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Rescue Chickens-Free Range Eggs

Updated on February 13, 2015
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Why Should We Care About Free Range Eggs And Chickens Welfare?

Eggs, a staple in many of our diets, but how did they get to your table?...free range eggs, battery farmed eggs ,barn raised eggs...?

This page is about what kind of eggs we can choose to buy and what conditions do the chickens live in who produce our eggs?

Do we, should we care ?

I have not included any disturbing pictures on this page but please be aware that some of the links may contain photos of the battery farming system and battery chickens pre rehabilitation which some people may find upsetting.

Buying Free Range Eggs

Do you buy free range eggs?

See results

"Our task must be to free ourselves- by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."-Albert Einstein

The Chicken And The Eggs .....

I am concerned with the sensible and considered rescue and rehabilitation of chickens who are battery farmed for their eggs and how they can become free range hens and produce free range eggs.

I am writing it in the spirit of the rescue organisations whose remit is to educate and rehabilitate rather than blame and castigate..

I am writing in the same vein, not to harass the farmers who use the battery method of farming, which is perfectly legal,(and delivers inexpensive eggs to our tables) but to work to see what we can do to change things for the chickens who find themselves living the life of a battery hen.

Not to inflame passions about this topic or guilt people into rescuing hens but to educate, seek ways to help these chickens and search for sensible options.

The Origins Of The Chicken Or The Hen.

Where the hen came from and how she would have lived.

Hens descended from the red jungle fowl of Southern Asia. They would live in small groups with a complex social structure based on a hieracy or "pecking" order.

They would engage in activities such as preening themselves and dustbathing, foraging for food and often walking a long way to find food. They can also fly for short distances. They would have used trees for roosting at night and to flee from predators. Laying hens would have built a nest, laid her eggs and looked after her chicks.

Much of this natural behaviour is currently denied to todays battery farmed hen.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man"

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)

Life As A Battery Chicken

What is life like for a battery chicken?

I'll keep this short as I dont want to dwell on the negative here. Just a bit of background. I have visited a battery farm and call me soft but I had to leave feeling rather sick. It was not until that day I fully realised how battery farmed eggs were produced.

The following is a result of my own observations and reading on this subject. I have left a lot out and will not be putting disturbing pictures on this site. At times doing this research has been difficult.

Once chicks are hatched, without their mothers present I might add, she will be long gone, I won't go into detail here but the males are not kept alive they are killed early after hatching. The females are moved and brought on until they can lay.You can get more detail on these "processes" of how chicks are handled by clicking many of the links. I do not feel it is appropriate to go into too much detail here.

The chickens are kept in small cages known now as "barren " cages and the cages are on a slope so they never get to stand up properly.This can lead to the battery hens feet becoming deformed. They are fed regularly but never get to do natural behaviour like walking, running, flying, scratching, dust-bathing,pecking or roosting. There just isnt room.

Some of them have bare patches where they have been attacked by other birds in the cage and they may lose many of their feathers. Attacks and pecking occur as the birds live in a barren enviroment which means they have nothing to do.

They have their beaks clipped as chicks to try to reduce the pecking of other birds and this results in a lifelong mutilation.

I have read that a typical battery cage measures about 45cm x 50cm (18" x 20") - and houses five hens. This works out to be about a sheet of A4 paper to live in per hen.

Cages are arranged in rows up to 6 tiers high, inside huge, windowless sheds which can contain up to 75,000 hens. Mostly they live in artificial light.

The Welfare Codes require the well-being of all birds to be inspected 'at least once daily' Birds do die in their cages.

So these birds providing us with eggs live out their lives doing little more than eating,drinking passing waste and laying eggs. Its a far cry from what the life of a chicken is supposed to be like...

"Today more than ever before life must be characterized by a sense of Universal Responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life."

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Poll On Eggs In Food We Buy

Do you check to see if there are free range eggs or battery eggs in any processed food you buy or when eating out?

See results

So these birds providing us with eggs live out their lives doing little more than eating,drinking passing waste and laying eggs. Its a far cry from what the life of a chicken is supposed to be like...

Lovely Free Range Eggs

Lovely Free Range Eggs
Lovely Free Range Eggs | Source

Caring About Chickens. Battery Hen Welfare Trust. - Awareness of the battery hen industry and how you can help.

If you want to know more about this topic then I would advise you visit this site and you can learn a lot there.

Free Range Chickens/Hens Doing What They Do... - This is how hens should live...

Egg Recipes - Over 200 recipes for eggs

The Good Egg: More than 200 Fresh Approaches from Breakfast to Dessert
The Good Egg: More than 200 Fresh Approaches from Breakfast to Dessert

Eggs can be so useful in our everyday food choices. We can boil, scramble, poach and fry them, cook and bake with them. From simple meals in minutes to full scale dinner parties eggs can and do form a major part of many peoples diets. Here in this book are 200 plus recipes for delicious and nutritious eggs.

 

My Experiences With Chickens

Why do I even care about hens...

As a child I used to have a pony and she lived in a field where there was also a coop of chickens. They were very free range and often wandered in to the ponies field. I used to help out by collecting the eggs and feeding the hens.

Of course they all had names and as I got to know them their little personalities, some were calm, bossy, some sweet, some very stubborn and one I recall always tried to peck me! I got to know the hieracy in the small group of hens and how they interacted with each other.

One of the funniest things I ever saw (and i wish video and You Tube had been around back then) was the sight of this interaction between a pony and a chicken!

I first noticed it when I was cleaning my ponies tack at the side of the field...the hens often wandered right into the field and went about their business scratching and eating and the horses went about theirs. However one day i noticed this one chicken got really close to my pony...then all of a sudden my pony trotted towards it and the chicken ran at top speed!! I was worried as i didnt want the chicken to get hurt but before i had a chance to call or stop my pony the chicken stopped whirled around and ran back towards the pony who turned right round and ran from the chicken. They ran back and forth like this for a good 5 minutes then all settled down again!!

Did this show an ability to play? No one was making them do it and after that time I witnessed it several more times as well...

I guess I grew up as a child thinking all chickens lived like this and we got our eggs from this farm so it all seemed right to me. I guess I was lucky...

It wasnt until I visited a battery hen farm through work years later, that I realised what was for me the harsh reality of all those eggs in the supermarket, you know the ones not marked free range.

I always checked after that where my eggs were coming from.

Then more recently I read about the rescue work going on and a woman at work who was retiring said she was getting some rescue chickens and I started to look deeper.

"Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals."

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Patch Of Grass Means A Lot To A Chicken Or Hen

Patch Of Grass Means A Lot To A Chicken Or Hen
Patch Of Grass Means A Lot To A Chicken Or Hen | Source

What Do Chickens Love To Do?

Normal happy behaviours for a hen

For a hen to be happy there are a few basics. It really doesnt take much for a hen to be happy she just needs to be able to follow her instincts and have some space and freedom. That patch of grass there can mean a lot to a hen.

walking

running

preening

flying

scratching with her feet

dust-bathing

pecking

roosting.

fresh air

Doesnt seem much to ask does it?

"Animals, as part of God's creation, have rights which must be respected. It behooves us always to be sensitive to their needs and to the reality of their pain."

Dr. Donald Coggan, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Good News About Future Of Barren Battery Farming Of Chickens

Banning Small Barren Battery Cages For Chickens.

The good news about battery farming of eggs is that in EU from 2012 the small barren cages will be illegal. The battery farmed hens will have a bit more space and a slightly more stimulating enviroment.

This does not mean all hens will be free range. Many people feel this does not go far enough. Others feel it is a big step forward. If you are interested read the discussions around barn free, enriched cages etc

In EU from 2012 the small barren cages will be illegal. The battery farmed hens will have a bit more space and a slightly more stimulating enviroment.

Chickens - difference between "barren ", "enriched" and non cage hen farming systems?

Barren v enriched v non cage system for chickens

In brief a barren cage is just that-a cage. It holds about 5 chickens at a time.Each chicken has approx an A4 piece of paper to stand on and no room to stretch her wings or walk or move much.

An enriched cage is simiar to a barren cage but it a little bigger, has a nest and a piece of sandpaper perches litter material and about 600cm square space per chicken.hen.

Non cage system provide nests, perches and litter over at least one third of the floor space and have a space allowance of 1111cm square per chicken.

Further detail on all these can be found in the CIWF report link.

The Poem About The Battery Hen: Pam Ayres

The Battery Hen by Pam Ayres

Oh. I am a battery hen,

On me back there's not a germ,

I never scratched a farmyard,

And I never pecked a worm,

I never had the sunshine,

To warm me feathers through,

Eggs I lay. Every day.

For the likes of you.

When you has them scrambled,

Piled up on your plate,

It's me what you should thank for that,

I never lays them late,

I always lays them reg'lar,

I always lays them right,

I never lays them brown,

I always lays them white.

But it's no life, for a battery hen,

In me box I'm sat,

A funnel stuck out from the side,

Me pellets comes down that,

I gets a squirt of water,

Every half a day,

Watchin' with me beady eye,

Me eggs, roll away.

I lays them in a funnel,

Strategically placed,

So that I don't kick 'em,

And let them go to waste,

They rolls off down the tubing,

And up the gangway quick,

Sometimes I gets to thinkin'

"That could have been a chick!"

I might have been a farmyard hen,

Scratchin' in the sun,

There might have been a crowd of chicks,

After me to run,

There might have been a cockerel fine,

To pay us his respects,

Instead of sittin' here,

Till someone comes and wrings our necks.

I see the Time and Motion clock,

Is sayin' nearly noon,

I 'spec me squirt of water,

Will come flyin' at me soon,

And then me spray of pellets,

Will nearly break me leg,

And I'll bite the wire nettin'

And lay one more bloody egg.

Barn,Battery or Free Range Eggs? - Is the Barn egg system better than battery egg system?

You will see Barn eggs on the supermarket shelves. They are usually more affordable for people who simply economically cannot afford to buy free range. Read this to learn more about what they are.

Labelling Of Eggs - Sometimes a confusing maze for the egg buying person.

I had a question related to the labelling of eggs and what it means when you see different labels on the cartons in the store. It can certainly get confusing for us buying the eggs to know exactly what we are getting.

I have tried to do some reseach on this and have listed links to sites which may help to explain it better.

Also please bear in mind that egg labelling systems vary a lot between countries and may not even be regulated at all.

My very personal view is that if you buy "free range" eggs or "certified humane" eggs and if possible can verify that, that is the best option.

Again in my personal view if the eggs are free range and produced humanely then the farmers would be proud of that and label accordingly rather than putting other rather vague titles on their cartons.

However , if the system is not regulated any egg labelling could be open to misuse.

If you want to eat humanely produced eggs, you will be doing a lot if you just start asking the questions, avoiding the factory barren caged produced eggs and try to establish for your country which label means they are allowed to live as close the "Five Freedoms" or "Five Necessities" as possible.(please see link below for detail on the "Five Necessities")

If you want to eat humanely produced eggs, you will be doing a lot if you just start asking the questions, avoiding the factory barren caged produced eggs and try to establish for your country which label means they are allowed to live as close the "Five Freedoms" or "Five Necessities"

Battery Chickens Forgive And Forget

New Start for Rehomed Battery Hens.

Amazingly when all these hens have ever known is cages they are surprisingly friendly given a little love and kindness. I dont know if they ever do forgive or forget but they can adjust and are friendly to us.

Of course their beaks cannot grow back but they adapt and can eat given the right food. However most grow back their feathers and act like normal hens for the first time in their lives and that has to be a great joy to see happening.They can become healthy happy free range birds.

Practical Experiences Of Raising Chickens. - Looking After Chickens.

Links about raising chickens and views on battery farming of hens

How To Rehabilitate Your Rescue Ex Battery Hen

Learning to live as a free range hen. The coop.

If you are interested in rescuing these battery hens please go through one of the recognised rescue associations some of which I have linked to here.

They will be able to give you much more advice on the rehabilitation of these hens and what you need to take into account.

When you first get your hens you must understand they have seen little more in their young lives than a cage. They will be a little overwhelmed if you just set them free to get on with it. In fact I have read that some chickens if it rains just stand there they dont know to get into the dry shed. They will need care and support at first to acclimatise to this new environment.

So go easy and gently. Start them off in a small area they can get used to and gradually expand the area of roam. Take them into the coop if it is cold or if it rains so they know what to do. Make sure your coop and chicken area is protected from predators.

Regarding cold they have lived all their life in a temperature controlled enviroment, also many are partly or wholly bald due to pecking. They can get cold very quickly so you need to take that into account until they adjust and get their feathers back.

Also remember that they are physically weak. Their whole lives they have just stood at an angle, some have deformed feet, most just have no muscle tone so dont expect them to jump up to the coop.

You will need to provide a ramp so they can walk up a gentle incline. Within a few weeks they will get a lot stronger and most will be able to jump but gently does it...

At first they will be overwhelmed with the new environment and be very cautious and polite to each other;however as they find their feet there will be squabbles as they decide the hieracy or "pecking" order just like they would have done in the wild. It is best that you let them decide this but do watch out for anyone who is being especially picked on or if anyone gets hurt you may need to separate them for a while to avoid further problems. You can get more advice on all this from the rehoming centres.

Rehabilitated Ex Battery Hens - Rescued ex battery Hens in "Down the Lane"

Shows ex battery hens about a month out of the battery cages and getting good care. Later video shows the positive difference a few months on...

Feeding your Rescue Chickens

Get advice on what to feed your newly rescued ex battery hens.

It is important you check with the rehoming place what to feed your hens. They likely will have been fed layered mush so that is what they know, it will take time to introduce other foods. They are not used to scratching the floor for food either. Many birds do graduate to other foods but do this slowly introducing it alongside what they are used to.

Raising Chickens - Would you keep chickens?

Raising Chickens For Dummies
Raising Chickens For Dummies

From the popular "Dummies" Range good information about raising chickens. If you are considering keeping chickens and especially if you are thinking of rescuing ex battery hens do please educate yourself first about their needs and your responsibilities.

As with any other animal they take time and resources and commitment so a book like this can really help to know what you need to prepare and do if you have chickens.

 

"Kindness and compassion toward all living things is the mark of a civilized society."-Cesar Chavez

You Rescue Hen And Laying Her Eggs

The business of your ex battery rescue hen laying eggs.

Your rescue hen has spent her life in a cage.

She knows nothing about nesting,brooding,looking after eggs.

She has just pushed them out down the shoot and she never even sees them.

Left to her own devices as a free hen she will now probably just drop eggs wherever she is and move on. You need to help her regain her natural instincts.

You may need to encourage her with false eggs, rubber ones are good as they cannot get damaged. Put them in the coop where you want her to nest and let her get used to them. She will learn.

How many eggs will you get? Well there is no guarentee of that. At frst the eggs are likely to be poor quality, you know the difference yourself if you have tasted battery eggs and free range eggs. In my opinion there is no comparison.

Give your rescue hen good food, fresh air, sunshine on her back and let her regain her strength, then you will reap the rewards of your kindness and care.

It may not be the best commercial enterprise but there will be some wonderful free range eggs to feed your family and you know where those eggs have come from and you know it is humane.

Free Range Eggs

Free Range Eggs
Free Range Eggs | Source

Rehabilitating A Rescue Battery Hen:Introducing A Cockerel

Ex Battery Chickens and Cockerel.

Do not introduce a cockerel immediately or have one waiting for your girls. They have never seen or heard a cockerel and will be terrified. If he is keen and pushy they may get injured as they are not physically strong enough to bear his weight.

Wait until they are strong, healthy and confident chickens before you introduce him.

How Long Do Ex Battery Hens Live?

Life expectancy of a rescue ex battery hen.

Well its difficult to say, some recue chickens live for up to 8 years , others as little as a week. Most its 2-5 years on average.

Rescue services always check ex battery hens for health before they rehome and they don't knowingly put a sick hen into a home.

However for some ex battery hens its all been too much and they die quickly. However if all they get is a week of compassion, sunshine, fresh air and the ability to roam in their little lives that is better than never knowing it at all I think.

On average from what I have read you can anticipate about 2 -5 years from your rescue hens but there are no guarantees of course as with any animal or bird...

How You Can Help The Battery Chickens - ...you dont have to want/be able to rescue chickens

I can't keep hens where I live but I can still help in other ways. If you want to keep hens but would rather have ones that are not ex battery hens; you dont have room or time to keep chickens, you simply have no desire to keep chickens or you feel you wouldnt know what to do to look after them - but you still want to do something there are other ways you can help.

This is just one way...

Believe it or not you can SPONSOR a HEN!!

See link below for details and pictures.

If you have never tasted real free range eggs give it a try and taste the difference. You are putting into your body what the chickens experience...

The "consumer " has amazing power if only we realised it. If we stopped buying battery farmed eggs and residual products they would get the message.

Free Range Eggs In Box

Free Range Eggs In Box
Free Range Eggs In Box | Source

Help The Hens. Choose Your Eggs

..be a discerning consumer of eggs

You may not want or be able to keep chickens and not be interested in sponsoring one either but you may want to do this.

Buy free range eggs, check the label to see if they are really free range.

Check processed food labels, does it say free range, if not it may well contain battery eggs. Check. Ask.

When eating out(also takeaways) ask if the eggs used are free range. Even if they dont know you asked the question and maybe raised a little awareness.If they are not free range or they dont know ask for there to be free range eggs or at the very least a choice.

Check mayonnaise and other products made fom eggs are they free range? If not you may want to consider not buying them.

If you have never tasted real free range eggs give it a try and taste the difference. You are putting into your body what the chickens experience...

The "consumer " has amazing power if only we realised it. If we stopped buying battery farmed eggs and residual products they would get the message.

Just always be polite and courteous,you only need to ask the questions and make your own choices.

And if you get a positive response and can verify that they DO use FREE RANGE EGGS thank them for it!Give those people your valuable custom!

"They too, are created by the same loving hand of God which Created us...It is our duty to Protect Them and to promote their well-being."

Mother Teresa.

Well Done Hellmans UK Free Range Eggs Mayonnaise! - Credit where it is due - Hellmans UK Ditched battery eggs for free range eggs.

Hellmans have started using only Free range Eggs in their mayonnaise! That is a good step forward.

I had stopped eating any bought mayonnaise as scour the shops as much as I could I simply could not find any with free range eggs in it.

What difference will it make if I ask a question about free range eggs, if I sponsor one chicken , if I adopt 4 hens?

This says it better than i can.

The Original Starfish Story found in "Star Thrower," a collection of essays by the naturalist and writer Loren Eiseley 1978

"One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, 'What are you doing?'

The youth replied, 'Throwing starfish back into the ocean.The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die.'

' Son,' the man said, 'don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?

You can't make a difference!'

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,and threw it back into the surf.

Then, smiling at the man, he said;

'I made a difference for that one.'"

"The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position."

Christine Stevens

Are Chickens Capable Of Empathy?

This is an important step forward in looking at how we treat our chickens.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."

Abraham Lincoln

Thank You For Visiting

I would love to hear from you. I do read all comments prior to publishing and thank you for taking the time.

If you have any hints and tips about keeping free range chickens please add them here.

If you have any views or thoughts on what you have read do share them but in the spirit of the rescue centres seeking better solutions not apportioning blame.

Please note for the sake of readers I do not allow commercial links . Thank you

If you found this article interesting or useful please let me know and consider bookmarking it on social sites. I do appreciate that. Thank you.

© 2007 RaintreeAnnie

Do you have any views on this subject of Eggs, Chickens and Hens? - Buying Eggs, keeping chickens, rescue hens?

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    • GreenerDays profile image

      GreenerDays 4 years ago

      What a great topic to write about. I'd love to have chickens, but can't where I am right now (someday, I hope), but always try to buy free range eggs (I need to do a better job of checking the products I buy, however). Thanks for this lens!

    • profile image

      Andycakes 4 years ago

      Only Free Range! And consider - difficult as it is to find mayonnaise made with free range eggs, why not just make your own? It's really easy, very tasty, and you can adapt the recipe to make all sorts of different flavours. And people are always impressed that you made your own mayonnaise! What a terrific lens. Should be compulsory reading. Good job!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      Eggs are my favourite food and I am a great believer in free-range. One day, when I have some land, I hope to keep my own hens. A great lens about a very important subject. Thank you for the information. *Blessed*

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      Always prefer the free range eggs

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      I always buy free range, not only for the political reasons, but they always taste so much better!

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 5 years ago

      We always buy free range as well. When I was growing up, chickens wandered around at free will. That's the way it should be!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      I'm totally with you, Angel blessings...not just for the topic, but for all the information, hard work and authenticity that has gone into this lens. I'm adding this to the links on my chicken lens.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image
      Author

      RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

      @TonyPayne: Thank you for the blessing Poddys it means a lot to me, just trying to raise awareness of this issue. Free range eggs taste so much better than battery and you know the hens are living in better conditions.

      Yes in some countries there is battery farming of cows I have done a page on that as well titled "battery dairy cows" if you are interested.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      What an excellent lens! Keeping battery chickens is so cruel, and I heard that they are doing something similar now with cows as well, herds of thousands of animals kept in sheds for the whole of their lives. It's not right! We always buy free range eggs. Great information and well presented, blessed.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image
      Author

      RaintreeAnnie 5 years ago from UK

      @ElizaRayner: Thank you. I agree the labelling of eggs can be very confusing and you do need to be careful if looking for eggs from genuine free range well cared for hens.

    • profile image

      queen2010 5 years ago

      Great lens, may I know how many hens do you have? and what foods is best to feed for the hen?

    • ElizaRayner profile image

      Eliza Rayner 5 years ago from Boulder, Colorado

      this is an excellent lens with great important information. You have to research the eggs you buy because even the labels that say free range or organic can still mean hens that are not actually enjoying pasture outside. thanks for the compassion and the creation of this lens.

    • profile image

      Murphypig 6 years ago

      Great lens. I'm glad you mention that eggs are used in a lot of products that people don't think about. I find it very annoying that it's not labled properly what kind of eggs are used in products. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would choose free range every time. Seeing my hens running around in the garden I can't imagine what their lives must have been like before.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the site. My roommates and I just recently began tending chickens. Not knowing where to turn for hens, we called a local Hutterite colony.

      "No problem", said the man, "They're $7 a piece."

      I met him the next day to make the purchase. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but the chickens I bought came out of a battery cage. It was a bit shocking to actually see a factory egg farm. I took my 4 hens, and left feeling good about myself!

      My hens were in a rough shape, though only one had a bald patch. (They are young, just started laying). They were "squiggly-legged", and didn't seem to have much coordination. They couldn't walk up the low angle slope between tiers. It's only been 10 days now, and at the very least, they will be given 10 days of life outside a cage, but I think they are doing much better than that!

      They are different though, then most chickens, I think. For one, they bolt from any human as though their lives are in grave danger. They still prefer a small area. I've started "herding" them outside once a day. They like the outdoors when they are there, but they are very happy in their coop enclosure, where they have at least 3 square feet each, but they still don't use the whole coop. Their laying cycles are still off... we started getting 4 eggs a day... it's down to 2 or 3... I think one isn't laying.

      The amazing thing about all of it though, is the way that they are quickly becoming "normal" birds, without any help from brood hens. They've found their food and water, and they are laying in a nesting box (thanks to some help from a golf ball!). They can eat feed, plants, and meat, even though their beaks are clipped, and they all roost on the narrow edge of a board!

      I just got the chickens because I wanted to produce some of my own food, but these hens have been so much more than that. There is a deep connection to... a greater force, a universal compassion, maybe, when you (unwittingly, in my case) protect a weak and socially dispensable animal from further cruelty. The best part, in the case of chickens.... it's easy, and the rewards are tangible... I swear I had the best omelet ever last night!

      Thanks for letting me sound off!

    • wilddove6 profile image

      wilddove6 6 years ago

      This is an excellent lens! Very informative...all the information is right here...and the compassion shows through. Changing our ways just a little can mean so much for these wonderful birds who produce food for our table. For the battery hens who have spent the majority of their lives in conditions that should make us weep, they too deserve our compassion and care in their last years. Thank you for getting the word out in a very dignified way.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      great info for making people think - I have an adopted freed battery hen - if I had a garden I would certainly be giving a home to some. angel blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      And we call this progress! I got nauseated just reading your account...and you gave it to us gently. I'll sure spread the work to friends and family about the importance of getting eggs only from free range chickens. Its amazing that this animal abuse is legal.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      Thank you for creating such an impressive and heartfelt lens on the importance of supporting free-range chickens and buying only free-range eggs. This is an important issue but presented in a way that everyone can relate to, with your poem and the sweet story of your chicken and pony chasing each other! Excellent work and a well-deserved purple star. Blessed by a passing Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Enjoyed your Squidoo. I like reading and knowing. Chris

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      Ever since the 1980's when I learned about battery hen production, I have bought free range eggs. When we moved to the country we bought some hens from a battery farm gave them a grassy new home.. (probably most are bought to be 'boiler' dinners!) Well, the couldn't even walk when we let them loose, after living only on cage floors. Most beautiful thing ever, to see them discovering everything natural. They all lived a long and happy life with us.

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      lilymom24 6 years ago

      What a nice and informative lens. We've thought of having chickens at some time in the future so I'm favoriting this lens for future reference.

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      Yvonne L. B. 6 years ago from Covington, LA

      Wonderful lens. We have some free range hens and plan to get more chicks this spring. Blessed by the Farmyard Angel.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Very enlightening lens for me- I imagine this is how most of the eggs are gathered in my area- we have a lot of chicken farmers in BC. I think the difference between a battery farmed egg and a free range one is obvious. The pale, lifeless looking yolk of the battery egg is nothing compared to the vibrant, healthy looking orange of a free range. Even just visually, we can see there's a difference in production measures- and we are what we eat! Perhaps this is a point the farmers can recognize? Free range chickens that are happy and healthy produce better tasting eggs. Angel blessed, and featured on Blessed Pets. Great to have the chickens on board -:)

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      Murphypig 6 years ago

      I'm getting some rescue hens soon. I only have a small garden, but I'm sure they will be happy. Can't wait! :-)

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      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      Thanks for writing this lens on a very tough subject. I hope someday this problem can be eliminated altogether. Great job on your coverage of it.

    • BrickHouseFabrics profile image

      BrickHouseFabrics 6 years ago

      A great lens on a difficult subject! Thankyou!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Great lens and thanks for bringing this important issue to the fore. I once took chickens that were sold by a battery farm and the poor things had trouble walking, could not lay a single egg and generally were suffering extraordinary pain. We put them out of their misery. Where I live the law was changed and now all eggs must be labelled Free Range, Barn Laid or Battery. There has been an enormous jump in the sale of Free Range eggs. This was brough about by pressure from activists This lens is now featured on Save Planet Earth.

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      Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Congratulations on the well deserved Purple Star for this great lens.

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      nelabai 6 years ago

      Great job, congrats on the purple star ! :)

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      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Amazing work you've done here! Congratulations on your new star!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 6 years ago from Iowa

      We kept chicken for many years always as free range. The predators have made it impossible so we no longer keep chickens. I do miss them racing about the yard and the lovely little ones. We had arancana and banty. We never butchered them as they were really pets but we did collect the eggs of the aracanas.

    • nebby profile image

      nebby 6 years ago from USA

      We try to eat free range eggs whenever we can (we very rarely eat eggs) and know several people who have their own chickens but unfortunately they live in a different state so we can't get any of their eggs.

      Congratulations on your purple star! This is a hard subject to cover and you have done a terrific job.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      A very comprehensive and compassionate lens.I hope the awareness spreads and people become conscious of the fact that chickens too are living beings.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      I was just enjoying watching our chickens roam the sunny hillside this morning and I wish that for all chickens. They are very special little creatures with unique personalities and I don't want to even imagine them being crammed in a cage like their sister-chickens. Thanks for all the links to more information and for showing real heart in putting this lens together. *Nominated for a purple star...it sure deserves it!

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 6 years ago

      Aww, this is a sweet lens. I'd like to have some chickens of my own someday (great for the garden and my little orchard!), but there are coyotes where I live, so I'll have to invest in a good coop first.

    • Clairwil LM profile image

      Clairwil LM 6 years ago

      Thank-you for making this lens. Battery farming is a dirty, barbaric practice and it's high time it was banned.

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 6 years ago

      Good lens on an important topic :D

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I totally agree that chickens should be allowed to live a humane and rich life. The laws of animal raising and how we get our food should be changed. I hope I see them changed in my lifetime.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      hi there!!

      i was wondering if someone would be able to help me. i have ex battery hens on my farm and a member of my staff have decided to put 2 cockrels in with them. the cockrels are only 6months old. i was wondering if this was ok to do this.

    • Kiosks4business profile image

      Kiosks4business 7 years ago

      Wonderful Lens I really enjoyed it.

      Have you heard about knitting jumpers for the poor old battery hens when they have been 'retired'? They loose feathers in their cages, and Little Red Hen Rescue as for people to knit the hens some jumpers read more here >>> http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/jumpers.aspx

      Superb Lens - Love it!!

      https://hubpages.com/technology/retail-kiosks

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi Lance, My sister lives in Phoenix Arizona. She has been in contact with the Vice Presidnet of Kingsman Eggs on the west side of Phoeniz. He is in charge of Marketing and thinks this adopt a hen thing is a great idea. Feel free to email the company to give them any ideas about how to get this started. If I hear anything, I will post it on here.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Lance. My sister lives in Phoenix Arizona. There is a Kingsman Egg company on the west side of Phoenix. My sister has been in touch with the Vice President. He is in charge of Marketing. He likes the idea of adoping out the hens. He had never heard of this before. He has meeting with his brothers to discuss this. Feel free to email him at the company. Maybe you could give him some ideas that would help get this off the ground.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image
      Author

      RaintreeAnnie 7 years ago from UK

      Hi Lance, Thank you for your comment and enquiry. I do not know of any agencies where you can adopt chickens near Arizona but I will certainly look for you and will be in touch if I find anything useful.

      Also if anyone reading this knows of anywhere could you please post it here in a message to help Lance. I do appreciate that.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image
      Author

      RaintreeAnnie 7 years ago from UK

      Lance, I hope you do not mind, I have published your message but taken off your e mail address. (If e mail addresses are left on sites you may be subject to spam mail so in order to protect you I have taken it off.)

      Message from Lance Baker .

      .Hello My name is Lance Baker. I was really bothered on how chicken layers are being treated it's very disturbing. I raise chickens myself and I am 21 and I wanted to know if there was a way I could adopt chickens, chickens that are being battered. I mean if anything I would love to help poultry they are my all time favorite animal. I live out in the country of Arizona so I am wondering how do I find resources to adopt chickens near Arizona I have gone on all sorts of sites and haven't found anything yet. Thanks again

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      backyardchickencoops 7 years ago

      Great lens, great facts, there where somethings that I didn't even know. I think this is something that alot of people don't think about. Caging these animals like they do is animal cruelty. This is something that people don't think about they don't see these chickens they just see the eggs on there plate. We want to be humane, but we don't concern are selves will these types of problems. There nothing wrong with cages, but you can't keep them locked up for ever. Frequently Asked Questions about Raising Chickens

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      MikeTrencherd 8 years ago

      Ex battery hens are unbelievably friendly. They make the best family pets ever!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Excellent lens! We rescued a dozen chickens when we lived on a farm in Pennsylvania. They'd been raised in small cages in a huge operation somewhere in Ohio. The place was destroyed by a tornado, and the surviving chickens were up for adoption. Talk about happy chickens when we got them home, running around, scratching and pecking like crazy. You could tell they'd never seen or touched grass before or eaten a real, live bug. I swear, they may have been "just chickens," but seeing that made me cry. I was really fond of those birds, and they laid loads of happy eggs for us.

    • mywebgal lm profile image

      mywebgal lm 8 years ago

      Oh! This is a terrific lens. Great job presenting the facts. Breaks my heart about the caged birds. My husband and I have our own chickens for eggs. They are the cutest things to watch and they are friendly. They have their "house" for night time, but they have free range during the day. I can see them right now out my window. Oh... and the eggs are surprisingly different! Fresher than fresh! The yolks are the brightest yellow I've ever seen. They are far tastier and healthier. Thanks for sharing all this info! 5 stars and favorited - you deserve it!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • GoodBug profile image

      GoodBug 8 years ago

      I live in New Zealand and I'm afraid we have battery hens here to.

      We keep hens (brown shavers) and we always buy ex battery hens or point-of-lay ones before they go to the battery farms whenever we want a few more. Ours have a large run with a little house so they can be inside or outside as they choose.

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      niniane 8 years ago

      Happy to return the visit - great lens and lots of very interesting information thankyou

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Our family is hoping to have a secured fenced in area on our property by next year to raise cage free chickens-we love fresh eggs! I love the idea of rescueing hens but am finding it hard to locate a facility in Eastern US? Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      I agree with Chloe. This is an excellent lens and you have great potential to be a Giant Squid.

      You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

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      chloecavanaugh 8 years ago

      Although I have already rated this lens, I only wish I could give it a big fat five again. One of your best. You are an outstanding Lensmaster, and I LOVE your lenses. You'll be a Giant Squid soon, and I can't wait! Keep creating these excellent works of art!

      ~Chloe

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      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      I always buy free range eggs and have done for years. In the Uk, it's a very straight forward thing to do and now even stores such as Sainsburys and M & S are advertising products cooked with free range eggs. I've found labelling in the US now as clear and almost went into panic mode when I thought they didn't have them. They're not date stamped either.

      I think the idea of adopting a battery hen is wonderful. Superb lens, 5 Yolky stars for you!

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 8 years ago

      We have some of our own hens and my daughter grew up with roosters whom she named after famous rock stars!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      I forget about the lensroll function. I am lensrolling this lens to the farm...

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Our chickens run around all day long. They love it. At night they get into their coop by themselves. They are happy, happy, happy as they explore all day. We keep hoping for some eggs. None yet.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 9 years ago from California

      An absolutely fabulous lens. I never knew so much about chickens. I've started buying battery-free eggs when I learned about this practice last year, but reading your first-hand account really hit me hard. My sister has chickens and they are treated with dignity and love. They all have names, a warm hen-house, a yard to run in and they are released into a very large grassy area to play and eat bugs. I will start looking at my prepackaged food. I had never thought to do that. Thank you for your excellent work here. Bear hugs, Frankie

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      enslavedbyfaeries 9 years ago

      There is so much confusion and deception about buying free-range eggs from the grocery store that I choose not buy eggs at all anymore. Even free-range hens come for breeders or farms that kill all the make chicks because they of no use. I applaud your efforts to educate and encourage consumers to think about where there food comes from and educate about the horrors that animals endure in factory farms. I wish I could leave you more than 5 stars for this lens. Nicely done! :)

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      Achim Thiemermann 9 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Thanks for this reminder to pay more attention when buying eggs. I usually get mine at the farmers market, but sometimes, when I need them quickly, I go to the grocery store and look for the best price, automatically. I have to change that habit. *****

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 9 years ago

      Very informative lens! Thanks for making it. I'm still not real clear where the term "battery chicken" comes in. I even checked out the FAQ. Could you define what it means for us? :)

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 9 years ago

      I love this lens good work I saw a video recently and I haven't eat chicken since then its been a bout three months now and yes I miss fried chicken but I can't eat it I hope I don't find a video on beef!!

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Superb JasmineAnn!

      I learned an awful lot today from this lens. A lot that will affect my egg buying habits from now on, which as you say above means it's at least one person that's been shown how to make a difference. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.

      Shame I can only rate it 5 stars when it's such a truly worthwhile, helpful and informative lens.

    • profile image

      EliteClubs 9 years ago

      This lens is great, very informative, thank you.

      Eliteclubs

      Email Marketing Elite

    • Becca Sanz profile image

      Becca Sanz 9 years ago

      Thank you for sending me your Squidcast. Your lenses are always a joy to read. I hope you will support movement to promote Healthy Food on college campuses which of course includes free range eggs.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Once again, excellent material. You've packed three lenses worth into one! Welcome to the Building Ordinary group.

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      Aika 9 years ago

      It misses me living in the farm. Wonderful lens.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      The Purple Gallinules send you Valentine's Day Greetings and thank you for thinking of all egg layers.

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      thomasz 9 years ago

      Nice lens. Great info. What came 1st. the chicken or the egg?

    • EelKat13 profile image

      EelKat13 9 years ago

      what a wonderful lens! I've raised bantams my whole life... they are such wonderful babies. I just added this lens to my "Gifts for Rooster Lovers" lensroll: https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Copper-Cockeral...

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      freelief 9 years ago

      Thanks for the "lensroll" ... I didn't know what that was yet! ;)

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      freelief 9 years ago

      Nice lens! Please check out my "chicken berries" lens, it is right up your alley! :)

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      What a really fantastic lens!! Two thumbs up - and my free range spoiled rotten hens say so, too. Thank you so much! I also had never heard of the programs to rehome battery hens. Perhaps rather than buying more chicks this year as I had planned, I will offer some rescued hens a patch of our desert.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the update!

    • LABELSTONE profile image

      LABELSTONE 9 years ago

      Great lense. As an owner of 10 chickens, who have a very large part of the garden for themselves, I can truly see the advantage of free range. Our eggs are so tasty!

      Check out my new lense on St. Patricks Day at: http://www.squidoo.com/irisheyes.

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      chloecavanaugh 9 years ago

      Thank you for keeping us informed. You have done an outstanding job on this lens.

      *****

      Chloe

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      I remember helping to feed the chickens with my grandmother. I think that all children should have the experience of raising chickens and get to know their personalities as you did.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      the inhumanity to animals is astounding! I give you 5*s for your courage to bring this out for us to learn

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 9 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for building this lens, jasmineann. Our household has been buying "cage-free" and "free-range" eggs for years. I hope one day to live where we can raise our own laying hens and have fresh, delicious eggs like the ones I used to help my granny gather.

    • Music-Resource profile image

      Music-Resource 9 years ago

      Hi Jasmineann, Thanx for signing my music-resource guestbook. I applaud you for creating a site that helps visitors put themselves in the "shoes" of a battery-raised chicken. Few realize that we would feel the same if we were to switch places with the factory animals - we'd feel devastated.

    • larrybla lm profile image

      larrybla lm 9 years ago

      You are doing a great service here. I have been buying free range eggs at our local health food store for over 15 years.

      Thanks for visiting. 5*'s lensroll

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Thank you Jasmineann. I did buy the free range eggs but was wondering about the others.

    • RaintreeAnnie profile image
      Author

      RaintreeAnnie 9 years ago from UK

      Hi rms, Thats a very good question. Labelling of eggs is often very confusing.Regulations vary and do not exist in every country. See new section "labelling of eggs" the links may help you. Personally I go for eggs labelled free range or certified humanely produced.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Hi, I'm back with a question. I went to buy free range eggs and came across some that said "Animal Friendly" would they be considered the same as free range?

      Thanks!

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 9 years ago

      You deserve 5* Dog Whisper Woman

    • Gatsby LM profile image

      Gatsby LM 9 years ago

      We do eat FREE RANGE EGGS five stars for you my friend. Best Natural Dog Food

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      I have to be honest. I'm embarrassed to say that I never gave this any thought until now. I will definitely be looking for free range eggs from now on. 5* for an excellent lens and for teaching me about this!

      I love animals.

    • Karendelac profile image

      Karendelac 9 years ago

      I am passionate about animals and your lens is a solid 5 stars. I have just completed a Bird Rescue Lens ~~ Please click on Karendelac above, to view it.

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      Alberta 10 years ago

      Hi Jasmineann, what a great and informative topic. It makes me want to raise chickens again. I lived in Malta and used to rescue cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, hedgehogs.....whatever came my way! I loved having hens. Their favorite food was rice and bananas. No wonder their eggs were delicious!

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 10 years ago

      Great lens, lots of valuable information.

    • EelKat13 profile image

      EelKat13 10 years ago

      well phewy, I got too long winded and the comment got cut off! LOL! My roosters are all tamed and trained, and named, and come when they are called. I love roosters, they are my fave birds. I'm so glad to fins others of a like mind who want to see these birds given a good life

      ~~EK

    • EelKat13 profile image

      EelKat13 10 years ago

      what a wonderful lens! I have been raising rescued roosters for 30 years now, sometimes it get frustrating cause so few people see anything wrong with the way chickens are treated. Some of my best friends have been chickens. They can be tamed and trained just like cats and dogs.

    • KarenC LM profile image

      KarenC LM 10 years ago

      I never knew hens needed defenders. Glad to see you are taking care of it.