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Wordless Wednesday

apple tree garden hen ex battery hen eggs in a wicker basket hens in a garden light sussex veg patchImages from our garden smallholding.

 

 

Chicken Keeping Tips · Chickens

The Magic Pink Tray

Our hens cannot resist the lure of the brightly coloured pink tray, often filled with yummy things, it’s an easy way to get the hens back to us quickly should we need to or for getting them back into the hen run safely to lock them in for the night. Beats chasing them around the garden!

I hope you enjoyed the short video I made, if you’d like to subscribe to The Garden Smallholder YouTube channel, visit this link https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGardenSmallholder

Chickens

Chickens in the Garden

It’s been a while since I posted some photos of the hybrid hens, these were taken last month. Emily and Poppy, the old ex-battery hens make an appearance too.

Our Speckledy hen lays dark brown eggs. She’s lovely and very placid unlike the white Coral hen, she’s a lunatic!

Myrtle the Bluebell hen loves hanging out in the herb patch, it’s her favourite place to have a dust bath.

Emily, our old ex-battery hen has taken quite a shine to our Coral hen, Fleur. As you can see, Emily is a big old bird!

Hermione and her fabulous ‘hair’!

Myrtle hanging out in the herb patch again, we gave her the correct name!

Each hen lays a different coloured egg which makes it really easy to tell who laid each morning, this can be useful sometimes. I was hoping our Skyline hen would lay blue or green eggs, turns out she lays pastel colours instead but they’re still pretty!

Chickens

Free At Last Hens, Four Years On

We collected six scruffy ex battery hens (our very first hens) from a Bedfordshire based hen rescue called Free At Last, four years ago today.

I’m really chuffed to announce that two hens from the original six that we collected are still here, still laying when the occasion takes their fancy and most definitely still scratching up the flower beds and chasing flies.

Emily blowing a kiss!

To find out more about Free At Last hen rescue, visit their website: http://free-at-last.org.uk/

Chickens

First Egg of the Year

One of our old hens has come back into lay, I found this lovely egg in one of the coops this morning. Yummy!

Chickens

No Valentine’s Day Eggs for Me

Tradition will tell you that hens start laying consistently again after a winter break or slow down, on or around St Valentine’s Day. Our hens are over the moult, healthy and fed a good diet, but this is the first winter that we’ve had no hens laying at all. It’s hardly surprising really, given the girls are getting on a bit (egg production slows right down or stops as hens mature) plus we don’t have as many hens as we did.

Days are gradually starting to get longer and the extra light will stimulate laying, but for one or two of our girls I suspect their egg laying days may be already be over. At some point I will be looking to add a few new hens to the flock, perhaps ex-caged hens or I may opt for POL hybrids, I might even mix. I’m unsure at the moment. We shall see how things go, either way, any non-layers will live their retirement out here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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November in the Garden Smallholding

The mild weather continued this month, right up until last weekend when we saw the first real hard frost. Leaves of beautiful autumn colours are blowing around the garden, swirling in circles and settling in corners by the fences. Now is a good time to start the process of making leafmould. It’s brilliant for improving soils or for use as a mulch and it’s easy to make too. Apparently, the best quality leafmould is made from Oak, Beech and Hornbeam leaves. Seeing as my garden is surrounded by magnificent Oak trees and a few Beech I should be making lovely stuff for my soil. I collect leaves this time of year and put them into a hand-made leafmould bin made from four sturdy posts and chicken wire, then I pretty much ignore it for a year or two. It takes a long time for the leaves to rot down but it’s worth putting a bin somewhere in the garden or allotment, this method of leaf collection certainly cuts down the need for a bonfire and risks of harming wildlife.You could use sacks or pierced bin liners to make your leafmould or add some to the compost bin if you wish, just to address the balance.

So what has been happening in the garden smallholding this month? Well, I’ve been planting garlic using home-grown bulbs (Cristo) rather than buying seed garlic as I usually do, hopefully I’ll get a good crop and save a few quid too.The raspberries were still going great guns although they look a little sorry for themselves now, since the frost hit. Fresh raspberries late in the year has been wonderful and I will miss popping outside to pick them. For me, the most noticeable difference of having a mild autumn has been the strawberry patch. The plants are still green. They’re usually displaying their wonderful autumn tones of red, orange and golden-yellow leaves by now. 

The hens are all in moult and laying has dropped considerably, only one hen is still laying every now and then so we have resorted to buying eggs again – free range of course! Touch wood, all seems well at the moment considering that moult can weaken their immune systems. One hen did become ill a few weeks back but a course of antibiotic and feather supplement soon cheered her up and helped to speed up her frantic feather growing.

Now is a great time to place a bug box in your garden, this will provide insects with shelter and a place to hide away from the winter chill. I have some boxes in my garden including one that I made, it was very easy to do and I will post details about that soon. Ladybirds in particular seem to like using the bug boxes, being an organic gardener I welcome their presence and voracious appetite for aphids. If you’re still doing your autumnal garden tidy, spare a thought for hibernating creatures and try not to be too tidy. Try to leave a dense pile of twigs or a few logs somewhere out-of-the-way, scattering leaves on top or nearby might help to encourage creatures to use this as a safe haven to hibernate. 

Enjoy your November garden!

Chickens

New Chicken Photos

It’s been a while since I put new photos of my other hens on the blog. You may remember how Dot, Ethel and Poppy looked when they first arrived in 2009, a very sorry sight. Just look at them now!

Hover over the photos to see who is who!

Becki crept into this photo (front right inspecting the grass for something wriggly) she has bonded well with this group after losing her pal Hope. These 4 girls were all challenged in their own way, some still are and because of this they do better in their own group rather than being mixed with the bigger and stronger Lily and Emily. It just works out better this way and everyone’s happy.

Chicken Keeping Tips · Chickens

Keeping Chickens in the Garden

Keeping chickens in the garden is fun, rewarding and educational too if you have young children. The fun aspect has got to be collecting fresh eggs as well as watching them scratch around for worms and listening to their gentle clucks. I have spent many an hour watching my hens go about their daily business, they are incredible time wasters. If you are interested in keeping chickens in your garden it is a good idea to check with your landlord first if you’re renting , homeowners should check their title deeds to make sure poultry is permitted on the property. Once you have made all the necessary preparations you can choose from the many breeds, hybrids and colours available, or like me rehome some ex battery hens instead. Regardless of colour or type you will soon be hooked on chicken keeping forever and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Hens do not need a cockerel to produce eggs, it’s entirely up to you if you would like to keep a cockerel just keep in mind they can be noisy at unsociable hours so it’s probably best to mention it to your immediate neighbours before getting one. Chickens need a secure coop or converted shed and a large run or aviary to keep them safe from predators, this is particularly useful when you’re not available to keep an eye on them whilst they free range. Contrary to popular belief, a fox will attack a flock of hens during the day if the opportunity arises and can carry out an attack swiftly with devastating results.

Day-to-day care is pretty simple. You will need to let your chickens out of their secure coop early in the morning, make sure food and fresh drinking water are available. Clear away any overnight droppings from the coop, check the nest box for eggs. Hens will use the coop to lay an egg around morning time, the rest of the day will be spent scratching around, feeding, preening and dustbathing  which can be quite amusing to watch –  a pile of chickens rolling around and flicking soil everywhere! Chickens will retreat to their coop at dusk by themselves (ex battery hens can take a little longer to do this but they soon catch on) so all you need to do is shut them in well before it’s dark, clear away food to avoid attracting rats and remove droppings/dirty bedding from the run floor. Chickens eat layers pellets or mash, offer some mixed corn in the afternoon during colder weather. You can feed them the occasional afternoon treat such as cooked pasta, dried mealworms or vegetable scraps.

Once a week the coop should be cleaned and fresh bedding added, use dust free wood shavings and place straw in the nest box. Don’t forget to compost all the dirty straw and droppings, your soil and veggies will love you for it! Check your flock each morning to make sure they are all healthy by watching each one, pick her up and check her feathers for signs of lice, crops should have emptied overnight and they should have clean bottoms, bright eyes and good colour combs. This should only take a few minutes of your time and makes it easier for you to detect any problems early on. If your chicken(s) ever need treatment I highly recommend registering with an avian vet.

This is all pretty basic information but it gives an insight into what is required to keep chickens happy in a garden setting. I have been keeping chickens for a number of years and still as enthusiastic about them as I was in the very beginning. You can find me chatting away about chickens over at my ex battery hens forum, with over 2,500 members and still growing every day it’s a mine of information and support for those that would like more information about rehoming and caring for ex battery hens. Many of our members keep mixed flocks so there is something for everyone. It’s free to join, come along and check it out.

Ex Battery Hens Forum http://exbatteryhens.com

Chicken Health · Chickens

Chicken Health – Droppings

Keeping chickens in the garden is rewarding and can be educational too if you have young children helping with their day-to-day needs. But, as with all animals, from time to time chickens can become ill. Apart from the classic signs that a chicken is unwell – fluffed up feathers, hunched posture, eyes closed etc you may be surprised to hear that chicken droppings can reveal quite a bit about their current health. So, the next time you check on your flock take time to inspect their droppings.

I realise this may sound unpleasant but believe me you could identify a potential health problem just by recognising what an abnormal chicken dropping looks like. You should also get to know what healthy droppings look like too, they come in an array of colours and textures. Try inspecting droppings as part of your daily routine, this way you will get to know your flock (and their poo) a little better!

Examples of healthy droppings:

Examples of problem droppings:

 I will add photos of interest to this post as they occur. All the above photos were taken by me and produced by my chickens. Just as a pointer, droppings to be concerned about are as follows:

Vivid yellow, frothy, green, runny, mainly white or clear runny, bright red blood (not to be confused with normal shedding of gut lining) and regular droppings containing visible undigested grain/food.

If I find a dodgy dropping I keep a good eye on the hens for signs of ill-health, if I do suspect there may be a problem or if I just want to put my mind at ease I contact Retfords Poultry Ltd. They provide a faecal testing service to check for presence of parasites and bacteria. Using this service literally saved one of my hens from certain death. It’s so easy to use, just pop the suspect dropping into a suitable container (screw top lid may be advisable!) and post it off with a covering note. Most good avian vets can also provide this service.

Chickens tend to show the same symptoms/characteristics for many different illnesses, even normal ‘egg issues’ such as soft-shelled eggs can make them appear unwell and give you cause for concern. Being able to identify an abnormal chicken dropping is handy knowledge to have.

Happy poopy peeking :)

Chicken Behaviour · Chickens

The Dark Side of Chicken Keeping

I enjoy keeping chickens (most of the time), and I’m a sucker for ex battery hens. They are affectionate and comical creatures, the eggs are just a bonus. However, keeping chickens can sometimes be a sad affair too, prompting you to question yourself – why on earth put yourself through it?

Ex battery hens can come with their health problems it’s true, but is it any wonder? Even before they’re hatched their health is at risk due to bad breeding, their miserable existence in caged farms certainly weakens them even further. Many ex battery hens lead long, trouble-free and happy lives after rescue, I guess it’s the luck of the draw or conditions of the particular farm from which they came. If I have an ex battery girl for just a short time, I know that she experienced so much more than those that never got the chance. I do take comfort in that. In any case, regardless of type or breed of chicken you keep, problems can occur from time to time.

On Sunday I found top hen of the flock ‘Lizzie’ hunched and scared, covered in blood round her rear end. After the initial shock of finding her in that state my first fear was that she had prolapsed. After checking her over it became clear that she had been subjected to a rather nasty vent pecking session. I cleaned her up and gave her some sugared water to help combat shock, then I promptly got her to an emergency vet. Goodness knows why chickens can do this sort of thing to each other, it’s just beyond me, but it can happen to any chicken regardless of breed or history. It’s what I call ‘the dark side of chicken keeping’.

At the moment I’m cleaning Lizzie’s wounds twice a day with a veterinary antiseptic and giving her pain relief liquid and antibiotics. She’s doing OK but I’m not 100% happy with her progress so I have made another vet appointment, for peace of mind if anything. I will update about her again once I know more.

Chickens

Free Range Weather!

The weather has been glorious for nearly 2 weeks which means the hens have been enjoying lots more free time in the garden. I like to be outside with the hens while they free range, to keep an eye out for foxes. We are surrounded by farmland and I just won’t take the risk. The hens are all looking good after their late winter / early spring moult and egg laying has started to increase. We have 13 ex battery hens at the moment which is quite enough to be getting on with, we certainly have a constant egg supply! I cannot remember the last time we had to buy eggs.

It suddenly dawned on me last night that during my short absence from the blog I missed out an important date – Chrissie and Auntie Marge celebrated a year of freedom on 22nd February this year! From the photo above Chrissie is second on the left and Auntie Marge is first on the right, as you can see they look amazing for ex battery hens. Chrissie has health issues but she is doing OK.

The other 2 hens in the photo are Becki and Hope, they are also doing very well. Hopefully they will celebrate a year of freedom next month too, fingers tightly crossed.

Chickens · kitchen garden

Change of Heart and Birthday Hens

Psssst. Can I come back? 

The weekend was wonderful. I spent so much of my time  in the vegetable garden sowing, weeding, planting and constructing support frames for peas & beans. Heaven. I started to think back over the past year – about how much the garden had changed and all the hard graft we put in. I’m starting to feel a lot better about everything, being out in the warm sun helped heaps.

I bought some leek seedlings at the weekend, never grown them before so I started to read up about them in my vegetable growing bible. I am quite fascinated by the way in which they are grown, it seems a very odd way of growing vegetables to me but I’m looking forward to giving them a go all the same. Whilst being geeky reading up on growing leeks, I remembered one of my old blog posts about growing courgettes. It reminded me exactly why I enjoy writing my blog – recording in photos and words what I achieve in the hope that it helps and encourages other novice vegetable growers to give it go. I’m finding year 3 of growing vegetables a little less daunting and much more relaxing – just as it should be. Mind you, we had a pig of a plot to tame, thank goodness that is done and dusted.

I threw a blogging wobbly about a week ago and nearly walked away from the blog, but I have since stopped flapping like a chicken and had a change of heart. If I were to abandon my blog I would miss it and also the readers that do take the time to leave me a small comment of encouragement. Perhaps if I stick to blogging every so often when the mood takes me, rather than trying to keep up with it everyday would suit me better. We shall see.

Today my original 6 ex battery hens celebrate 2 whole years of freedom, 2 have started laying again. They are approximately 4 years old now – fairly old for ex batts but I do know of even older ones. All my other hens are doing OK too, Chrissie is still here and scratching around with the best of them despite being quite poorly. Her prognosis 6 months ago was bleak, but she has remained under the watchful eye of  my avian vet so for now we are happy to let her continue being a cleaning glove thief! She has the most amazing character this little hen and I shall really miss her when her time sadly comes.

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Brrr Winter Has Arrived

The run up to Christmas is usually a rainy, miserable and cold affair, not a snowflake in sight. This year we just might have a white Christmas due to the recent snow fall and reports of more on the way.

The hens are totally unimpressed, they had enough of the white stuff in February when most of the UK was under a thick blanket of snow. Blizzard conditions on Thursday evening forced me outside in the dark equipped with a torch and tarps (which are still desperately clinging to the sides of the chicken pens), the hens appreciated my efforts which made all my cursing and freezing aching body parts worthwhile, I guess. The vegetable garden has all but disappeared, I know it’s there somewhere, I might go and dig about later and try to find it. OK, maybe not. I don’t have anything exciting to see anyhow, only a row of garlic which is staying firmly underground for now.

I was thinking earlier of trying to make some extra christmas decorations, little finishing touches using some holly from the garden. We have a HUGE holly tree so I don’t feel guilty cutting some, the wild birds will still have plenty of berries to eat. I must admit im not very creative or ‘crafty’, this sort of thing comes easily to some but with me I usually end up mumbling and swearing to myself, pricking my finger and basically giving up. If anyone has any ideas for holly decorations I would appreciate some tips!

Oh, don’t forget to feed the wild birds everyone! Freezing conditions make it very difficult for them to find food. You don’t need a fancy feeder, just a few handfuls sprinkled on the ground or heaped up high- say on a wall for instance for the smaller birds will do. They aren’t fussy but they will be hungry and appreciate your efforts.

Chickens

New Hens Photo Update

Just a few photos to show how well our 3 new ex battery hens are doing, seeing as the weather is being horrid at the moment (so fed up of this wind, rain and hail) it has been quite difficult to get them outside on grass at times.

Dot and Ethel are disabled girls, Ethel appears to be using her bad leg more but Dot has the odd day when she won’t use her bad leg at all but she is getting stronger all the time. Poppy was our little oven ready chicken but not anymore!

Anyway, here they are:

Im really pleased with their progress, they are so hand tame and a real joy to look after.

Chickens

New Hens

For the past couple of weeks I have been tending to the needs of 3 new ex battery hens. These hens were being ‘fostered’ by friends of mine,  lovely ladies who dedicate their spare time to caring for smashed up ex battery hens that cannot be re-homed straight away. They foster ‘off their legs’ girls from the  hospital wing of Little Hen Rescue and give them one to one care at their homes. These 3 hens were ready for the next stage of their new lives, we had some room so I agreed to take them on.

We have named them Poppy, Dot and Ethel. Poppy was very bald, known as a ‘oven ready’. She was weak when rescued and painfully thin but she is doing brilliantly now and almost fully feathered. Dot and Ethel are leg issue girls, only two good legs between them but they get about in their own’ elderly’ fashion and seem to grab life by the scruff of the neck. Yeah they are slow and don’t particularly look ‘pretty’ (Ethel is de-beaked, probably as a chick GRRRR) but I think they are amazing, seeing as they could not walk at all about a month ago. One of our other ex battery hens ( Becki ) was a hop-along, she does great now and her slight limp is hardly noticable.

They are all doing well so far and a pleasure to look after, Ethel is extremely hand tame and a funny little character. She has the most adorable face although I realise not everyone will see what I do. Eventually her beak will naturally wear down. Dot and Ethel may never walk properly again, only time will tell with these two wonky girls. If they stay disabled then it may be best that they live together in accommodation suited to them,rather than being mixed in with the other hens. We shall just have to see how things go.

Chickens

An Appeal for Little Hen Rescue

Little Hen Rescue have 500 ex battery hens looking for homes. If you have the space and time, please consider giving a few ex battery hens a home this Christmas, it will be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done.

Please go to their web site for more details.
http://littlehenrescue.co.uk/contactus.aspx

Little Hen Rescue are holding another re-homing day this Saturday, contact them for more details.

Chickens

Chicken Dramas and Intros

Hope

It’s all been going on here.

The two new hens that joined us in May were not in the best of health, that’s battery farming for you. They have been very poorly indeed, lots of worry, lots of medicines and lots of finger crossing lately. They were suffering from a number of illnesses, the first one to come to light was brachyspira, becoming more common now in laying flocks. Just when things were calming down and looking promising for the pair, one of them was struck down with coccidiosis. Off her legs and passing blood, she really was on death’s door. More testing and meds from my saviours, Retford Poultry and once again we were on the home straight. Then, just when things were on the up, an egg drama reared its ugly head almost cruelly finishing off the other hen. She became egg bound which then burst inside her. I intervened in the end and helped her ‘deliver’ the mangled mass of shell which was well and truly stuck, managing to get it all from her in one large piece while she passed the yolk contents. Very messy indeed but also very necessary, many egg bound hens die.

I can safely say these ordeals have certainly added a few grey hairs to my locks and ribbons to my chicken CV. But most importantly, I have not been put off chicken keeping or keeping ex battery hens for that matter. They are little fighters and have such a zest for life, grabbing each new day by the throat and really going for it, despite already being weak and ravished by the battery system from which they came. A few months down the line and they both appear to be making a very good recovery, once again beating the ‘system’ and that makes me smile inside.

They have been introduced to their new friends and all went well, not too much fighting but of course being armed with meal worms really does help matters! Chickens are calmer as night draws in so sometimes it is easier to introduce new chickens by putting them in the coop with the others to sleep, then removing the new hens the following morning whilst keeping them within sight but out of reach for a few days, repeating the night-time process. Chickens are like us, they recognise faces and seeing the new hens regularly will help with the introductions. Once a new pecking order has been established the chickens will all be happier. When you are satisfied that fighting is minimal and not serious, they can be left together permanently.

I’m certainly no chicken expert, I keep a small flock of  ‘damaged goods’ hens packed with big characters that help me learn and gain new experiences all the time – not all bad either, most of the time they have me howling with laughter. Ex battery hens can DO that, they are infectious. I’m happy to share with others if it helps at all (not the howling) the knowledge and experience that sometimes manages to wedge its way in. Hopefully the two new hens, Becki and Hope will stick around for a while longer yet. Got to give it to them, they certainly enjoy life even though it has thrown a few cruel punches at times.

Chickens

More Hens

 

Becki

Well it was bound to happen. Our flock has expanded yet again.

In May I volunteered to help Little Hen Rescue rehome ex battery hens by rehoming hens from our garden. It was a very emotional experience, watching the hens go to their forever homes with keen, kind and very excited folk. It was heart warming to say the least. With the help of a friend and family members, we rehomed 94 hens. Unfortunately there were also a few hens off their legs, basically just too weak to rehome at that point and needed TLC. They were all put safely together on blankets, given food and water and then taken by a friend of ours to be cared for one to one.

After the long exhausting day I was full of mixed emotions. Elated for the hens that were sleeping on straw for the first time in their miserable lives, sad for the hens still enduring the battery farm and missing one of the poorly girls. I just could not get her from my mind, she kept me awake at night thinking about her. Of course, I knew she was being well cared for but my mind kept drifting back to her. I kept in regular contact with their foster mum and was updated on how all the girls were getting on but it was not enough. I had to give her a home here with us and our other nutty ex batts.

Hope

So, now I have 2 new hens. Whoops did I say 2 how did that happen? I have named them Hope and Becki. Hope is the hen that I could not shake and Becki is named after a friend. Hope is walking well and very skittish. Becki is still lame on one leg so she needs a bit more care. They are bonding together nicely and will remain together until they are a little stronger before being introduced to Chrissie, Auntie Marge and Brenda.

They had a lovely day yesterday in the late afternoon sunshine, dust bathing on the lawn and soaking up the warmth into their tired out bodies. Its tear jerking watching an ex battery hen experience these simple pleasures for the first time. Although I have witnessed it many times before, it still gets to me.

Wish them luck.

Chickens

Scruffy, Rebellious or Something Else?

Rose Running

At the end of last year I blogged about one of our chickens, Rose, the fact that she seems to have been stuck in some kind of strange moult since like forever. I’m afraid to say she still has not feathered up. In fact, she is worse than ever. Now I don’t know whether or not she is just one rebellious old boot, preferring to be a scruff monster, or, that maybe just maybe she is on the change. OMG.

I have noticed that she now has tiny spur like knobbles on the back of her both her legs, the very part of the leg that spurs would be present if on a cockerel. Also, her wattles now hang much lower than before, they are noticeably bigger and boy like. When Rose came to us in April 2008, although a tatty teddy she was pretty well feathered for an ex batt, OK apart from missing neck feathers but still not bad at all. Not long after her arrival she just went into a permanent state of moult. All different parts of her and stages that have seemed to take such a long time to finish, so much so that she would start a new moult somewhere else on her body before she had. She lost all her head and neck feathers, regrew them but then lost them all straight away. This has been going on for some time now. She has this habit of over preening herself, pulling and plucking new feathers as she does it. But then again she does have a twisty beak so perhaps preening is just not easy for her.

 I can rule out  a few potential reasons such as being bullied, boredom, lice, mites, lack of protein, poor quality feed etc but I still cannot work out why she is like this. Right now she resembles a scrubbing brush. She is healthy, laying OK (but not as often as she was for that matter) and doing everything that chickens like to do. I cannot work it out. If someone out there has the magic answer I would dearly like to know. I would love to see Rose fully feathered and looking beautiful. Perhaps she is just, well, getting on a bit?

Chickens

Our New Ex Batts

Ive been so busy lately that I have been neglecting the blog a little, also our readers blogs. So sorry! I shall make some time to get back into the swing of blogging a bit more than I have. I just don’t seem to have enough hours in the day lately.

Anyway, I realise its also been quite some time since I updated the photos of our new ex battery hens that we re-homed in February from Free At Last hen rescue. As some will recall, we lost our dear Shazzy hen and were left with 3 rather scraggy hens. Well, here is how they look now:

Auntie Marge

Brenda

Chrissie

Brenda seems to be doing well since recovering from sour crop which is good news. On a sadder note, Chrissie has gone on to develop EYP. She was a bit of a mess in the egg laying department when she arrived but she did lay. I want to point out that I specifically asked for needy ex batts this time, so these sort of problems I’m afraid come with hens that have been pushed to the limit. I’m not at all sorry that I did, they have brought me much joy which far outweighs the sad times. Chrissie’s EYP is manageable at the moment, I shall keep a close eye on how she copes with it and take it from there. Its all I can do.

I thought I would do a photo comparison that some may find interesting, it also shows why I do what I do! Below is a photo of Auntie Marge on the day of her rescue from a battery farm. Her condition was shocking, as were the other 3 hens we rehomed with her due to spending a longer period of time than usual in the battery farm. This was all down to an increase in egg sales over the Christmas period. I would like to thank those people who contributed to her longer sentence by knowingly buying eggs from caged hens. Not!

Auntie Marge

A few months later this is the same hen, not completely feathered up yet but much healthier and happier.

Auntie Marge