When you've spent your whole life cooped beneath an artificial sun,
Without fresh air, and nowhere to run . . .
Ex-battery chickens just wanna have FUN!
My name is Betty and I am an ex-battery hen. Now I have been rescued I have my own story to tell you all about!!
Here are a few chicken facts I think you ought to know:
- After 18 months living in a cage, I am no longer able to lay an egg a day as my body is exhausted. So I am considered no longer commercially viable and am sent to slaughter; discarded and used as dog meat or in cheap meat products. Now I have been rescued I can live to the ripe old age of five or six. According to University of Bristol research in 2013, I am about as intelligent as a human toddler - some would say much smarter! We do not like to be called pea-brain or bird-brain as we are capable of mathematical reasoning, we have an understanding of physics, we have the ability to plan ahead and learn self-control and patience. We have feelings - and know love and pain, fear and compassion. We develop friendships and can recognise up to 100 other hens. It has been known for us to remember an old hen-friend we haven't seen for over a year. And you thought elephants had long memories!
- When I was caged and did my time inside 'egg laying' it was hell. Each of us hens had such a tiny space that only consisted of 600 square centimetres, less than the size of an A4 piece of paper each! The noise and smell was horrendous, so much so that the ammonia burnt the inside of our lungs. And a hen's lungs are very delicate. The humans wore masks in the farm, but we had to endure that smell 24 hours a day. I never saw daylight, the artificial lights were on all the time to make sure we laid an egg every day; something we would never do naturally as laying so much depletes our body of precious calcium. Laying so intensively causes us no end of physical problems, from osteoporosis to tumours in our abdomens. Because we had nothing to do all day and night but stand on a cold, hard wire, some hens become bored and started to attack other hens - pulling out their feathers, hurting them and even sometimes killing them. When you are stuck in a cage there is no escape. I became so depressed my feathers fell out!
- Annually 50 billion chickens are raised globally on intensive industrial farms for meat and the short life for my broiler cousins is an average of just 43 days; once they have reached 2.2kg for the table. On these plumping farms many of my siblings die from the sheer heat of constant electric lamps and the cramped conditions. Because they are forced to grow so quickly, their legs cannot hold their unnaturally heavy weight so they end up sitting on their own active manure which makes the air we have to breath toxic.
- My Fairy Godmother and Patroness of the Chicken-Arts - the Lady Jane Gray - says she feeds us rescued girls on only the best corn-meal and mash, and we have access to an organic and green garden so we grow healthier by the day. She is so wise - and also soo much FUN! Especially when she makes pictures of us girls and our beaus out of old textiles! She likes to call it 'up-cycling' - but then, she's a lady, not a chicken!
- When you buy a piece of work from Lady Jane you are not only supporting us but also her passion to make a difference and to make the change we all want to see in the world.
- When we are treated with the love and respect we deserve we will bring you so much joy, we will return your love tenfold and brighten your spirits on even the darkest day.
- Hens are so cute Lady Jane will soon be asking us to go out and about with her and her team to meet many children and older people to raise more awareness and provide the 'Therapy' that many people are seeking these days! Everybody should be able to Henjoy hens!
Lots of love and affectionate pecks,
So . . . there you have it. What more can we add? Other than that we hope you enjoy this website. Oh yes, to help my cousins when shopping will you please consider organic and free-range chicken and eggs! The best ones will have Soil Association on them. You can also consider rehoming some ex-batts of your own!
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to know anything - especially about how you can help us to support more chickens!
Lady Jane Gray