Thought battery hens would be timid


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
When i was a kid on the north side of Dublin there was a chicken processing factory nearby. It was located along side a canal on the outskirts of the council estate I lived on. My friend had a Labrador dog and on our way past this factory one morning on our way to find something to do in the fields when the dog went into the ditch and came out with a bald squawking chicken. I brought it home and built a makeshift coop and run.
The gardens at the back of my terraced house were so over grown they blended into one huge garden and looked more like the amazon than gardens. Over the next few weeks this bald pink bird turned into the most beautiful white sussex chicken.
It roamed where ever it wanted, it chased cats, caught mice and competed for the dogs dinner and won. It cleared the garden of slugs, it came running when my mother scrapped a plate and best of all It laid a large egg for me every day ......

I have just taken in six battery hens that were due for slaughter. I was well prepared for them and had the coop and hen run ready and waiting. What i was not prepared for or what i had forgotten was how audacious they would soon become. I beefed up on my reading of what to expect of hens that had been caged up all their lives. I was expecting them to be timid, scared and totally unprepared for life in the real world.
After only a couple of days these hens already think they own my back garden. They don't move out of the way when I want to pass. They refuse to accept they can not leave the run when i manage to put them back in their pen after a spell outside and the way they eye ball me I am pretty sure if I happened to trip and fall on the ground they would be on me like a shot and all that would be found would be my bleached bones.
But they are great.... sitting in the garden on a sunny day with a beer and watching them is therapeutic... I would say its akin to sitting at an open fire staring into the flames.
I would recommend it anyone with high blood pressure or recuperating from an illness ..its magic
Welcome to BYC
Wonderful introduction post! I really enjoyed reading that. I had 40 battery hens years ago, though I got them young and they haven't been in the batteries very long, they were timid and scared of their own shadows for quite some time after I brought them home. and eve though they recovered and turned into "normal" hens over time, they were always really mellow and a bit slow. Your girls though, sound like they know they're onto a good thing now and is determined to make the most of it! Enjoy!
Hi there! :)

Oh I do miss having ex-battery hens! They were always under foot and I was forever tripping over them, but they were so sweet, friendly and nosy!
I would love to see some pics if you are able to upload any, and some more in a few weeks maybe? It's amazing how quickly their feathers grow back.

Enjoy your girls, you have made their lives so much better :) thank you!
Cute story! So happy that you saved those girls! A big hug to you for that.
Don't you just love chickens?! I'm with you, they are certainly very therapeutic. Who doesn't love sitting and watching them, right? Enjoy them all!
from S. Florida! So glad you joined us!
I totally agree .. a cute and happy story ... I have recently finished reading 'Chicken Treats for Dummies' and bones were mentioned! lol.
In the past, I rescued some battery hens; when I got them home to their new run and took them out of the box they just sat there, they didn't realise that they could move

After approximately 5 minutes they started to experiment with their new-found legs and once they worked out how to use them they most definitely made up for lost time
Maybe Dublin treats their battery hens better than US. Yours didn't waste a minute teaching you who was boss. What a nice thing to do, I would love to see photos of them also, they are real characters.
I love white chickens.... when i know more about this stuff I would not mind getting one. The only thing is, homes for hens that need to be rescued are scarce and I think i might feel guilty if i indulge myself my choosing a pampered pet so if anyone knows someone in Dublin Ireland that has a white hen that needs to be rescued ... let me know.

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