|June 2001 - July 2002 Victoria, NSW and ACT, Australia
PACE Farm Investigation: Kinglake, Victoria July 7, 2002
The Pace Farm complex in Kinglake has six to seven huge metal sheds confining barnlaid laying hens (all endorsed by the RSPCA). Kinglake is a heavily forested area north of Melbourne. Inside information reports that there is a big condensation problem on this property, as the sheds were badly designed and cut into the forest. The rescue team found overcrowding (but not as severe as at South Morang).
There were no perches at all in the sheds, and we found many hens sleeping/roosting in the nesting boxes (which is very unsanitary, as laying hens defecate a lot at night). The sheds had electrified wires shocking the hens when they tried to roost. The birds were debeaked and many had the same spot on the back of their necks pecked by stereotypic neck picking. Dead birds were found and were being pecked by the hens.
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a rescued hen being taken to safety