Animal rescue group on mission to re-home thousands of hens
A MULLUMBIMBY charity is on a mission to raise $30,000 to re-home tens of thousands of cage hens to loving families across the Northern Rivers.
'Til The Cows Come Home (TTCCH) founder and CEO, Donna Wild, is urging others to join the not-for-profit organisation's "biggest mission yet" to free tens of thousands of hens from local egg farms.
"We are working with multiple local egg farmers to empty their cages right now and transport the hens to loving families," Ms Wild said.
"All egg farmers dispose of their hens at 18 months old because that's when they decrease their egg laying by about 50 per cent.
"Then it starts costing the farmer to keep them, so they will usually pay for a large slaughter truck to come in. A lot of the farmers don't feel good about doing it."
A week in, and TTCCH has managed to only raise $4000, but Ms Wild stressed the sooner they reached the target, the sooner they could buy better transport equipment and begin rescuing and re-homing more hens.
She said TTCCH could currently only pick up 136 hens at a time - but they would try to pick up as many as they could, even if it had to be multiple pick-ups.
"Another local farm called needing 1900 collected recently and we couldn't collect them all," she said.
The demand for hens has significantly increased in the region since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, so Ms wild said the mission was a "win-win for farmers and adopters."
"We have adopters who urgently want the hens as a companion in this pandemic," she said.
"But we aren't just rehoming the animals as products, we are trying to find adopters who want to want these animals as pets to love, not just for product."
With funds raised, TTCCH can also rescue more hens, feed hens in their care at the holding station, as well as providing urgent vet care - due to the hens being in a cage all their life - to make sure they are as healthy as possible before being adopted out.
"It's hard to put a price on this, but $30 roughly provides transport, feed and health care," Ms Wild said.
To donate head to: https://til-the-cows-come-home.giveeasy.org/help-save-thous …
To find out more, head to 'Til the Cows Come Home on Facebook.