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News 12.07.19

The Great Chicken Run

Can you help us save thousands of lives?

According to the British Hen Welfare Trust there are 38 million egg laying hens in the UK. At the age of 18 months, when their egg production slows, every single one will be sent to slaughter. At Raystede we take in roughly 100 ex commercial hens per month throughout the Spring and Summer. They are vaccinated, wormed and health checked before being rehomed in pairs and groups to members of the public.

But we want to help even more.

In the last five years, hobby chicken keeping has exploded with more individuals than ever keeping chickens as pets. Unfortunately this means in some cases birds finding themselves homeless when circumstances change and owners need to find a solution for their birds when they can no longer care for them.

We are often asked to step in.

Cockerels have lost the lottery of life being born male and a chicken. Unable to produce eggs, they are considered worthless and are usually culled shortly after hatching, abandoned or sold to be used as live bait for larger animals. We are inundated with requests to take cockerels in and have to turn most away due to lack of space, never knowing where they might end up.

We want to expand our facilities at Raystede with an additional chicken run to accommodate the accelerating need for space. The project will cost £12,000 and we desperately need your help to fund it. Please, anything you can spare will mean we can save so many more lives. Will you help us?

Desiree the ex laying hen was one of an intake from a farm who came to Raystede when she reached the age of 18 months. She was due to be slaughtered as she could no longer produce enough eggs to justify her space in the barn and was loaded onto a truck with hundreds of other hens. One truck went left to the abattoir and one went right to Raystede. By complete chance, Desiree was lucky enough to be on the truck bound for Raystede and now lives free range in a large garden with four other rescue hens, spending most of her days sunbathing and searching for worms.

Please, help us today turn more trucks right to Raystede.

Duke the Marans cockerel came to us as a welfare concern. His owner had Duke and five other boys living in tiny space and was seriously struggling to cope to meet their needs. Following his eviction from his property, the situation reached crisis point as he was only able to visit them every few days and they started to fight due to lack of space, food and stimulation. We offered to step in and help. After several months, Duke was adopted alongside three rescue hens and is now enjoying life as an alarm clock and guardian of his flock which includes Eva! Without Raystede, his owner might have had no choice but to have Duke put to sleep.

Please, help us secure more futures for unwanted boys.

The project will cost in £12,000 to build but will save thousands of lives. Please, give whatever you can. Help us be their final destination, not the abattoir. A donation from you today will help us save more hens like Desiree and more cockerels like Duke and other animals that need us. Thank you.

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