<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Your Chickens today click here

Lizzy to the rescue

PUBLISHED: 14:51 14 July 2017

Lizze's hens

Lizze's hens


We talk to a new henkeeper who saved some ex-battery hens

When Lizzy Page heard from a friend that 4,000 battery hens were due to be slaughtered nearby, lack of experience didn’t prevent her from stepping in.

“I was pretty sure saving four would be better than saving none,” she says, though even that seemed daunting at the time. Lizzy, from Stratford-upon-Avon, was encouraged to save some battery hens by a friend who had previously rescued 12 from slaughter.

The experience was not what Lizzy was expecting. “I had some notion of choosing birds from a grassy pen,” she laughed. Instead, she was asked to crawl up a ladder into a cramped coop. Then the smell hit. “Nothing could have prepared me for the smell of urine and the hectic noise of frightened birds.”

What followed was chasing frantic chickens while holding her breath against the smell and balancing on the beams of the coop – with the warning of the farmer that to fall off was to fall through echoing in her ears. At the time, Lizzy had never even picked up a chicken, so it was a while before she made her first catch. Eventually though, she was loading her four chosen birds into a borrowed dog cage she had in the boot of her car.

After a night in the kitchen for the birds – the only option, as Lizzy did not yet have a coop – the next morning, she went out to buy them a new home. Her coop was purchased and a neighbour enlisted to assemble it; while they waited, Lizzy decided to heat the temporary home, an outhouse, using an oil-filled radiator.

“It was a few days before we got into a routine,” she said. “I visited a local store for some advice, bought oyster shells as grit and added vinegar to the water as a tonic. One chicken needed to be treated with cream for sore skin that had been pecked at.”

It wasn’t long before the chickens started to feel like part of the family. “I began handling them daily. They seemed to like a cuddle and a stroke, and the eggs became more frequent.”

Lizzy saw her rescued chickens change in only a few short weeks. After carefully fox-proofing the garden – a process that involved taking up her patio – Lizzy transferred her hens to an outside run. They’re very happy there. They started to use the sand bath and to sunbathe, as well as entertain themselves, trying to grab the cabbage leaves Lizzy dangles from string down into their run.

Where they were quite bald when they arrived, Lizzy can now see a great deal of feather re-growth, and is rewarded for her efforts with an increasing number of eggs. “They have brought a huge sense of happiness and calm to me,” she said. “Despite my haphazard way of going about things, I do not regret getting them one bit. Sometimes you just have to find some chickens – and run!”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Your Chickens visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Your Chickens staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Your Chickens account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from News

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Decorate your eggs for Christmas – it’s fun and they look great! Julie Moore shows you how

Read more
Friday, December 1, 2017

Brean Play is joining forces with The Salvation Army for its annual Christmas Toy Appeal, to help children in the local area this Christmas.

Read more
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Health questions answered by poultry vet Victoria Roberts BVSc MRCVS

Read more
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Jeremy Hobson discovers the potential value of chicken keeping for children affected by autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

Read more
Friday, October 13, 2017

New henkeeper Vikki Smith, from Cirencester, shared her reflections on her new hobby…

Read more
Friday, October 13, 2017

A solitary chicken and a lonely duck find solace together…

Read more
Friday, September 15, 2017

Jeremy Hobson, Grant Brereton and Andy Cawthray debate the price of chickens

Read more
Friday, September 15, 2017

Dr Mihai Petcu is a farmer and chicken keeper… and the man behind Animal Farm, the first ever children’s farm in Romania. He talks to Jeremy Hobson

Read more
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

There are some privileged chickens at a celebrated National Trust property in East Sussex. Sam Bowles investigated

Read more
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chickens can be both. But, with careful planning, they will be great for your garden! Julie Moore explains

Read more
Your Chickens Application Link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read

Don't Miss...

Chickens Stateside

Fresh Eggs Daily

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook