At the end of last summer, we made the decision to no longer keep hens as we just couldn’t offer them the quality of life they deserved. Mandatory lockdowns due to bird flu were becoming more frequent and lasting longer, and the hens were confined to a run for months at a time. We’d always let our hens free-range during the day and it felt unfair to confine them for long stretches.
Fortunately I have a friend who owns an animal sanctuary in the Borders and she was able to take our remaining girls. They now run about in a large barn during the bird flu lockdowns and are part of a larger flock. My friend assures me they are treated like poultry royalty and are happy living there.
I do miss seeing them run about the garden, and the vegetarian members of our household miss the wonderful eggs. While it was difficult giving them away, the decision to improve their lives was easy.