The Rays of Sunshine Animal Haven

Ex Battery hens



Ex Battery hens are very close to our hearts. On our home page you have probably seen some of our rescued hens. They are in various stages of new feather growth. Some from the most recent rescues still have bald bits and look tufty, whereas the ones who've been here a while are fully feathered and the only sign of them ever being battery birds are their prominent breastbones which never seem to fatten up.

Here is OUR specialised hen website


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Some hens had a terrible start in life and will therefore stay with us forever, Pickle was almost flat, squashed in a cage of 8 hens (the legal limit is 4 or 5 depending on the cage size) We didn't think Pickle would recover, let alone walk and begin to lay eggs again! Pickle is best friends with Pingu who'd had Peritonitis and walks like a penguin.
Pickle n Pingu

If you would like to sponsor Pickle and Pingu (they come as a pair) it costs £20 per year for both of them which works out at just £1.67 per month.

If you would like the sponsorship as a birthday present, please let us know the date with 28 days notice.

The recipient will get a laminated photograph, personalised certificate, a letter on how they are doing, a keyring, and a card at christmas card too.

Please email us on and put "sponsorship" in the subject line or use the Paypal button below for quicker despatch of your sponsorship pack.

Thankyou for your kindness. More hens are available further down this column.




Please allow 28 days for delivery.






Please see the video at the bottom of this page which may prove upsetting but is the existence these poor hens lead before being rescued.

If you live in the South Lincolnshire area we know of an excellent supplier of hen houses. None of your "pet shop rubbish" but good strong hen houses for around £80 which is amazing value if you actually look online at prices elsewhere. Please contact us on for more information.

We are also happy to recommend Power Poultry who aren't too far from us and sell good quality and well priced hen homes and runs. Their website is at 


We have managed to source some poultry crates to increase the number of ex battery hens we can keep rescuing.
If you or your company would like to sponsor one, please get in touch. We would like to attach a laminated postcard sized flyer advertising your business. We are also in the process of setting up a sponsors page which you will be added to.
Our Paypal address is and if you are donating towards hen crates, please say so on the message to us.
Any help gratefully received. These hens need the chance of a life!
See our blog

Any help, even spare change through Paypal is appreciated!
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Click to enlarge the pics of our new crates (we have purchased 10 of them)
If anyone has any grazing land/ barn/ outbuildings to rent in the approximate triangle of Kings Lynn, north of Wisbech and the east of Spalding, please contact us. Even in the villages out towards the Wash, anything considered as we need a base for rescued hens and other animals.





 Procedure of rescuing hens through us at Lincs Little Hens

Take a look at the website for Lincs Little Hens and read everything there is to know about homing these hens- accommodation, feed, bedding, health etc.... If you are able to provide what these ladies need and are still interested, please email us.

Please STATE CLEARLY whether you wish to collect hens from Sutton Bridge or Corby Glen.
We will then confirm that you are on the waiting list and when a rescue approaches, you will be given a date to expect your hens. Take this time from being told you are on the waiting list to make/buy your hens house, fence off any area you'd like your hens to be in and generally prepare for their arrival.
Each hen requires a donation of £2.50 per bird but any extra is always gratefully received as the £2.50 is never enough to cover fueland medication if needed and also we do have to pay the farmers the equivalent of what the slaughterman would pay which isn't much but tends to fluctuate.

On the rescue date, your hens will be collected from the farm and given a general health check. Your hens will then be transported to Corby Glen and Sutton Bridge for collection. It will usually be early evening time when your hens arrive in Sutton Bridge.This is often for the best as the hens are calmer as it gets dark.
We will give you a booking in time and a map/postcode to where the meeting point is. Once you collect your hens, take them home and put them straight in their hen house/pen and shut them in until next morning.Do not let them immediately free range or you could freak them out as they won't know where to go as dusk approaches.
In the morning you can let them out into their pen and ensure they drink and eat. You may need to dabble your fingers in the water so they know what their new water supply is in and you may have to tap the food as though making a pecking sound as this reminds them of what they would hear in a battery cage when the food appeared.
Your hens will have had a very long shocking day and must be given a little peace to explore their new surroundings.
They have never seen the great outdoors or experienced freedom to even flap their wings. They've never been able to look up and see the sky or scratched in the soil. Hopefully you will grow to love your hens like we love ours and they will reward you with a few eggs which we always think are a gesture of goodwill for saving them from the abbatoir.
After a few days and when they have learnt to take themselves to their hen house at night you may wish to let your hens explore your garden. Please do so quite late in the day as hopefully by then your hens will know where their house is and will have the urge to take themselves to bed as dusk approaches.
IF FOR ANY REASON in the future, you are no longer able to keep your hens, please email either and we will collect your hens from you, no questions asked and passing no judgement upon you. All we want is for the hens to have happy homes.
Sutton Bridge can be found >> HERE
Corby Glen can be found >>HERE
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Favourite Sites

Free at Last

In the four years Free At Last has been running, Linda and Robert have used several different suppliers and have been overwhelmed by the level of interest from people wanting to provide a home for rescued hens.


RoSAH / Lincs Little Hen Rescue

Ex Battery hens are very close to our hearts. We help at the rescues ran by Jo @ Little Hen Rescue and thought we could gain extra publicity from having our own specialised hen site as this one relates mainly to the guinea pigs and other furries and feathereds that we rescue too.

In the past six months, we've helped rehome many hens and hope to continue helping Jo whilst expanding ourselves so we can bring even more hens back to Lincolnshire (upto 100 per rescue)

Hen Rehomers UK

North London Hen Rescue has now changed it's name to Hen Rehomers UK and is a small independent group which comes together for the purpose of rehoming hens who would otherwise be slaughtered.


Ex Battery Hens Yahoo group
Talk about "hennything" chicken related. Ask advice about starting up, health problems etc...
Practical Poultry Forum
The Practical Poultry Magazine forum with lots of valuable advice on all varieties of poultry
Ex Battery Hens forum
As it says, a very informative ex battery hen forum
River Cottage Chicken Out campaign
Chicken Out! Campaign Sign-up

Down the Lane Forum

Forum for anyone wishing to lead the simpler life or a life of self sufficiency. A bit of everything here!


Down the Lane

Ideas and experiences for a more frugal lifestyle with invaluable information and a brilliant section on chicken keeping and a forum too.


If you've heard of an Eglu or Eglu cube, here is the site you need.
Omlet Forum
For all chicken keepers.


Personally, having seen the state of some hens which came from barns and free range commercial egg farms we (as in RoSAH Rescue) feel that all commercial egg production should be stopped.

People who buy eggs from "barn hens" thinking is isn't so bad would be horrified at the truth!

Free range is the kindest but even so, hens come from free range farms, bald, with broken limbs and deformities. YOU pay a premium for eggs from these poor hens in the supermarkets!!

The "enriched cages" due to be rolled out soon are almost as barbaric as the battery cages and thankfully many egg farmers are giving up as the price of converting to these new cages is very expensive (and we know some farmers don't like to spend money to ensure the welfare of the animals they keep).

If everyone who wished to eat eggs had a trio of hens in their garden we could stop this! 

We feel that EVERYONE who can't have their own hens should find a local source, maybe a smallholder or farm which isn't mainly for egg production and has a few hens roaming the farmyard and laying as and when they wish. This is the kindest method of acquiring your eggs.

We hope you will give it some thought.....DO NOT BUY SUPERMARKET EGGS!


© The Rays of Sunshine Animal Haven/ Rosah Rescue 2009