Friday, 26 December 2008

Little Rita update

Rita was the "extra" poorly hen we brought back from Jo's last LHR of amber-link hens.
Rita's back was almost bald, but growing some spikes now. She also has a crooked neck so tends to look at things awkwardly but apart from that seems ok.

She's been in our house since she arrived and even Lizzy bullied her so she went to live with the flock (well enough to bully, well enough to take care of herself is my reckoning)

Rita has been a delight, not so mischievous as Lizzy but a very gentle hen and lovely pet. I must say I love her to bits.

Today the weather has been beautiful, sunny with a blue sky (my Mum is so lucky to be at Lake Windermere for christmas!)

I dressed Rita in a tiny "Next" Dog T shirt and tucked what is left of her little wings thru what is meant to be the front leg holes so as to keep her warm.
We took her out and put her down and she was very clumsy. We hadn't noticed it so much indoors. We tried to get her walking on the lawn but she was happier on the rubber matting. She could hear the other hens calling so tried to peep at them so Mark suggested letting her visit them (I was hesitant knowing what thugs they can be). Rita was happy enough, the others crept closer to have a look at this hen in a T shirt and I thought they'd pick on her but the only one who came around pecking was Lizzy!!

Rita is already acquainted with Newton who came and gave her his "special dance" but then she dropped to the floor with her head hung low looking totally exhausted so we brought her back in.
She does nod off a lot in the house but we've put it down to her just getting cosy. I don't think she's as well as we thought and hoped. She hasn't laid any eggs since being here so assume that is because of her lack of energy and poor health.

Rita WAS a free range hen rescued from a commercial egg farm, but just look at her back on the first clip!! Feathers pecked out...but are steadily regrowing with our TLC. She has a deformed neck with a bulge in it where at some point it must've been compressed (rather like Lizzy also in our care but not as extreme as Lizzy's).
Rita lives in the warmth of our home and gets 1 to 1 TLC but as a christmas treat we took her for a walk on the lawn but she preferred the rubber matting. See our blog for more info on Rita.
She is a lovely gentle hen and enjoys human company.
Rita was not the only hen from the free range farm that was in poor condition, many were and they were producing eggs for M&S that people pay a premium for. It just goes to show that if you want your eggs from healthy hens, you need a few in your garden or you need to buy locally and know the source of them.
Love from
Lyn x

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