Tag Archives: cats

The Hen has Landed

For a 30th birthday present for Chris I brought a hen house and signed up for four rescue hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) – (BHWT are also on Facebook). The hens are extra battery farm layers. The poor things are devoid of most of their feathers an have weak legs from their hard life in the battery farm. The BHWT rescue these hens – which are only 18 months old – from the battery farms at the time the farms send the hens to the chicken equivalent of a wood chipper.

The lucky hens get taken on by people to be given a better life in family and free range farm conditions.

We had to wait for a slaughter date for our hens to become available. In the time it took the hens to become available I had built a hen house (from Hen House World).

Modification in progress

Hen House World bent over backwards to ensure I had all I needed. In fact after I told them of the modifications I wanted to carry out (lift top roofs, extended run area, guttered mid section and remote lighting), they were happy to send me spares that were in unsaleable conditions due to minor defects – all I did was pay postage.


Two months after we embarked on the hen rescue we finally received our birds. I went to pick them up with Alex as Chris was at work. The pick up place had all the birds that had been assigned new lives (and not destined for the wood chipper).

The halfway house

Seeing these pale, feather bare hens with hardly any weight to them was quite shocking really. By the time we got to the pick up, Alex had fallen asleep and was quite surprised when on the way home the boxes started clucking! He wasn’t aware we’d picked them up at all!

Sleeping Alex and the hens

Once home I moved them over into the custom coop! They didn’t put up much fuss being handled and were quite quiet as they started to explore. It was now that I could see how feather bare and pale they were.

Pale but saved

Pale, half naked, but saved

After a peaceful first day and an early night, the hens awoke the next morning to prove themselves fully functional! Chris went down and let them out of their bedding area into the coop at 6am… a few moments later I was woken up as she excitedly showed me a fresh warm egg. Over the next hour two more were produced – including one that was so big it needed some Vaseline help… Now they are settled it should be easier for them….

Egg number one!

Chris was disappointed to not actually see an egg layed – and slightly annoyed that I went out to see the girls at 8am only to have one walk in front of me, stop, drop egg, then walk off! Egg number four had been delivered!

A little later we picked up some wire and posts to build an extended open run. Once I had built this (and Chris had clipped the hens flight feathers and tagged them) the hens were free to roam…. but it took a while!

It has been said that ex-battery hens are fearless. I guess it’s because they are used to so much stress in the battery pens that anything else is child’s play! Cats on the other hand, are less brave of a new arrival in their lives! Our three all took wide berths as they passed the coop, but slowly they became more curious…. or at least Spice did….

No fuss.....

Swap places!

The cats and the hens are getting on very well – probably due to the fact that the hens are bigger than the cats (in height anyway) and there are more hens than cats…. and the fact that our cats are pretty soft in the head!

Trouble looks on

We end their first full day with the girls being happy, free and already perking up! Notice the colour in their combs – pinking up already!

Happy Hens

Visit the BHWT on Facebook too...

The hens were also named today:
Alex named one “Eleven” – maybe a Spinal Tap reference… although he is only four!
Chris named one “Crispy” – As in KFC.
I named “Terri” (Theresa) due to the green leg tag.
I also named one “Mel” – bravest one who explores everything before anyone else… and is nuts.

Kung-Fu Kitty gonna mess you up!

Another response to the wonderful Jacks (The Thoughtful Spaz). She has gone into the minds of her cats (not in a Silar-Heroes way) and put together an on-line dating type thing for them. It’s all in fun mind you – she’s not gone fruit loop… she does know they are not human….

I was going to answer one of her cat-ads with one from one of our lot (pics HERE and HERE for starters)– but thinking about it, none of ours would do on-line dating (I can’t believe I am even writing this entry….).

For starters, “Trouble” is far to involved in honing his Kung-Fu skills to even bother with dating.

He’s only a little thing, but one time I saw a big old crow attacking our back door cat flap… until I realised that the little kitty runt of the litter had managed to get hold of the said crows leg and was trying to pull it into the house. The bird was easily twice his size – but that’s “Trouble” for you.

I won’t even go into the time we found a roast chicken in our kitchen that wasn’t ours…..

On to “Miew“. He’s a giant of a cat. From the distance he looks sleek and normal… until he gets close. He’s still sleek, but weighs in at around 16lbs… He is a mini panther with a heavy punch!

He was totally silent when I got him as a kitten. Several hours of silence and I asked him “So what shall we call you….” to which he cocked his head and looked at me….”MIEW!

He wouldn’t do on-line dating because it would mean doing something other than sleeping. It’s his skill…. well, that and being the cat equivalent of being a faithful Labrador!

That just leaves “Spice“. She’s way too neurotic to even think about on-line dating. Out of all of the cats, she is the most cat like though. She’s a keen huntress though – whether it is plate food or live capture – she’ll get it if she sees it. We still have no idea whose Portsmouth Goldfish this was…

So, sorry Jacks, these kitties are too wrapped up in themselves to be bothered about any other kitty! It might mean interrupting the stuff they like doing!!!

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