care a life worth living. That comes at a cost.
Thank you all so much for supporting our work and giving these 120 hens lives worth living.
Our Chicken Champions make this important work possible
It costs us thousands of dollars to get these hens well again, and once they are well they often live with lifelong complications. If we can’t rehome the hens with chronic conditions life-long illness, or in need of palliative care, they stay with us and live the rest of their lives as part of our hen hospital flock.
For $30 a month, you can contribute to the running costs of our Hen Hospital.
Your $30 a month pays for the medication and food for one hen for an entire month.
Become a Chicken Champion today! Visit our website to sign up and change the life of a beautiful lady.
Help from our friends
We are very lucky to have the support of the amazing Fleur and the team at Feed and Fodder for our chicken rescues. We take over part of their premise for our health checks and adoptions, the team order in extra feed and medications for our Mother Cluckers, and they generally support and help us make these adoptions a success