An animal charity is urging Wicklow residents to consider offering a happy home to hens in need.
On the 14 th and 15 th of September, LittleHill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary will bring hundreds of rescued chickens to Bray, Blessington and Baltinglass, for adoption.
After living for a year on a commercial farm, egg-laying hens are routinely culled to make way for a younger, more productive flock. At this point, the Kildare-based charity rescues and rehomes as many chickens as possible, giving them the chance to experience long and happy lives.
“We started rescuing hens several years ago, as I hated the fact that these girls are killed without ever experiencing the outside world, the grass or the sky,” explains Susan Anderson, founder of LittleHill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. “They are just over a year old when we rescue them, so most will live for a few more years, laying five or six eggs a week.”
But fresh, cruelty-free eggs are just a secondary perk of sharing your life with these birds, as many adopters report that they become much-loved members of the family. “They’re just like little cats and dogs really,” says Susan. “They’ll follow you around the garden and peck at the kitchen window looking for treats. They are such wonderful, friendly and funny little characters.”
Many adopters also report the fulfilment they get from watching their new pets transform from sad, scruffy creatures into beautiful, confident characters with quirky personalities.
So, what does it take to become a chicken adopter? “All you need is a fox-proof chicken coop or shed that can be locked at night, and a small outdoor area that they can scratch and roam about in,”Susan says. “Loads of our rescued hens are thriving in people’s small back gardens in Bray, Greystones and even inner-city Dublin.”
LittleHill’s volunteers will bring hens to Bray on Saturday the 14 th of September, and Blessington and Baltinglass on the 15 th , along with several other locations throughout Ireland. To collect your very own feathered friends at these locations, Susan recommends sending a private message to the charity’s Facebook page, LittleHill Animal Rescue Sanctuary, stating the number of hens you would like to adopt and the pick-up location.
The charity will soon announce October hen rescue dates on their Facebook page, with several more Wicklow locations planned.