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My Tribute to the hens

Celtic Angels - In the Arms of the Angels

A Tribute to all my ladies


A  sea of gold on an horizon of green
Feathers askew and in need of a preen
Breathing fresh air a novelty still
feeling the breeze, saved from the kill


These happy hens released from their fate
clucking contentment from early to late
learning to trust and live life to the full
completely contrary to their previous rules


Chatting and giggling while bathing in dust
a stretch in the sun is a henny’s first must
Stretching their wings with space for flap
Scratching the dirt and taking a nap


No pressure to lay, no deadline on life
free to be hens, free from their strife
Each day is a blessing, a borrowed moment of time
precious  in nature, Gods Angels, divine.



This is a poem about 2 hens in a battery farm who lived together all their lives but had a very different ending. I dedicate it to all the hens that I cant save.

Oh dear God please help me, I think I’m going insane
I dream of things I’ve never known, things that have no name
There’s something deep inside me that tells me they are real
I know I’ve never seen them but I feel them all the same


I live here in my cruel world with so many other hens
We share this one big room which is divided into pens
Sometimes I get a glimpse of light and this is when I dream
Of sweet fresh air and muddy ground and grass so lush and green


There are so many hens in here yet still I feel alone
I long to open up my wings and fly to another home
I have a little friend in here and we talk about these things
But she tells me to be careful and not to live on dreams


Now I hear strange noises, I don’t know what's going on
The men are getting boxes, I can see them down the run
If I stretch my head outside the wire, I see the open doors
Where is it they are taking us. Please God, what lies in store.


Is this what I’ve dreamed of, are they setting us free?
Or is it something sinister they don’t want other humans to see.
Roughly grabbed, my leg hurts, squashed and crushed, with no care.
Thrown into a filthy box, so cramped there is no air.

I see a glint of something blue from the corner of my eye.
There is no space to turn to look, but I think it might be sky!
There’s boxes up above me and boxes down below
They’re also to my left and right, how many I don’t know?


My heart is really pounding, I’m feeling sick with fear
Where is it we are going? What are the sounds I hear?
Suddenly its quiet, we seemed to have come to a stop
Is this our final destiny- Freedom or the pot!

Our boxes have been unloaded and we are left to sit and wait
One by one the crates are moved, closer to our fate
Suddenly the lid opens, I’m grabbed by a humans glove
This time it feels much softer, this time I sense the love.

Gently I am carried, held close in someone’s arms
I’m taken to a table where I’m told of all my charms
I’m shown love and given food, caressed and settled down
I hope my friend is somewhere here among this sea of brown.


The things that I have dreamed of they really do exist
The chance to run and spread my wings and sunbathe in the dust
I haven’t seen my best friend since the day we left that farm
But I hope she found the same as me and didn't come to harm


Our boxes have been unloaded and we are left to sit and wait
One by one the crates are moved, closer to our fate
Suddenly we are lifted and the box emptied upside down
There are so many hens in here, I think I’m going to drown


I cannot tell what's up or down and every part of me is hurt
All I can see is feathers and all I can smell is dirt
A human hand has grabbed me and has hung me on a rack
Oh God please help me,  Oh God please take me back!


I’m being carried through this room hung up by my toes
The fear is overwhelming, there are hens in one long row
Suddenly a searing pain as a sharp edged metal knife
rips across my outstretched neck and tries to end my life


Somehow I’m still living, but I wish it all would end
I feel the blood draining out of me, I know I’m near the end
I hope my friend escaped this, I hope she escaped this fate
Dear God, Please help her, I hope it’s not too late.

                              Barbara Mladek 18/05/12


This second poem is about the living conditions of a caged hen

I was sentenced to an eternity of suffering and pain
I’ve been bred to lay a thousand eggs for the sake of human gain
I lay these eggs in two short years, no wonder I feel tired!
Then I’m sent to a painful death, I don’t even get retired

It’s not a life I would have chosen, nor one that I deserve
I’m packed into cold a steel cage with sixty others birds
I didn't have the choice, I couldn’t choose my friends
we are packed into these cages, forced together to the end

The boredom drives me crazy, the same thing every day
We’re given food and water which will keep us on the lay
There really is no privacy, no place for quiet time
Just a forced companionship with other crazed hens minds

The suffering started early, I was only ten days old
when they tortured me for my own good, or that’s what I’ve been told
A heavy hand did grab me and held my head so tight
Forced me into a metal plate with a searing burning light

It severed through my beak, my squeals were all in vain
Blood ran down my face and I passed out with the pain
I woke up in a bucket, drowning under other chicks
Some of them didn't make it, their beaks cut to the quick

I was poured into a cage with all the others just like me
Still only little babies and already suffering mans cruelty
As time moved on our beaks grew back, but not as God intended
The worst deformed just couldn’t eat and so their short life ended

Those of us that survived the torture learned to live in fear
and were moved to larger cages for the remainder of our years
sixty hens together with nothing to keep us amused
Existing in a hellhole and constantly abused

Then comes our final “birdsong” now we’ve passed our best
we are going for depopulation without ever seeing a nest
we gave you everything we had, and still you took much more
with no respect or decency you just send us out the door

The death that comes is violent, no sympathy nor respect
the thanks for what we’ve given you is delivered in neglect
I can’t believe God created us, to be tortured in this way
cast aside like worthless junk to be replaced with younger lays

I’ve heard about these places that take you at the end
some say it’s just a rumour, some say they heard it from a friend
Places where your taken to and allowed to run and play
to learn to scratch and dust bathe and lay eggs in nests of hay.

I pray to God each morning that the rumours can be true
and ask if I can go there when my laying days are through
All I ask for after all I’ve given is some time to call my own
And find a loving family in a new forever home.

Barbara Mladek 20/05/12


For Beautiful Becky












Becky's Words

Look at my face, don’t turn away
This was created by man on my tenth day


My body is thin but my mind is alert
My face is deformed but my soul is intact
For two long years I’ve suffered in pain
Fighting for food, just enough to sustain


The pain that I felt as they cut off my face
with their legalised cruelty, its such a disgrace
Look at my face, don’t turn away
This was created by man on my tenth day


Look at my face, don’t turn away
Look into my eyes and love me this way
See into my soul and see how I forgive
the torture and pain, I just want to live

I was saved from the depths by a kind human soul
I was given freedom from a living hell hole
They adjusted my beak to help me to eat
and feed me wet food I can pick up in my beak


Look at my face, don’t turn away
This was created by man on my tenth day

Barbara Mladek








Nut House Hen Rescue & Rehoming is the trading name for Northern Ireland Battery Hen Rescue, Company Number NI611869 & Registered in Northern Ireland. Registered address is The Nut House, 16 Nut Hill Road, Moira, BT67 0PH. Northern Ireland Battery Hen Rescue is a non profit organisation registered with NI Charity Commission. Charity Number NIC104929