It often works out that ideas you have about a subject can change when you meet individuals. Chickens don’t seem like much when you see a whole crowd of them - just a mass of feathers, beaks and noise.
They don't seem quite real.
But take one of those chooks out of the crowded pens, take care of her, get to know her, look her in the eye, and suddenly you have an individual.
The existence of individual creatures with personalities is a threat to very idea of factory farming. These facilities are all about anonymous units. No creature is allowed to have a personality. There's no looking in their eyes. Its economics only.
As a photographer of animals I have always believed it has been my responsibility to show the world the soul of my animal subjects. That's why photographing these chooks has had a lot of meaning for me - they deserve to be recognised - to be seen. At least these few - as representatives of the rest.
I think that people who rescue factory hens are doing an amazing service to the planet only hope my pictures are a help.
This is Grace. She’s a rescued ex-battery hen I met last Saturday. She was found lying on the filthy floor of a battery farm, nearly featherless and suffering from several infections. Grace is currently living at the home of Catherine Smith, founder and chairwoman of the NSW Hen Rescue located in Dundas area. Now, after 2 weeks of care, Grace is looking like a normal, happy chook. Her beautiful white feathers are growing back. She still needs to follow-up on her vet checks before she is ready to be rehomed as part of a family (yes, as a pet, where she will live till the ripe age of 8 years).
If you interested in helping out with Grace’s vet fees, you can make a donation to the NSW Hen Rescue here: