15 Battery Hen Orphans Rescued
February 8, 2002 Victoria, Australia

The Animal Liberation Victoria Rescue Team, saved the lives of 15 hens from Nature's Dozen Battery Hen Factory at Wallan, about 45 minutes north of Melbourne on Friday night. The nine member rescue team spent over an hour inside the stinking sheds where they yet again viewed numerous bodies left to rot in the battery cages. The team have made numerous rescues on this property over the past three years and this was the first time they didn't find scores of dead and dying hens abandoned in the manure pits beneath the cages. Either the numerous appeals to the RSPCA to take action (including letters written by activists around the world) are finally having some effect, or seeing that the shed had recently been restocked, the hens simply haven't fallen down there yet?... (This will be updated)

Conditions in the cage area were just as dreadful as always, thousands of orphaned young hens jam-packed in tiny cages 6 tiers high. The fumes and stench in the shed were disgusting and the hens' beaks were severely mutilated. The white hens in the shed looked to be only about 6 months old, yet they had long overgrown claws (all those rescued required nail clipping to stand properly). We suspect they are possibly being reared in cages now also. (note: battery hens are normally put into cages at sexual maturity about 5 months old) A couple hens near death were later revived after being given a drink and proper care and rest in a loving environment.

Rescue team member Romeo sent the following email to fellow team members the morning after the rescue:

"Just wanted to let you know that Bubble, the hen who was dying in my arms on the way home last night, and when you left our place last night was lying on her side with her legs stretched out in her death throes (I have never seen a hen lay on her side like that), within one minute of being given 3mls of EnsurePlus and some more water, stood up and opened her eyes. After a lot of coughing and fitting, she stayed standing (barely) and listed to and watched everything that was going on. I stayed awake and watched her, then went to Dandenong market, came back at 8am and found Bubble madly flapping with fright as I opened the front door, cd's scattering everywhere. Currently she is in the outside pen with Edina and Patsy, has eaten and is already building a nest in the straw! In fact, she's got more energy than the other two!

I think that the dictionary should be rewritten and under the entry "indomitable" should read Gallus gallus. I honesty feel this is what one would have to call witnessing a miracle. I didn't think that hen would last another hour. I am in awe of this animal. I can't stop smiling in amazement. Thank you all so much for saving Bubble's, and fourteen other's, lives."

Patty said the ten hens at her place are in total awe of their freedom and she also couldn't stop smiling as she watched them see and feel the sunshine for the first time in their lives and then for several hours furiously dustbathe with an abandon she's never witnessed before in rescued hens... And today, as a warm summer rain started to fall they curiously looked up to the sky to work out what these strange drops from above were...

Click on any photo for larger version

Dead hen with two eggs trapped under the baffle plate (viewed from below)

Romeo cradles ill hen found with gross beak mutilation and compacted growth on mouth

Silvia nurses hen found with crippled neck, the first loving kindness this bird would have ever experienced

Several of the rescued hens in gay abandon during their first dustbath and day of freedom

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