Blurry August

ex battery hen

Hello blog, it’s been a while.

Last month is still a blur to me, due to family loss. Consequently I haven’t had my blogging hat on, but I did promise to update readers with progress of my new rescue hens and that’s what I’m going to do with this post.

walk in chicken runs

The addition of a new walk-in chicken run thanks to my other half and his DIY skills helped the very traumatised hen overcome her fear of other chickens. With plenty of space (it’s a large enclosure for just 3 chickens) for her to dart out of way should she feel the need to, the choice is hers to approach other chickens in her own way and in her own time, boosting her confidence. She struts around with the other rescue girls now, a very different hen to the one that ran away screaming for her life, cowering down in a corner just a few week ago. She just needed space and time to adapt to her new-found freedom – no longer the punch bag for other caged hens to take their frustration out on.

ex battery hen
‘Pumpkin’ was very traumatised from her time in cages, her rehabilitation had to be handled very carefully for her to gain my trust. Her day-to-day time spent in a cage was mentally damaging to her. Already, given freedom and choices, she’s a different hen and very affectionate towards me.

The pecking order for this little flock has already been sorted out, with ‘top hen’ giving a reminder of her status every so often should the other girls ‘forget’ her authority over them. This is usually done by pulling at the other girls combs, treading them with one stamp of her foot on their back or the ‘stare’ across a food bowl, resulting in the lower ranking hens breaking eye contact immediately and moving elsewhere (sometimes this is enough to warrant respect without any further action needed).

ex battery hen
Top hen ‘Honey’, she’s firm but fair!

ex battery hen

Bedtime always brings drama (even with my flock of ‘posh’ hens housed nearby), the lowest ranking hen (in this case ‘Pumpkin’) is usually last to take her position within the safety of the hen-house at dusk. You could say I study my hens intently, I find chickens and their language absolutely fascinating.

ex battery hen

As you can hopefully see from the photos they’re starting to look healthier.

ex battery hen

If you’d like to offer a home to some hard-working girls please get in touch with your local hen rescue by using this useful website http://exbatteryhens.org.uk. If you would like more information on how to care for rescue hens before committing to rehoming, come along and join the ex battery hens forum community http://exbatteryhens.com. We’re a friendly bunch and happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have from anything to integration, feeding and housing.

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15 comments

  1. its so lovely to see how the girls flourish given loving care. I first started rescuing a couple of years ago and have 14 girls at the moment. to see the difference from the sorry state they’re in on arrival to a few months on is so rewarding. like yourself, I love spending time just watching their antics – beautiful creatures. blessings from ne England.

  2. You have done so well with your rescue hens. I showed my 9-year-old your previous pictures of Pumpkin, and explained battery hen life to him. He loves birds and animals and was utterly appalled. It is wonderful to see the improvement in them, and it must be even more wonderful to see them enjoying life for the first time. Wonderful hen houses and runs by the way. How lovely to have such a handy other half. Mine just plays golf. Sigh.

  3. Oh golly, pumpkin is the sweetest…. and so is your story of loving these hens. When we have a bit more space and a decent sized WIR, I will definitely get in touch with the ex-battery hen rescue team.

  4. This is a beautiful story. We’re just laying out plans to shrink down our oversized (and falling down) shed and put in a chicken coup next to it. We’ve only just made the decision so I hadn’t thought much about it yet but you’ve definitely inspired me to rescue. You’ve given these girls a chance to let their characters shine through the trauma they experienced. Absolutely lovely.

  5. I love your blog! I’ve just found you, after recently starting my own blog, the random way. The very best way. I hope to have hens of my own soon. You’re such a wonderful read.

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