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Well, here goes nothing, maybe a miracle may happen

Added: (Mon May 20 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) - What do I have to do to prove that The Chicken Rescue Centre IS genuine? We are the first animal sanctuary dedicated purely to chickens but because chickens are not as fashionable as cats or dogs we are thought of as a joke, a wind up or a gimmick. Because of this we can not get any large media interest to help prove that we exist and raise our profile, if you have never heard of us then you have just proved my point. I can not run The Chicken Rescue Centre without help and people knowing about it's work, we are needing to expand to survive otherwise the first and only chicken sanctuary will close.

Q:- Are you genuine or are you a gimmick, a throw back from The Chicken Run film?
A:- we are very genuine and we started in 1998 which is about the time the Chicken run was thought of.

Q:- Do chickens need rescuing? If so what and where from?
A:- There are several types of chicken rescue that I operate, the first is taking in the intensive egg industry's 'waste product' hens which is a 20 hour job to get them trusting humans again and teaching them to be a proper free range hen. The second is if someone keeps a few chickens at the bottom of their garden as pets and to supply themselves with eggs but have to move home and can't take them with them then I will take them in. And the third way is working with other organisations to take in the badly treated chickens, abandoned birds, vicious or just unwanted cockerels.

Q:- But why chickens? They are only dumb birds that are food or lay eggs.
A:- Chickens are more intelligent than most people think with their own personalities, If you come to the field once in your car and feed them some bread then the next time you come they will flock around you looking for bread. Chickens are also very amusing to watch (as anyone with chickens will confirm) with an attitude of "Yeah, I'm brave as long as there is no danger'. Like you and me they have a very sophisticated social ladder (the pecking order) where every bird knows where it is and knows who is above it and below it. Until you have actually been with the chickens and watched them then you will keep thinking that chickens are meat or egg machines.

Q:- Doing this, are you part of the Animal Rights or Animal Liberation groups?
A:- NO! Some of my views might upset people within those groups but that is a matter of politics. What I do is for an educational role and keeping hens as pets you can get attached to them like a dog or cat. If I can take in the pet chickens that people can no longer look after for one reason or another means it saves people the heartache of putting their 'pet' chickens down for no reason. They can run free range until old age.

Q:- How long can chickens live?
A:- they can live up to 20 years but in a battery farm it is normally 72 weeks.

Q:- How are you financing The Chicken Rescue Centre?
A:- The Centre is financed by egg sales and public donations. 90% of the running costs are from eggs as donations are almost impossible to get due to hardly anyone thinking The Chicken Rescue Centre is genuine.

Q:- Can anyone rescue battery hens?
A:- Yes, as long as you find a battery farmer that does not mind you buying them. Offer him/her 50p per hen and don't moan about the battery cage system.

Q:-How many people are currently involved in The Chicken Rescue Centre?
A:- There is just myself doing everything from cleaning the hen-house out to the marketing, from making the tea to typing out this page. The only help I get is from Cliff at CA Design (http://www.cadesign.co.uk) who looks after the website and sponsored the website name for us (www.chickenrescue.org.uk). Clive Francis (http://www.cartooncupboard.com) who is a professional cartoonist, The kind guy who designed The Chicken Rescue Centre's logo and also designs all the cartoons I need for promotions etc. (he is probably cringing now I have mentioned him!). That is all the help I get.

Q:- Do you get paid for doing this?
A:- I wish! No I don't take a wage from The Chicken Rescue Centre BUT I am supposed to take a wage from the sales of eggs. This year that has gone to the chickens because, again, a lack of money coming in. On an average week I am working 140 hours and getting paid £2 per day, which works out at 10p per hour (don't tell the minimum wage council!)

Q Is The Chicken Rescue Centre open to the public?
A:- Normally we are but due to a lack of money and being forced to move, we have not been able to make it 'public friendly' instead all we are left with is a field with a hen house, 2 ponds and all the chickens (the latter being the only thing not needing planning permision…..yet). But with the finance we have the plans to expand to get Urban kids as well as people with both physical and learning problems (see our vision). I am hoping to have the full centre open by April 2003. Between now and then we have a lot of very hard work to do to raise our profile and the finance either by donations, sponsorship or any other way possible.

Q. What will happen to The Chicken Rescue Centre?
A. The local council have told us to close down or move before 4th June 2002 or face £20,000 fines or imprisonment because it does not have planning permission (including a change of use of land FROM agriculture) and thrown every by-law in my face. If I can not get the finance for the long term project then it will have to close. This will lose a major humanitarian and educational resource to people from all over the world.

Q. What are you looking for?
A. We are looking to either get a large name to support us and raise our profile or a celebrity to come down, see the work I do and hopefully raise out profile to prove that we ARE genuine (maybe then I might get some volunteers to help with the massive work load!). Our other aim is to get sponsorship, donations, beg, borrow (but not steal) to raise the £150,000 needed for the expansion. It will be used as follows:-

 £50,000 to buy a 20 acre field to transform into a woodland (a chicken's natural environment).
 £20,000 to buy ground maintenance machinery i.e. a tractor with a digging attachment to save costs on JCB's, a mowing attachment to save time and money keeping 20 acres of grass down etc. The tractor will also be able to pull the hen houses around the field so the chickens always have fresh grass.
 £25,000 to buy 6 new hen houses which holds 300 birds each and can be towed round the field.
 £10,000 to buy various out buildings including a learning centre, shop and storage area etc.
 £45,000 to pay for additional work i.e. mill waste for the drive & carpark, timber decking around the field for wheelchair access, installation of electricity, phone lines, water supply etc and to try and get the trees sponsored by companies. as well as general running costs
More information can be found on our web site.

If you are not used to this type of Press Release then I apologise but there is only one person doing everything from mucking out the hen house to (trying) to writing this press release, from collecting the eggs to trying to raise both the profile and the finance to carry on. I am currently working 140 hours a week for 10p an hour. It is very disheartening to be looking for help and find people are interested until they realise it's for chickens!

Please show an interest while we are still here because it will be too late one The Chicken Rescue Centre is closed.

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