Five ways to keep hens happy
You’ll be familiar with their social nature if you’ve spent time around chickens. Like all animals, chickens are happiest when able to express their natural behaviors.
How can farmers make sure that these birds live their best lives?
Morry Wroby, from Happy Chicken Eggs, was able to answer our question. Happy Chicken Eggs, a family-owned farm, is dedicated to providing hens with a life that’s worth living. Happy Chicken Eggs is proud to be a member of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme and to produce humanely raised eggs for their customers.
Morry: “As egg-producers, we always strive for the best egg possible.” “And happy chickens lay happy eggs.”
We share the top five tips from Happy Chicken Eggs for happy hens.
Let the people mingle.
Chickens love to socialize. You can let them be themselves by giving them space and the chance to socialize. Many of them enjoy socializing with other hens but also with humans. The hens at Happy Chicken Eggs enjoy accompanying farm managers as they do their daily jobs.
Morry reveals that a chook called Joanne has become best friends with the farm manager. She is often seen perching on the roof of the house, and they enjoy sharing a breakfast. They both love natural muesli.
One chicken was so taken by one of Happy Chicken Eggs staff members that she learned to climb the fence and enter the office. She loves to watch the human co-worker work on the computer and will sometimes jump up on her lap.
Happy Chicken Eggs farms understand that chooks can be curious creatures. They make the most out of this curiosity by providing them with large hay bales and shade structures, as well as climbing platforms.
Morry explains that “their favorite structures are those in which they can play and gather together as a group.”
Happy Chicken Eggs provides a variety of toys and activities to keep the hens occupied. They hang CDs and colorful chains from the barn roofs, as chickens like bright, shiny objects. They also provide marble mazes for their hens to keep them entertained.
“Believe or not, the dogs enjoy pushing, pecking and chasing balls all over!” says Morry.
Give plenty of space.
Happy Chicken Eggs farms all have a maximum of 1,500 birds per ha. Morry, however, is quick to point out that happiness goes beyond having outdoor access. Birds need space to move around in order to stay healthy.
Happy Chicken Eggs is proud to provide ‘enriched areas’ for their hens. Each farm has adventure playgrounds, activity games, and perching regions, all designed to complement the hens’ instincts of wandering, roosting, dust-bathing, perching, and pecking.
The hens of Happy Chicken Eggs farms retreat to their barns at night to find a safe place to rest and roost.
Morry explains that “sleep time means perch-time” because “hens instinctively need to feel secure in order to get a good night’s sleep.” By sleeping in groups, they can feel safer.
It’s important to have a place where hens can hide from the sun and rain when they are out in the field during the day. Happy Chicken Eggs farms are surrounded by plenty of shade, whether it’s under trees or custom-built structures. The hens have a place to retreat when the weather gets too hot.
It may seem obvious, but after reading about the daily adventures of the hens at Happy Chicken Eggs farms, that the best way to keep them happy is to avoid battery cages. It’s important to note that more than 11,000,000 hens are still kept in battery cages across Australia.
Research has shown that battery cages are not the best option for hens. They need space to move, stretch, flap their wings, nest, and dust bathe. In a cage, chickens cannot move around or flap their wings or nests.
Morry says, “At Happy Chicken Eggs we are cage-free 100% of the time.” This is our promise to you and the future.