GIVE A CLUCK: More than 1300 hens have been saved from the chopping block since Julie O'Shea founded Rescue Hens Northern Rivers. This month about 400 free range hens from a farm were adopted out to their forever homes.
GIVE A CLUCK: More than 1300 hens have been saved from the chopping block since Julie O'Shea founded Rescue Hens Northern Rivers. This month about 400 free range hens from a farm were adopted out to their forever homes. Alison Paterson

Julie gives a cluck about 1300 rescue chickens

A MISSION to find forever homes for former free-range and battery hens has had hundreds adopted over the weekend.

In 2017 Mullumbimby resident Julie O'Shea founded Rescue Hens Northern Rivers and has since helped more than 1300 birds find a loving place to live.

Sitting outside her dome home, with her dogs, a rescue calf at her feet and three horses grazing near by, Ms O'Shea, 58, talked about how she started rescuing free range and battery caged hens in northern NSW before they were culled.

"It was about the time of Cyclone Debbie when a friend said she had a friend whose partner has an organic hen farm and he needed to cull 390 hens,” she said.

"I went and saw him, said 'I'll take 10'.”

Ms O'Shea said the hen farmer told her that after two years the hens were no longer laying every day and not commercially viable.

"He told me he hated the culling, it was the worst part of his job. So I posted the hens' availability on my Facebook page and within two days we had placed them all.”

Ms O'Shea said over the weekend about 400 hens were collected. Each hen cost $7 with all money going to the charity Who Gives A Cluck.

"This is our seventh rescue and all we ask is people commit to give them a forever home whether they lay eggs or not,” Ms O'Shea said.

"We picked up hundreds of hens... brought them back to Mullumbimby where we wormed, de-liced and mite-treated them, then checked and treated any other concerns.”

Ms O'Shea said she wanted to form a brains trust for the WGAC charity.

"We'd love someone with expertise fundraising or online marketing and another person with good financial and dude diligence to join us as well,” she said.

More information at https://www.facebook.com/ rescuehensnorthernnsw/



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