Our ex-battery hens… a month into their new life


I found some lovely photos of our girls a month into their ‘retirement’. We brought the girls home mid-July 2010, just to give you some idea of when these photos were taken.

Here is Mel in the pumpkin patch (which used to be a veg patch, but we had no idea how big pumpkins grow!!)
The hens loved it in here, shelter from the sun and rain and plenty of bugs to munch!
They pecked at a few of the baby pumpkins, but generally the worst thing they did was to dig up the anti-weed sheets over the soil. 

 Here is Mel (sitting on the door mat) and Crispy. Mel settled into her new life very quickly and made herself at home. 
The others, like Crispy, are happy just to keep their distance a little bit. 
We were very happy just to let them be and watch them find their feet. No point trying to rush them, they are still a little thin and have a long way to go before they are up to full strength. 

Here is Crispy (stood up) and Chicken 11. 
Chicken 11 was the weakest and most timid of the hens and she did get picked on a little to start with. Once the hierarchy was established however, Chicken 11 and Crispy became very close. They would be together all the time, eat together and graze the lawn together. 
It was lovely to watch this friendship develop. When we lost chicken 11 this year, Crispy did actually look a bit lost, but has since become closer to Mel. 

Here is Terri. She was another very friendly hen in the end, but it did take her quite a while to come out of her shell. 
You can see the water drinker and feed bowl in the background. The water is pink due to a vitamin supplement to help the girls recover more quickly. The silver bowl was used as the girls refused to eat pellets, and refused to eat out of a feeder…. so they had wet mash in the silver bowl for about 6 months, till we managed to coax them over to dry feed from a feeder, not pellets, but at least it’s dry!

Crispy and Chicken 11 again. Anyone who thinks these creatures have no soul, brain or ability to form a lasting friendship is sadly mistaken…. these two were inseparable. Crispy was happy to be with the others and I think she gave Chicken 11 a lot of confidence, Mel still tried to pick on 11 but Crispy quietly stood up for her, no fighting, she just kind of put herself between them. 
It just shows how clever these girls are. 

The girls settled well and as we had gotten the four ladies together, we didn’t really have any trouble with fighting. As I mentioned, Chicken 11 had a bit of a hard time, mostly from Mel, but once her and Crispy got together, that all changed.

They were all perching quite happily at night by now, although Mel still preferred to sleep in the nest box (I would too!) and she still does!

We were very lucky, as none of the girls got injured or ill in the first couple of months.

This is a fun game. I got the idea from another YouTube video. 
I was looking for ways to get the girls active and give them new things to do. 
As we’d had them a month already, they were fairly strong. 
Sorry about the picture quality, but it was a year ago!! LOL!

Here is a video of Mel sleeping in our house! She walked in, sat down and fell asleep. 
She was also making some lovely cooing noises, but I wasn’t able to catch them on here. 
It just shows how content and settled she was, even at this early stage!

and finally, here is Crispy having one of her ‘moments!’. 
 Generally the hens are very quiet, but now and again they like to make themselves heard!! 

Thank you again for reading. I’ll write again soon about them as they came up to their first winter. We had one injured hen and a heck of a lot of snow!


About crispy80

I love to be active! I love to spend time with my son and husband. I'm self-employed and work whilst my son is at school and weekends when my husband is home. I enjoy drawing but don't have much time for it at the moment. I also enjoy cooking, baking and gardening. I'm on Twitter @pinwingirl if you want to find out more.
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