“Chickens are only a year and a half old, and they are too small for chickens, but they look really beaten and therefore very old,” says caregiver Brenda Nass as she picks up one of the 18 chickens that have just been brought in. . The chickens are hairless, have red spots, and many roosters have wounds for each other. Despite their poor health, the former laying hens roam quietly into their new home. “They have to get used to it, because for farmers they were stuck together in the tens of thousands. Here they have all the space in the world.”
According to the caretaker, this is precisely the big misunderstanding about free-range chickens. “Everyone thinks they have all the space in the world with farms, but that’s not the case. They are not in a barn, but in a huge barn and this makes them free chickens. By stuffing them with tens of thousands, there is the same situation as with chickens in a barn.” . Stress causes chickens to behave in a mean way to one another, with all the consequences this entails.
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Herbal teas and lots of rest
In Peerdegaerdt, stable inferno is a thing of the past. “They get special food and medicine if needed and we give them different types of herbal teas. They like it very much. This makes their feathers grow and look better.” Nas says that chickens mainly rest for the first few weeks. “It is important that they rest before leaving here again.”
When the chickens are fully recovered, they are put up for adoption. “We first look at the living conditions of the new owner. Is there enough space, for example, and there are no aggressive dogs around?” When the chickens are housed with their new owners, the tune begins all over again for Peerdegaerdt.