Rescuing ex-battery hens was the best thing Kirsty Macleod has ever done Around a year ago, I decided to bring home five scrawny hens, much to my mother’s dismay. They needed ‘help’ (in the form of sleeping in front of the fire and claiming the sofa!) Yes, I had brought home five ex-batteries! Collecting them was easy! I arranged for an older friend to drive me to Edinburgh (I’m only 13 and can’t drive yet!) Once there, I waited for the hens to arrive. When they finally did, everybody formed an orderly line and collected the number of hens desired. I chose five, and I told my mother I would only collect three! When they got home, they seemed a bit overwhelmed by the amount of space, so my younger sister helped me move them into the barn and, after about a week, they started to explore the wide world. They also started laying eggs in ridiculous places! I think rescuing battery hens is the kindest way to start with chickens. I payed �20 for a 20 kilogram bag of feed and five hens! It’s certainly cheaper, but all they ask for is a donation, so its up to you to decide how much you pay! Rescuing these hens is much more rewarding than buying normal chickens. Also, this winter, the first chicken to step outside the coop after the extraordinary snowfall was an ex-bat, proving that they have converted from shy, broken creatures to organic, happy chickens! And what’s even more amazing is that, now, my mother loves the ex-batteries as much as I do! Rescuing the hens was the best thing I ever did. It makes you feel you have done something good in the world! Which you have! I would recommend it any day!

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