Hundreds of chickens on death row rehomed using Facebook

Related Story:
Map:
Mullumbimby 2482
Pet turtle reunited with owner after marathon adventure
It’s been one of the most heart-warming experiences I’ve had.”

Photo:
Ms O’Shea says it is a commercial reality that chickens in the egg industry are culled at 18 months of age. (ABC News: Ruby Cornish)
An ongoing operationMs O’Shea said the rescue operation had left her with a waiting list of people in the region looking to rescue chickens, and she planned to make it an ongoing project.”This could be a way to connect egg farmers with people who can look after their old chickens,” she said.”They can’t be used for meat … They are still laying some eggs, but it’s a commercial reality that by the age of 18 months, all commercial farmers will cull their hens.”She said her priority was rescues from battery cages.”Those hens have lived their whole life in a small space and have never been able to walk in soil,” she said.”They’re the ones I really want to save.” A woman in regional NSW has managed to find homes for hundreds of chickens due to be culled over the weekend, using Facebook.When Julie O’Shea visited Ross Sigley’s organic farm in the NSW Northern Rivers town of Billinudgel, she only planned to walk away with 10 hens.Instead, she ended up with nearly 400.”It was purely by accident,” Ms O’Shea said.”When I asked Ross what was happening to the rest of them, he said he had to cull them because they were two years old and weren’t laying as much.”I said I’d put a message on Facebook to see if a few friends would take some.”Within hours, Ms O’Shea had been inundated with messages from people keen to take the chooks off her hands.Online plea goes viral

Photo:
Ross Sigley says he was relieved to see his chickens moving on to happy homes. It turned what would have been an unhappy weekend into a really happy one,” he said.”Those chickens would have gone into fertiliser or something else and that’s not something I like being involved in, really.”Flooding conjures community spiritMs O’Shea said recent flooding in northern NSW may have stirred something in people that made them inclined to help.”I think this story hit a nerve with people … There were people in Burringbar who lost whole flocks of chickens,” she said.”In times like these communities become amazingly strong and caring.”It’s made people step up and want to help. (Supplied: Julie O’Shea)
Ms O’Shea said her plea was seen by about 7,000 people, and it took less than two days for her to find homes for the hens.”I organised a vetting system because I was concerned that people would get them for free and try to on-sell them, or take them for their pet snakes or dog baiting,” she said.”They had to post a picture of their chicken coop and the area the hens would be.”She met with each of the rescuers as they came past the farm.”One lady wanted a little white hen for a disabled boy she works with,” Ms O’Shea said.”She looks after him and the only book he can read is Hattie the Hen.”Mr Sigley said it had been a big relief to see the chickens avoiding being sent off to slaughter.”It’s been great.

ABC North Coast

By

Ruby Cornish

Posted

April 11, 2017 15:39:34

Photo:
Julie O’Shea (L), with her friend Elke Meyer, managed to rehome nearly 400 chickens in less than two days. (Supplied: Julie O’Shea)