The Last 24 Hours

Hens don’t go on laying forever. They are born with a finite number of egg cells and once these are used up, that’s it! Productivity declines as the hens age and generally hen keepers manage this in two ways. Some people choose to replace their flock as they become less or unproductive. They either donate their hens to willing adopters or dispatch them. Other people see the hens as much loved pets and keep them until their final cluck which can be as long as 10-12 years! We sympathise with both views x

Whatever your view, I’m sure we all agree that a severely injured or poorly hen should not be left in pain or to suffer. Assuming all treatment options have been exhausted, there are a number of ‘exit strategies’:

  • Getting the hen put down at the vets (expert but expensive). Please consider the stress of transporting your bird to the vets though.
  • Getting a friendly farmer to ‘help you out’ (if you get my meaning). Tricky if you don’t know any.
  • Dispatching the hen yourself (not for the faint hearted). There is such a thing as a ‘Humane Poultry Dispatcher, for just such an occasion.

Losing a much loved pet hen can be an extremely emotional time. Don’t let anyone dismiss your feelings with ‘its only a chicken’. Every bird is a unique being and that relationship can never be replaced. We get it. It’s OK to grieve and although you’ll always remember them and miss their presence, we promise, it will get easier x