Tag Archives: chicken

The name’s Peck. Gregory Peck.

The other day we lost Chicken 22 to old age. She was clucked out, but had a fun and free life after we rescued her from battery farm hell. A lovely lady and one of the oldest we had.

At the same time 22 reached her final days, a friend of a friend told Chris that she was moving¬† house and needed someone to take on her hens. Yes, it writes itself… The hen numbers are back to where they were a few months back. Lovely pets, and these two new girls are stunners!

Sally & Mabel

Avid readers of this blog (ha!) will probably have realised by now that we are animal mad…

It just got madder.

Chris picked up a new family member at the stables the other day. An injured bird had been hanging around for a few days, so with our birdy experience, Chris decided to nurse it back to health.

Gregory Peck joined the madhouse.

Now we know chickens are clever, but this guy is worlds apart. You can see him think… he looks at one thing, then moves on, then back to the other thing…. and you see the thought process… He’s not the largest crow I’ve seen, but he’s still a big lad.

He’s been in a fight. Maybe another bird, birds, fox… car? and he has an old scar across his back under his feathers and his head is half bald. This scar may be pulling his skin when he tries to fly, as he doesn’t seem comfortable getting airborne, even though his wings are fine.

He has a mild chest infection, and is a bit bug infested, so he is going through some bird nutrients and a bathing ritual to clean him up. He already looks a lot better.

Corvids are among the most intelligent, if not the most intelligent, of birds. Peck has shown this by completely accepting us as friends. Day one and he was very wary and pecky to us. Day two, after food, bath, blow dry and mite powdering he is easy to handle and no fuss at all. It is said that crows have very good memories and facial recognition, so if you cross one or mistreat it, it won’t forget. From a shy, scared and pecky wreck, he now sits on my shoulder with out a care.

More photos HERE.

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Here Come the Girls

The girls have settled in well now. Bunty has made sure that the others all know that she is still queen bitch, but the others really only pay her lip service… Sorry, beak service…

The new girls are all competent jumpers, and even with cropped wings they still manage to reach new heights – literally. We’ve had to put higher netting up around the fences after Knickers found herself in the neighbours garden…. after getting on top of the hen house, along the fence & over the trellis…

Three of them are like shadows whenever we go out into the garden. Hulahoop, Porsche and Sonic have to be at our feet as soon as they see us. Hulahoop goes One further and tries to be eye level – or at least as high and close to us as possible. They are all very lovely ladies, and we’re glad that these rescued hens have settled in so well.


Henvasion!

Two years ago we took in some rescued ex-battery hens. We took in 4, as that seemed a good number. You have to get a minimum of 3 so they have company, and if introducing them to an established flock you need a few to help the introduction go smoothly, or the new (scrawny) hens will get picked on….

Rescued hens awaiting new owners.

When we lost our first hen, we thought it seemed a bit too quiet with just 3. We decided to take on 3 more to make it up to 6. The reasoning being that if we lost 3, we would still have 3, and we could get another 3…. 6 as a number worked really well.

It’s really rewarding looking after rescue hens. Just seeing them become fitter, healthier and friendlier is wonderful… and of course there are the benefits of the eggs…. Gloriously bright & tasty yellow yolks, like nothing you’ll get in the supermarket.

In fact recently we had to buy some free range eggs from Sainsburys supermarket (we needed some for a cake, and had run out). They were top of the range supermarket free range eggs… the best they had to offer…. and in comparison to the ones our hens are laying, even the best supermarket eggs lacked colour and flavour.

Anyway… We lost one, so dropped down to 5. Then a friend said he had 3 hens that he wanted to pass on, as his wife wasn’t too keen on them. I figured that 8 wasn’t too much of a step up from the 6 we’d had.

So…. his 3 joined our remaining 5, and up until early 2012 we had the 8 hens….

And then we lost two due to old age & complications. We were back to 6.

Early this year, T2 bowed out…

…and so did Mel.

Ex-batts can have quite short lives.

This is due to their breeding, and what they have been through.

Then last week another took a turn for the worse and passed away. We were back to 5, so we put our name down for 5 new rescue hens to make the number back up to 10…. yes, not 8… Well, the garden looked so empty without a good sized flock…

And then in the same week, before we had picked up the new girls, another of our old girls passed away… We were down to 4….

I quickly changed our order to 6 new rescue hens. We still wanted 10… 10 was enough. A good number. No more though.

Today we went to pick them up…. and the lady in charge had managed to rescue 100 extra hens and was offering to up people’s orders…

… which is why I drove home in the old Land Rover with 8 new rescue hens…. These ones were ex-free range, so in better health to start with.

Hang on… we’ve got neighbours…

The 8 lucky ladies

Cluck?

Hulahoop, Sonic, Lotus, Pingu,

Charger, Porsche, Phantom and Knickers

joined V8, 22, Ginger and Bunty.

That’s it… 12. No more.

They have good sleeping quarters, as Cluckingham Palace has two wings, each easily sleeping 6 birds – and 4 nest boxes.

Cluckingham Palace is full.

More photo’s of the 8 new ladies here.

Chris has more hen & animal related stuff over at Crispy Snippets.

If you want to look into ex-batt and ex-free rescue, then get in contact with the British Hen Welfare Trust. (Website or Facebook)

If you want a good start in getting a hen-house – or extending what you have – then contact Hen House World and tell them I send you! They are really helpful, and if you don’t mind damaged/returned parts, they can do a real good deal if you’re handy with the tools (It’s how I made Cluckingham Palace).

Cluckingham Palace


Goodbye, Turbo Chicken

Turbo Chicken is no more.

She may as well have been called Superleggera, for she was fast and light. It was her slightness that didn’t help in the end.

Although stable and happy, she just couldn’t recover from her recent weakened condition.

We took the decision to have her put down before she started suffering any further.

Compared to most ex-battery hens, her last days did not include being flung in a shredder, but sat in front of the TV on a comfy armchair, being fed good food, watching The Fantastic Four – Rise of the Silver Surfer (good reactions from her), and James Bond – The World is not Enough (she wasn’t too impressed).

I’ve been expecting you, Mr Bond…


Turbo Chicken has lag

Turbo the ex-battery hen has always been skinny. This meant a recent case of sour crop really knocked her out. I managed to empty her crop (I hope to never smell anything like that again) and she seemed to pick up a bit. Hopefully a nights sleep would help her.

Next morning she was found on her side, unable to move. I mixed up some sugar water and slowly during the day she picked up some energy.

She’s eaten some solid food now, but she’s still weak.

Best still, she pooped…. which means she has stuff passing through her crop again…. YAY!… but boy did that also stink!

She’ll go one of two ways, but she’s comfortable & has enjoyed two years of freedom since we rescued her from battery farm hell.


What are you, CHICKEN?!?!

Splitter!!!!

Splitter!!!

Chris has gone off to write a more chickeny, horsey, pussy related blog for the family.

Here you can learn about buying and restoring ex-battery hens…. Hmmm, too much classic car work on my mind..

At CRISPYSNIPS.COM you can find out how to go about looking after hens at home. Yup, if you’ve thought about doing it, then Chris will tell you what’s involved and how to go about doing it.

There are lots of sites telling you in depth how to keep hens, but not a lot give you a basic run down up front to let you know what you are letting yourself in for!

Her site also has horse and cat related tips and advice, plus lots of other news and views from around Chris!

Go check it out!


Crispy Snippets

Chris has started up a blog about keeping hens, looking after horses, pets and the Land Rover.

Crispy Snippets ~ Chris’s Blog

It’s a great little resource & not too heavy going.

Fancy getting hens? Then check out her site first!

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V8, 22 and Bunty… yup…

After Chicken 11 passed away I mention to a friend who was still undecided as to wether getting hens was a good idea, that if he really thought he had made the wrong choice, that we’d take on his three girls.

Much though he liked them, he decided that it wasn’t going to work for him, so today we added these ex-battery hens to our flock.

V8, Bunty and Chicken 22 (named in respect of Chicken 11) have settled right in and seem happy enough. They have met Mel, Ginger, Terri 2, Turbo & Crispy (albeit through mesh fence) and there seem to be no squabbles at all. A few raised voices, but no chest puffing and sizing up.

The drive home

The release….

 

Chris and Bunty

 

All together now...


Sad news as Chicken 11 bows out

‘Chicken Eleven’ – named by Alex because he just liked the sound of it, sadly had to be put to sleep after enjoying just over a year of free range happiness since her rescue from the chop, following the disgusting battery farm life she had been through.

The poor girl wasn’t going to get better after her problem, and although she was happy (albeit a bit quiet) it was not a way of life she could sustain.

Her last full day and we took some movie clips of her having a bath & a blow dry.

Click for videos: Chicken Eleven ~ Bath & a blow-dry.

She was one of our first hens, and although she was a bit on the quiet side, she soon had a following of friends on Facebook & Twitter who often asked after her. Strange but true.


So long Terri, at least you had a good life in retirement

Sad news today as chicken Terri had to be put down. We’ve had her six months after her rescue from being a battery hen. In that time she has been spoilt rotten and with her three sisters become a loved family pet.

A happy Terri a few weeks ago

 

This morning she was gurgling Рa sign of sour crop. It all happened very quickly Рshe had shown no signs until this morning. Christine administered first aid  to alleviate the problem enough to get Terri to the vets. She was quite far gone and had actually inhaled feed into her lungs, so the only thing for her was to be put to sleep.

Alex asked how Terri was, to which I replied she had gone to sleep because she wasn’t very well. Alex replied that she should sleep in his room if she wasn’t well. He was remembering when she had had bumble foot and lived in the house for a week, sleeping in Alex’s room and watching TV during the day with Alex whilst generally being spoilt as her foot got better. He seems okay at the moment, although he’s not really realised that she has gone now.

She is now buried under the bird feeder in the back garden – her favourite place for dozing and nicking food.

Looking back, she has come along so well from the scrawny oven ready bird we rescued. She’s had a good retirement, but it’s a sad loss of such a friendly bird.

Her first free days

Meeting the cats - She wasn't bothered at all

Gradually filling out and right at home

Fully feathered after her moult

A few weeks ago in the snow. One fat happy hen

 

 


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