Ain’t nobody here but us chickens…

chickens-002-wince.jpg                       chickens-001-wince.jpg

I must admit our hens aren’t looking their finest at the moment – Daughter Hen (above right) isn’t too bad, but Mummy Hen (above left) and Lucky are a bit shabby. We don’t really name our hens, but we had a mummy and five chicks. The fox got some of the chicks when they were still quite young. I was so upset (foxes come at any time of day, which doesn’t seem fair!) I’d heard the commotion and run out into the garden to see him bounding over the 6ft fence. I counted up the remaining chicks to discover we had mummy and two left. I could only find one dead chick and presumed he must have carried off two. An hour or so later, back in the garden I counted again – and there were three chicks close to their mother. One of them was  bedraggled and had clearly been in the fox’s mouth at some point. I didn’t think she’d live for long but she’s still with us three years later, a bit skinnier than the rest and her feathers have never been so bright – so we call her Lucky.

Last night I had a look at The Battery Hen Welfare Trust web site. They have some pictures of chickens which make mine look positively pedigree. We had intended to get some more chickens for the allotment in the spring, but when I saw the condition of these hens I emailed straight away to offer a home to some. They are rescuing 175 this weekend but have managed to place them all.. Their next rescue in my part of the world is at the beginning of November when they will rescue 500 birds – so I’m down for 10 or 12 of those.

As with any adopted or rescued animal, you take them on warts and all, they will be vaccinated, wormed and sprayed for mites but some live only a matter of weeks, others years. They take a few weeks to adapt to their new life in the open air, but according to Mollie (one of the co-ordinators for W. Midlands) they soon plump up and start to behave like regular chickens. I can’t wait. If anyone else is interested, I’ve put a link to the web site for you to take a look for yourself.

And now… I’m off to Tall Boy’s school for a meeting with Head of Maths, Mr S (maths teacher) and Tall Boy. Mr S is a sacrcastic, bullying teacher who has systematically stripped the confidence from every pupil he has had the privelage to teach! If it was just my two (yes the Lovely J had problems too) I might not take him on but when I mention ‘trouble with maths’ to any parent who has children at the school, they roll their eyes and say, ‘Oh no! They don’t have Mr S do they?’ I’m told his results are great – well that’s alright then! Never mind that he strips the confidence from his pupils as long as the results look good in the league tables! Wish me luck. I’d rather be with me chickens.


2 comments so far

  1. ann on

    thank you for the Battery Hen website – and for your blog which is now added to Ruth’s as ‘morning tea and toast’ ritual reading. The last of our rescued battery hens lived to 8yrs old, and after the initial pedicure and sheltered housing until they are feathered up enough to free range, and smart enough to get under cover when it rains, they are so rewarding and egg-statically grateful. A little cider vinegar in their water helps feather growth, and improves immune systems. Blog on!

  2. Ruth on

    Would I grow feathers if I took a dram of cider vinegar every day?

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