LINCS LITTLE HENS - Frequently asked Questions
How do I get some ex battery hens?
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on our waiting list. Please give us your
contact numbers-both landline and mobile,
how many hens you would like
- what kind of set-up you have
and if you would like any extra bits and bobs (see our shop page for starter packs)
- what experience you have of ex batts (if any) We DO rehome to new hen keepers but can offer more advice to you if you are a beginner so we can allow a little more time at collection for any questions you may have.
We will acknowledge receipt of your email and then let you know when our next rescue is planned.
How much do ex battery hens cost?
We ask a minimum donation £3 per hen which helps towards the costs incurred during the rescue. Extra donations are always welcomed though. We do not get the hens free but have to pay the farmer the equivalent of what the slaughterman would pay. We make no profit as any money left over pays towards more poultry crates, trailers and any associated costs of retiring these girls.
Will the hens still lay eggs?
Yes they will. They may have a short break while they build their bodies back up and adapt to their new lives but then they will lay the best eggs ever! Their laying slows if they are going through a moult but they will still lay for many years. The only reason they are not commercially viable for farmers is they maybe lay one less egg per week which is ok for us, but on the grand scale of farming, it makes quite an impact on the farmer.
What do the hens eat?
When you first get the rescue hens home - they need Layers Meal also known as "mash", always fed dry, for the first week or two. (You can order sacks of this and other items from us to collect with your hens)After that first couple of weeks (if you wish) - introduce them to normal Layers Pellets and Mixed Corn, plus leftover Rice and Pasta, cabbage Leaves etc etc - all of which they will love. We personally hang whole cabbages in haylage nets (as opposed to hay nets as haylage nets have smaller holes) so the chickens can be challenged, catching it as it moves. Ours also get tinned sweetcorn and dried mealworms and are now fed a diet of Garden Blend as their main meal (instead of mash/pellets) and they lay more eggs than before!ALWAYS ENSURE YOUR HENS HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN FRESH DRINKING WATER!
When you collect your hens, we will give you a rehoming pack which contains lots of information and also the contact numbers/email addresses so if you keep that then you will always have our details to hand. We will always try to help you if you have a question not covered in the rehoming pack.
If you cannot keep your hens for ANY REASON in the future, you must contact us before doing anything else. When you initially collect your hens from us you will be asked to sign an adoption form which states that the birds must stay in your posession unless you've had written/email permission from us to rehome them yourself. This is to stop the hens ending up in Free Ads or Freecycle. We do not want their lives disrupted any more than necessary so if you cannot keep the birds, we will take them back or IF we have someone near to you on our waiting list for hens, we could arrange them to collect them from you instead. We do not give refunds as you have made a donation to us for your hens. If someone on our waiting list collects your hens, they are not to repay your donation to you either.
The hen pictured above is named Tiny and is our mascot.
Tiny was rescued by Little Hen Rescue when we used to volunteer with them and as I saw her in a stable, the size of a pigeon, totally bald and doing a funny little walk with her "knock knees", I couldn't resist her.
Usually the hens still have wing feathers even if not many feathers on their body, but Tiny just had wing spikes. The little standard sized fleece tunics buried her so she had an extra "tiny" one and when we had hot weather I had to make her a T shirt our of one of the kids outgrown ones so she didn't get sunburnt.
It took a long time but Tiny is now fully feathered and has beautiful speckles, but still has her funny walk. You can see on her back she had a few spiky feather stems coming through when I took the picture.
Hens like Tiny are in the farms and barns across the UK, providing cheap eggs for people of this country who aren't prepared to pay a little extra for Free Range or Organic.
Would you say Tiny looks healthy? Would you want eggs from an unhealthy hen? They may seem tasty but once you have had your own hens eggs and then go back to a "Supermarket egg" , you will realise just how bland and tasteless they are in comparison to a happy hen with a varied diet and grass to nibble and room to move.