At the weekend I took a drive to Coventry, to pick up some rescued battery hens. I had been in contact with the Hen Welfare Trust as I had been interested in getting a few more hens to join the motley crew I already have, plus our Year 5 & 6 pupils have been raising money at school to build a hen run and hen house. I will be keeping two of these hens and school is going to have the other four.
I did not really know how poor a condition these hens would be in, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how animated they have been! obviously, they would not win any prizes in the appearance department! They are very scraggy looking, completely bald in places. I was amazed at how anaemic they looked… their combs a grey / pink colour and drooped over their eyes. Even their eyes seem very pale compared to my healthy girls. Within a few weeks, we should see a great difference and I will post some photos every week if I can.They are very thin and very tame! I thought they may be a bit daunted by sunlight and space, so I had built a run within my hen run. I don’t want them to have to encounter my hens until they have built up some strength, but they are pretty bold!
Within a day, they were happily scratching around and they are interested in everything! I suppose that comes from having lived a very boring existence up to now! They are eating and drinking vast amounts and they have all laid an egg today in a seed tray that I put in the side of the run. It is good to see them looking so happy and they can expect to live a full and happy life from now onwards…. and we will be living on eggs!
Here are some shots taken on Saturday and Sunday as they tasted freedom and fresh air for the first time!