Click to enlarge pictures
These were all taken on the 30th November at Little Hen rescue which we helped out rehoming the hens to their new families.
Some of the hens on the above pics are barn hens and some are free rangers.
The barn hens look well feathered but had scrapes down their fronts as the nest boxes in the barns were sharp metal at the front.
We weren't at the actual barn rescue on the Saturday but apparently it was disgusting with the smell of ammonia and the catchers had to watch where they put their feet as between the slats of wood was a huge slurry pit containing a year or so's chicken muck.
The Freerangers were in fairly good health and a lighter, almost blonde colour. I pulled one out with a marble sized tumour in her wattle and she went in the "sick bay".
One hen appeared to have black eyes so Sarah and myself caught her only to find she had "eyebrows" as the feathers either side were missing, When rounding a few hens up, we found another with eyebrows and a young couple were thrilled to take both of them and I think theirs were had were their first hens so they were really excited.
We met some lovely people, both helping at Jo's and the people collecting hens and won't hesitate to help again even though I'm seriously paying for it today and well dosed up on tablets.
We bought some new family members back ourselves. Gertrude, Flossie, Newton and Lizzy.
Lizzy is poorly with what appears to be a tumour on her neck. She hadn't eaten for days at Jo's place and needed encouragement and I felt a need to nurse her but don't hold out much hope for her long term. We're spoon feeding her porridge, layers meal and glucose water. Her legs are strong but you can see she's not well. The tumour wasn't obvious at first as I thought she was just puffed out looking generally unwell with a strange stance but upon closer inspection she doesn't stand right and has a solid mass in her neck (above and to the left of where her crop is)
Gertie, Flossie & Newton (the Pekin) were put straight in the hen house when we got back last night and shut in with the existing hens and this morning I suppose they saw each other when daylight appeared but there has been no squabbling at all.
Lizzy is in an open dog crate in the lounge getting some TLC. I really hope she will just get well enough to exhibit "normal" hen behaviour. I now wish I'd also brought back the one with the tumour in it's wattle. She was quite feisty though and the only reason I spotted it was I waded in a stable to intervene in a squabble and she was the instigator and I saw it when I pulled her out.
Hens are just amazing. Can't remember my life without them....well My Grandad kept them all his life and my Grandma on the other side of my family kept Bantams so I suppose it's inevitable I'd get hooked too!
Below are pics of our own newbies- Click to enlarge them
Gertrude & Flossie
Jo is appealing for anyone who can knit to start knitting hen jumpers for the hens due to be rescued from a battery farm this month and also in the new year. They are expected to be baldies so if you can knit, please see details here on Little Hen Rescue's website
We're helping on the future rescues so anyone wanting to rehome any ex battery hens, please contact Jo at firstname.lastname@example.org