Happy New Year to our lovely TTCCH followers! We wanted to start this new year with sharing our vision for 2021 with you all.
‘Til The Cows Come Home had a big year in 2020. We are lucky enough to have dozens of volunteers helping farmed animals in need both Australia wide and now internationally, and with a first foster home in the UK. 2020 saw TTCCH set up 14 foster homes within Australia, however the demand we are having from farmers, asking us to collect their unwanted/unneeded animals is increasing every day and we have had to think about the best way to move forward with the expansion of TTCCH in the near future. For example, in South Queensland alone we have had too many egg farmers surrendering to us for our foster homes in the region to cater for the collected hens. Therefore, our vision moving forward is to continue with our foster homes, in addition with a method we used in the past, that being large scale, team run, holding stations.
Our vision is to establish large scale holding stations, run by our staff and volunteers. Our first large scale holding station we hope to establish would be in the Gold Coast, specifically within 35 minutes from the outskirts of the city where many adopters are. This location will be ideal as it is close enough to our surrendering farms, making it safe and efficient for us to collect the hens, and is close enough for adopters to pick up their new furry family members. We plan for this holding station to take on a much higher number of hens from farms, we would go from collecting a couple of hundred to tens of thousands in our holding stations. This means we will be able to collect the same amount of hens that would usually be in a large scale egg farm, however, our holding station, unlike most egg farms, will be able to meet the natural needs of the hens and provide them with a safe landing space while we prepare them for adoption. The holding station, like our foster home, will be a holding facility where the hens are protected day and night. We envision having the holding station protected by Maremma guard dogs, as these dogs can keep away predators such as snakes, foxes, wild dogs and even people. Our vision is that the hens can live safely and according to their natural needs; nesting, dust bathing, foraging, perching, enjoying the sunshine and cared for by volunteers! It will be a safe haven for the hens until they are adopted into their furever, loving homes.
The best part about having large scale holding stations is that it will enable us to collect all hens needing to be rehomed from egg farms year-round within the state/region. We currently have 5 farms in the Queensland region alone that come to us with their hens! Our capacity will no longer be a problem with our large-scale holding stations and our foster homes.
How will our vision for 2021 come true? Once we have acquired land, our first step is to start building hen shelters for the holding station, as seen in the photo. The hen shelters will be placed across the acreage within simple fencing dividing flocks from each other to reduce pecking order issues, contamination and to help us stay organised knowing which hens are ready to go to adopters first. These shelters are $55, 000 each and can house 1000 hens at a time, safely.
On the acreage we will also need to build a hen’s hospital for any special needs girls that come into our care. This hen hospital would be a temporary place for the girls as we would be moving them into appropriate foster homes for special needs care.
Foster homes will always be an important part of TTCCH. The foster homes are where the animal’s personalities are able to shine due to reduced numbers and the carers being able to get to know the animals as individuals. However, we know that people will love coming to adopt from our new large scale holding stations too, as adopters will be able to select their new family members.
From here on we will always have more animals than we do foster carers to take them in. If we continued with only using foster homes, animals would be left on the farms where they’ll be killed, this is due to our limited capacity, we simply wouldn’t be able to collect them all. Therefore, we need to establish a large-scale holding station ASAP. This is on us at TTCCH, and we believe that our vision of the large-scale holding station is the solution to save all lives in need in the region. We know that this plan can take our mission to the next level of success, the demand is already here, we just need this holding station to deliver. Once the holding station is established in Queensland, we plan to do this all again for the Northern New South Wales region.
To make our vision come to life, we need your help! We require usable, accessible land of 20 plus acres to make our vision work. We are hoping that one of our amazing supporters could loan or donate the land to us or donate the funding for it. We know this is a lot to ask, however, it would help save millions of lives, and that is truly priceless. If you can help our not-for-profit organisation out by donating it would mean the world to us and the animals. Forever yours, ‘Til The Cows Come Home.
By Donna Wild and Luella Botteon