Necky a rescued hen Photo Niamh Cubie
This Sunday, November 24, LittleHill Animal Rescue is back on the road with rescued hens for adoption, and heading to Naas, Kill and Tallaght.
Despite an exhaustive itinerary of chicken runs across the country over the last month, Susan Anderson, proprietor of Littlehill, still has several hundred laying hens that need re-homing.
"We just couldn't leave these girlies behind, they'll be destroyed but I'll have to find them homes and soon!" said Susan.
Susan is urging kind-heated people to make space in their gardens for a few feathered friends, so that they can be saved from the chop.
Commercial egg-laying hens are routinely slaughtered at about 15 months of age, as their laying declines slightly. “Their productivity drops by a mere 10 to 15 percent at this young age,” explained Susan Anderson, founder of LittleHill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. “This might mean that they lay five or six eggs a week, rather than seven, and they are no longer profitable for farmers to keep.”
Collaborating with several farmers around the country, Susan and her team of volunteers save as many hens as possible from this unfortunate fate. They then drive the birds around the country to meet their new adopters at prearranged “collection points”.
Rescued hen (right) mingling with previously rescued chuck (left) at Littlehill, photo Niamh Cubie
Last Sunday, November 17, the team rescued almost 1,000 hens from an egg farm, before transporting them to several towns throughout the country, including Castledermot and Kilcock. “As we didn’t have enough home offers, we had to leave about 200 little hopeful faces behind, looking out from the sheds as we drove away. So, we are attempting to find homes for these remaining ladies, as we cannot let them die,” said Susan.
“Hens make the funniest, most amazing little pets, and they will thank you for giving them a new life with delicious, cruelty-free eggs,” she added.
To offer a happy home to a few of these hopeful hens this Sunday, Susan urges people to send a private message to the charity’s Facebook page, LittleHill Animal Rescue & Sanctuary, stating the number of chickens they would like to adopt and the collection town: Naas or Kill, Tallaght, etc.
Those without a Facebook account can ask a friend or relative to make the booking on their behalf. An adoption fee of six euro per hen applies. For those who are not available this Sunday, prospective adopters can also arrange to collect hens directly from LittleHill’s sanctuary, which is based near Kilcullen/Dunlavin or Ballymore Eustace. Pick up this week's Almanac produced by the Kildare Post and Leinster Leader, available at their joint offices in Ladytown Business Park and read about Littlehill's remarkable rescued roosters, Mr Weasley and Mr (Ray) Darcy.