Busy start to 2019 leaves Little Irchester animal sanctuary with 900 mouths to feed

A brood of 150 former battery farm hens were taken in to the animal rescue centre this week, as were 30 guinea pig
A brood of 150 former battery farm hens were taken in to the animal rescue centre this week, as were 30 guinea pig

A brood of 150 hens rescued from a battery farm are among the 900 mouths to feed at a Little Irchester animal sanctuary.

Animals in Need has had a "very busy and fairly traumatic" start to the year, including this week's arrival of the chickens.

The birds had never seen the light of day or walked on grass and were due to be killed before they were rescued by three members of the Animals in Need team.

Manager Annie Marriott said: "The hens came out being carried by their feet, held five in each hand by a worker from the facility.

"These birds were all completely shocked and shut down, with injuries and lots of missing feathers. It was a tough thing to witness.

"In the next week we hope to rebuild them both mentally and physically before they can start going out to new homes.

"We are looking to get some chicken swings and other toys to enrich their lives in the meantime."

Also arriving at the sanctuary this week were 30 guinea pigs which were allowed to continue breeding by their former owners.

Due to the conditions they were kept in, many of them are suffering from various illnesses which will need treating.

"Currently, they are in isolation receiving treatment which is all a huge drain on our limited resources," said Annie.

"Hopefully, they will be well enough to be rehomed during March and April."

The new intakes join a collection of cats, dogs, ferrets, hedgehogs, rabbits and the resident animals.

"Rescue is not a precise science, any given day we don’t know what we will be dealing with, how big the vets or heating bills will be, or how many mouths we will be feeding," said Annie.

"It’s stressful for the staff and volunteers alike who see the highs and the very lows.

"We have some of the best supporters ever who help us with their time and donations, sharing things on social media and attending our fundraising events.

"We would like to thank every one of them for their continued efforts as Animals in Need is solely dependent on the generosity of its supporters and the general public."