Today, I thought it was time to clear the garden ready for autumn/winter.
I reckon it’s going to be an early frost and a hard winter.
My sunflowers were pretty much done, so I pulled them all down and collected the seeds.
Then I started raking the vegetable patch. No sooner than the rake came out of the shed, my feet were surrounded by 8 clucking worm freaks.
Everywhere I went, they followed. I even ended up with a cat trying to help too, although she prefers to provide vocal support and stay out of the hens reach!
Here is V8 scratching at a sunflower stalk. These were big sunflowers, didn’t measure them but they were easily about 15ft tall…..
The girls weren’t fussed about the seeds last year, but this year, they were quite enjoying having a munch.
I took all the seeds I wanted for next years sunflowers and left the rest in the flower heads for the girls to have a play with.
This is Spice, AKA Wench, Trout, Techni-colour Tramp…. she has many names.
When we first got her as a one year old, she hid under the table for days…. but now, she never shuts up meow, meow, meow….. she is lovely though.
We nearly lost her last year as she had an infection in a lymph node (here’s a link with some info about this condition) http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/cancer/c_ct_lymphadenopathy
She was very sick…. and she’s never been quite the same since, but she looks a lot better than last year!
Anyway, this is the cat escape shelf, my husband put up…. they sit here (we have 3 cats) and watch the hens from a safe distance.
If any cat should be so silly as to go near a hen, then all 8 hens chase the cats down the garden….. The hens seem to like chasing our 2 black male cats best…..
Back to the girls…. here they are sorting through the seed heads, leaves and sticks I’ve raked into a pile at the end of the garden.
A good thing to remember when you have hens, is a pile is like a magnet…. they will stand on top of the pile and scratch it all over the place….
They don’t seem interested in this stuff until it’s in a pile…..
Here are Ginger (front and well…. ginger) and Crispy at the back.
They are sorting through the pile of earth I’ve just swept off of the path.
I have to do this everyday.
They all like to go in the ‘flower’ bed and dig all the compost out onto the path, I sweep it up, put it back in the ‘flower’ bed and then they dig it out again. Good fun!
Here are 7 of our 8 ex-battery hens digging and scratching about.
Hens are always moving, they are quite hard to take pictures of, especially as I only have my ancient mobile phone! (we do have cameras, but I’m not good with technical stuff so it’s safer if I stick to the phone….)
The one missing in this photo is Mel, who had gone to check out the cloche.
Here is Chicken 22 in her ‘petrified hen’ pose. She’s actually very friendly, a bit nervous but she always looks terrified!!
She does make me chuckle!
Her bald patch on her neck is growing back and I think she looks great considering she only came out of the battery farm in July!
Here are our 2 remaining original girls. We got these ladies in July 2010 with 2 others (Chicken 11 and Terri).
When we got these girls they were about 18 months old, so now they must be getting pretty close to being 3!
Hens live to about 10 years. With battery hens though, they’ve been through so much already, been made to lay loads of eggs, so it can be hard to say how long they’ll live for.
They are with us until the end. They are pets and an important part of our family.
I have been asked if we eat the hens that die. The answer is no, they are buried in the ‘flower bed’.
This is their retirement home after an awful life and they deserve to be treated with love respect, especially after what people have put them through for the sake of mass production.
Thanks for reading.