This probably isn’t the type of post you would expect to find on this site however, it does show how social media can be used to network and connect with likeminded folk, who you possibly wouldn’t have come across using traditional techniques. I met Jo, the original author of the blog quoted below in 2010 on Facebook talking about Strictly Come Dancing. If you have ever visited my personal blog you will know I love Strictly and sheep. over the following 12 months I have come to learn alot from Jo about the plight of ex battery hens. This Christmas 1200 hens were rescued from a battery farm in Cornwall where, had they been left, they would have been sent to slaughter. We’ve featured posts about bringing offline and online worlds together and how crowd sourcing can raise funds for different endeavours, so as its Christmas I thought id share the story with you all and if you can have a read and help a hen by retweeting the link to the blog then maybe we can help find forever homes for some of these hens.
There are currently 1,200 very fortunate little hens sitting in a barn in Camelford awaiting their forever homes. Their miraculous last minute reprieve from slaughter truly sums up the compassionate sentiments of the season.
With the barren cage ban imminent and battery farms all over the country furiously emptying their cages of hens, December has been a manic month for rehoming. What made it more heartbreaking for us rescuers is that any hens not rehomed would be going for slaughter. In Cornwall alone, over three re-homings in December, BHWT Cornwall Co-ordinator Michelle Boulton and her team had re-homed some 1,500 lucky hens.
At 7am, two days after Christmas, the dedicated Cornwall Re-homing team met at the farm for what they thought would be the last time to rescue 400 girls, before the slaughter lorry came the next day to take the remaining 1,200 away. It was something we had all been dreading, the joy of re-homing overshadowed by having to walk past rows upon rows of expectant little faces, knowing what the next 24 hours would bring for them. As we filled the final crate with the lucky ones, all of us trying to hold back the tears, Michelle suddenly decided that she simply could not let the remaining girls go to their deaths so in a moment of brilliance (or madness – you decide!) she asked the farmer if she could take them. He agreed and within minutes the slaughter lorry was cancelled and the girls booked to go to Michelle’s barn the next day.
It was something of a mammoth task which, after the rehoming of the original 400 hens, meant rearranging the barn and stables to be ready to accommodate these lucky ladies, organising transport and help and, most importantly, vast quantities of feed.
However, all 1,200 girls are now safely housed in the barn, keeping Michelle very busy and eating about eight sacks of feed a day!
I appreciate not everyone is in the position to offer homes to these hens but you can help find homes for these 1,200 little angels by tweeting and facebook sharing about them, sharing this blog and passing on the word. Also, the eight bags of feed a day are not cheap so if you are able to donate a small amount towards their feed, we would be so very grateful. Within 12 hours of first asking for help with costs, Michelle had received over £300 from some wonderful, generous souls. Payments can be sent via Paypal to Michelle’s paypal account – email@example.com . Any surplus money, once all the girls have been rehomed, will go to the BHWT to help other hens.
People around the country have already shown so much kindness and support, both to offering homes for the girls earlier in the month and now by trying to find homes for these lucky 1,200. Their generosity and love has been quite humbling and has restored my faith in the kindness and compassion of our kind.
A final word then for Michelle who has shown dedication far and beyond anything any of us mere mortals could imagine. As the rest of us fell by the wayside, exhausted and emotionally drained, she has kept on and on and hasn’t given up until every last one of these girls was safe. She has barely eaten for days she has been so busy with the girls but can finally rest easy now, knowing she has saved so many precious little lives.
Originally posted on www.lifewiththeexbatts.wordpress.com on 29th December 2011