In March 2016 we rescued 13 broiler chickens that had been destined for the meat trade and would have been slaughtered after just 50 days of life. Every month thousands of birds are reared and have their lives cut short to enter the food chain, the ones that are left are those deemed not fit to go into the food chain but are slaughtered anyway.
Whenever they are in the houses, there could be 14,000 birds in a house. A lot of them get dislocated legs, broken legs, and backs damaged, which is why we have some disabled birds.
Unfortunately from our original 13, we lost two right away – they just couldn’t hold on any longer.
When the birds arrived with us, they were overweight and filthy as a result of the grim lives they had led in the intensive broiler chicken system. They were very heavy birds, you’d have thought they were weighted to the ground. Several had badly deformed beaks which meant they struggled to eat or drink and sadly they didn’t survive.
Thanks to their new free-range lifestyle, they underwent a dramatic transformation and we saw them turning into beautiful white birds – contented and happy in the knowledge that they were safe.