Rehoming at Raystede is slowly starting again but we remain closed to the public. All visits to site to adopt or surrender an animal will be by appointment only. We are accepting online applications to adopt a pet and will consider reserves, introductions and adoptions on a case-by-case basis. Due to the high volume of enquiries being received we are not currently able to respond immediately to every application we receive.
At Raystede we have hens, cockerels and ducks available for adoption.
During the Spring and Summer we take in large numbers of ex commercial hybrid hens (these birds would have been known as ex battery hens in the past). Battery systems are no longer legal in the UK so now they come to us from a range of farming set ups including caged, barn/aviary systems and organic/free range. Free range and organic hens have the most space and access to the outside.
We also often have a variety of pure breeds available that individuals have surrendered to us as they can no longer accommodate or care for them. We take these in year round.
Most of the ex commercial birds are about 18 months of age so will still be laying regularly. We cannot guarantee the same with the pure breeds that come to us as they are often a range of ages.
Poultry should always be kept in pairs or groups as they take comfort from being together.
If you are interested in adopting poultry from Raystede you will need a secure, fox-proof coop with access to an outdoor enclosure. Or, if you are planning on keeping them free range in your garden they must be supervised at all times.
To keep the hens physically and mentally healthy it’s necessary (and great fun) to provide plenty of enrichment. They should have places to perch, such as branches and logs (rotten logs are also full of invertebrates which the chickens will love rooting out).
Hanging up vegetables such as corn on the cob or broccoli with some string is a great way to feed them and keep them occupied.
We often have lots of cockerels at Raystede looking for new homes - They make a great addition to a group of hens. To avoid having baby chicks simply remove the eggs as you normally would; without incubation they won’t develop.
Cockerels are noisier than hens so make sure your neighbours don’t mind before bringing them home.
If you are interested in adopting poultry from Raystede, please click here.