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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've just got back from collecting our 4 new hens, they are from a free range farm in Gloucestershire, 72 weeks old, abit smelly and bald but otherwise in good condition.
Bird Chicken Phasianidae Beak Galliformes
Bird Chicken Phasianidae Comb Liver
Chicken Wood Liver Fawn Art

Our old girls seem to be mostly happy with their new flock members, they are abit vocal but no showing off or pecking yet.
 

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We've just got back from collecting our 4 new hens, they are from a free range farm in Gloucestershire, 72 weeks old, abit smelly and bald but otherwise in good condition.
View attachment 486683 View attachment 486685 View attachment 486687
Our old girls seem to be mostly happy with their new flock members, they are abit vocal but no showing off or pecking yet.
Showing my ignorance, but if they're from a free range farm why are they in that condition?
 

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Showing my ignorance, but if they're from a free range farm why are they in that condition?
Free range hens have had to be kept in due to the bird flu that is prevalent in the UK. I expect the birds have been getting a bit stressed at the change
 

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When I looked into free range chickens, the advice was up to 1,000 birds on an acre, if I remember rightly(?).

And nothing about how small a building they could be squashed into at night.

So I guess those chooks don’t look too bad, considering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Showing my ignorance, but if they're from a free range farm why are they in that condition?
I don't know to be honest it's a very good question. According to the volunteer from the hen welfare trust I was talking to they were quite packed in to the barn they were living in.
As a result of a bird flu outbreak they legally couldn't have been outside so their eggs should not have been labeled as free range but barn hens.
They will soon plump up and grow a nice body of feathers.
 

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I don't know to be honest it's a very good question. According to the volunteer from the hen welfare trust I was talking to they were quite packed in to the barn they were living in.
As a result of a bird flu outbreak they legally couldn't have been outside so their eggs should not have been labeled as free range but barn hens.
They will soon plump up and grow a nice body of feathers.
I suppose if in normal times the hens were only going in to the barn at night to roost they wouldn't have to have such a large space and I suspect don't need it as they will probably cuddle up together especially if it's chilly. I know the lady near us who has a large flock of free range hens has had to keep them in and her sheds are quite small. Must be frustrating for free range egg producers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I suppose if in normal times the hens were only going in to the barn at night to roost they wouldn't have to have such a large space and I suspect don't need it as they will probably cuddle up together especially if it's chilly. I know the lady near us who has a large flock of free range hens has had to keep them in and her sheds are quite small. Must be frustrating for free range egg producers.
Yeah, I feel more sorry for the hens than the money makers I'm afraid.
 

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A few years ago the neighbours we had then, had 5 rescue chickens they were lovely, problem we had was they smelt and as we only have small gardens they were to close to the houses and all that clucking was very annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A few years ago the neighbours we had then, had 5 rescue chickens they were lovely, problem we had was they smelt and as we only have small gardens they were to close to the houses and all that clucking was very annoying.
They shouldn't smell if their area is regularly cleaned/poo picked.
Apparently the smell in the new girls barn was very overpowering.
 

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Yeah, I feel more sorry for the hens than the money makers I'm afraid.
Why?
Everyone has to make some money in order to live. The lady in the village that has hens must have about 50 hens and sells eggs in order to bring some money into the family and pay the bills
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why?
Everyone has to make some money in order to live. The lady in the village that has hens must have about 50 hens and sells eggs in order to bring some money into the family and pay the bills
I do feel some sympathy for struggling farmers, especially with hen food going up so much in price. But I feel more sorry for the animals that are cramped up in smelly, overcrowded barns. When the hens come to us they are not the healthy specimens you see on the TV adverts.
 

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I do feel some sympathy for struggling farmers, especially with hen food going up so much in price. But I feel more sorry for the animals that are cramped up in smelly, overcrowded barns. When the hens come to us they are not the healthy specimens you see on the TV adverts.
I understand that, but I don't suppose the farmer was happy about keeping them in due to bird flu but had no other options other then buy a new barn which would be very expensive and possibly low in availability currently.

I do get fed up with people slagging off farmers and farming as you may have noticed. Every meal you eat you need thank a farmer for unless you are producing everything yourself. Even your hens and dog are being fed a product produced by a farmer somewhere. No farmers, very little food and we all starve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I understand that, but I don't suppose the farmer was happy about keeping them in due to bird flu but had no other options other then buy a new barn which would be very expensive and possibly low in availability currently.

I do get fed up with people slagging off farmers and farming as you may have noticed. Every meal you eat you need thank a farmer for unless you are producing everything yourself. Even your hens and dog are being fed a product produced by a farmer somewhere. No farmers, very little food and we all starve.
Have you ever seen a caged hen at the end of their time on a "farm" it's shocking, it shouldn't be happening, I don't call that farming.

This was Sylvie when we 1st met her, she was from a caged factory.
Bird Phasianidae Chicken Comb Plant

This was her afew months later
Bird Phasianidae Comb Chicken Beak


There is no excuse for this cruelty.
And alot of products use caged hens eggs, alot.

ETA; bird flue outbreaks happen every year for many months, the farmers should prepare for this inevitable problem as we small hen keepers have.
 

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Bird flu has been increasing in severity more recently. This is the first time that all of the uk has had to keep hens in for so much time that they can no longer sell the eggs as free range. During most years bird flu has either been short lived or only in part of the uk.
And for the record I don’t agree with caged hens and don’t buy them
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bird flu has been increasing in severity more recently. This is the first time that all of the uk has had to keep hens in for so much time that they can no longer sell the eggs as free range. During most years bird flu has either been short lived or only in part of the uk.
And for the record I don't agree with caged hens and don't buy them
Last year we had to keep ours in for 5 months so we made their covered area bigger. The farmers should be prepared for these things.
 
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