Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Meet our new friend Mollie

Mollie is an absolute star, she doesn't bark, she's house trained, she likes cats, chickens and our other dogs, is great with the kids and the perfect dog.

We all love Mollie to bits, including Rita. I said she didn't think of herself as a I know why.

Click to enlarge the pic. Isn't she lovely?


Friday, 23 January 2009

4 Snails going to a new home

We have 4 Giant African Land Snails going to a new home this weekend. 3 are about 3 inches long and 1 is quite a lot smaller.

We still have lots for rehoming. Please get in touch if you would like any.
Any donations are gratefully received.
At the moment we cannot take ANYTHING else in as we do not know where our next money is coming from. The pot is empty with bills to be paid. We have never been in such a dire situation.

Here are some pictures of our GALS which were taken today. Click the small pictures to enlarge them.







From todays Telegraph Online

Little Lil, a Columbian blacktailed cross hen, is the smallest of her flock but regularly lays eggs measuring 10cm across - more than twice the size of a normal egg.

Youngsters at Raikes Centre pupil referral unit in Gloucester have been unable to measure the weight of the eggs because they exceed 8oz, the maximum their scales will reach.

When pupils cracked open the latest oversized egg they found a yolk, an egg white and another small but complete egg on the inside, like a Russian doll.

The six-month old hen has only been laying since October but once a month she forces out an egg measuring an eye-watering 10cm by 8cm.

Teacher Kate Farminer, 54, said: "We've got four pet chickens here and Little Lil is by far the smallest and also the quietest.

"So we were amazed when she started producing these enormous eggs - you wonder how she gets them out.

"The first time it happened the egg broke but the latest one was intact.

"We've got another two spare so this time our curiosity got the better of us and we took a look inside.

"We couldn't believe it when we found another egg inside - maybe she's a Russian chicken."

Little Lil lives with three other pet chickens Auntie Madge, Auntie Edie, and Auntie Doreen. Her eggs normally measure 4cm by 7cm.

The centre's three classes of children aged between four and eleven also keep pet rabbits and chickens.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest ever egg was laid by a Black Minorca hen in England in 1896 and weighed nearly 12oz.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

We've reached 100 eggs this month already!

From our dear 19 hens, all rescues of one kind or another, we have had
100 eggs already this month.
I'm so eggcited. At the beginning of the year I decided to use my
Battery Rechargers calendar for anything hen related so tallied up
each day and thought how good it would be to reach 100 in the whole
month so I'm shocked my girls have done it already.
Bless my happy hens

Was hoping to make the Pekin run......

I'm so glum. Mark was meant to make the run for Newton, Fenella and Amber at the weekend but with poorly children and not enough daylight, I never got him sent off to get any wood & screws.
Now since then, the RoSAH fund has been spent on all the feed supplies we needed from Bearts so now we can't afford to do it.
Got my old guinea pig multi block in bits as I'm having the doors off it as top opening hinged lids and am doing an extra bit with corrugated roofing on that the food bowls can go underneath.
I just need the flipping framework and have nothing left to dismantle so if anyone has any fence posts or 2x2 or ANYTHING any use to us, please let us know.
I'm getting fed up with Newton hopping over the current temporary fence (made with plastic elec fencing poles and mesh) to be with the ex battery ladies when the Pekin ladies can't/won't hop over as the ex battery hens bully them because they're so tiny.

Amber & Newton
Fenella, Amber & a bit of Newton

Monday, 19 January 2009

6 eggs today

Our happy hens gave us 6 eggs today taking the total so far, this year to 95. (and it's only the 19th Jan!!)
This has really shocked us and we've been told we have very happy hens to be such prolific layers.
Today we bought some apple cider vinegar which is said to be very good for their digestion, mobility and a multitude of problems (not as our hens seem to have any) but there's no harm putting a few drops in their water each day.
Not a lot has happened today as Clo has been home from school with that lousy virus, she looks very puffy in her face and keeps getting so hot. We're getting thru loads of Calprofen.
Mark did the animal feeds run though which has skinted us again.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Hellish day

As I felt unwell this morning, Hubby went out to make a start on making the bantam pen a more permanent fixture (as Newton likes to hop over at the moment)
I was in the house with Clo who's also not well. She had come down in the night crying with a headache but had some Calprofen and settled on the chair with her Fifi blanket and nodded off again.
She still wasn't well and later went up to the toilet and vomited blood on the floor so I immediately went into panic mode and told mark to get her to hospital and I've not heard anything since.
I'm worried sick and can't think straight. I'm doped up on my medicines so I can't drive the minibus full of kids down to Kings Lynn.

Mini has been helping out with the chooks, cuddling her white ladies and egg collecting.


Olive on the mezzanine ;-)



Mini & Petal



Mini & Nora (above)


Mini with Nelly & Olive




On a brighter note, the hens laid 7 eggs today

PS....and Chloe & Mark got home around 5.30 pm, none the worse for wear. Bad viral infection that I think was passed from Mini ( They all share their bugs) They think she ruptured a blood vessel in her throat or something but there seemed an awful lot of blood.
Chloe's just going to rest until she's strong enough to send the virus away.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Date for Jan hen rescue still to be confirmed

Details will be posted here as soon as we know them.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Lizzy's poem

Lizzy was rescued from life on the farm,
Where all she ever faced was cruelty and harm.

Crammed in a cage, laying an egg every day,
When her egg supply lessened, and she didn't always lay,

She was to be sent off to die,
and turned into chicken pie.

But people like Jo save the hens from that strife,
Rescuing them all, and giving them life.

Allowing them to see sunlight and sky,
Sometimes they are tempted to try a short fly.

Lizzy pecks and she scrats,
Enjoys dust baths and all that.

She behaves now as every hen should,
How the hens in the farms wish they all could.

When we first met Lizzy, we didn't think she would last,
Hungry and weak, she was fading fast.

We tapped at the food to encourage her to eat,
to build up her strength and get her back on her feet.

Then we noticed......."Oh flippin' 'eck!"
She seemed to have a lump on her neck

But she's one of the prettiest hens I've seen,
That's why she's called Lizzy- She is OUR Queen.

She lives in the garden with all our chooks,
And we can always spot her special good looks.

Jo is brilliant, saving hens with no fuss,
Rescuing them all to be great pets for us.

May Little Hen Rescue save hens near and far,
And Jo get the recognition for the star that you are!!

© Lyn Ray 2009

"Mummy's parrot"

PS Jo @ LHR has had her hen fencing installed. For anyone wishing to see it, here it is It will also be electrified top and bottom once completed. Fantastic, isn't it?

We had 5 eggs today taking the total this month into the 70's! Phew!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Rita's poem

There's no hen sweeter,
than our lovely Rita,

Who looked such a wreck,
Missing feathers and wonky neck,
With glucose drinks and treats for a boost,
She soon began to rule our roost.

Rita doesn't care for the other hens,
Instead, she sees us humans as friends,
She grew lovely new feathers and rejoined the flock,
But others pecked her bald of her lovely new locks.

They're growing back now, but Rita's in fear,
So she won't let the other hens near.
If the other hens come into her space,
She puffs up her chest, saying "get out my face"

"Leave me alone for I'm now not just Rita"
"I am now known as Rita the beater"

© Lyn Ray 2009

Snoozing with "Mummy"

Why would she want to be with other hens? spoilt rotten and loved so much.

Pictures from today.

Mini was poorly with a head cold so stayed home from school...however her Calprofen ibuprofen worked a treat and amazingly she was well enough to help with the hens.
Here are a few pictures taken during the course of the afternoon.

Geoff Rita mark and eyup petal & henrietta

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

mini, petal and hazel little chicken lady

The bottom 2 pictures are of a future chicken expert. Mini is only just 7 but already somewhat of a know-all when it comes to hens and she is so observant and notices the slightest difference amongst them. I imagine her in the future either as a breeder or show judge or some kind of poultry expert. The fad has just never won off with her and she will always do ANY job, no matter how grotty. Our extra special little girl, Mini xxx

The hens have laid 6 eggs so far today.

I'm a free range chicken.
I do what I want.
I'm a free range chicken.

I go where I want.
I peck a little here.

I peck a little there.
I'm a free range chicken.
That's what I'm doing here.

(Author unknown)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Just 3 eggs today & no Lyn

First of all, Many Thanks to Chris Breed of Long Sutton-ish who gave us some hay for the animals. The guinea pigs will be very appreciative this evening as I believe Mark has already popped it in for them. We hope you enjoy the fresh eggs!

Lyn was unwell all day today and her get up and go had well and truly gone.
Mark let the hens out in the morning and fed and watered all the other animals including Dolly.
Lyn didn't stir until 3pm and was very unsteady and drained (she really needs to go back to the GP as the MRI scan date hasn't come through yet)

Mini then came home from school and got down to her favourite the hens out and collecting the eggs. She was disappointed that there were only 3 eggs laid today.

Once she had finished that job (that girl LOVES being with the animals) she helped Mark cleaning out the parrot and handled him along with the hand reared cockatiels and the tamest budgie, Geoff (Lyn named him after her hero- strongman & local budgie man, Geoff Capes)

I fully expect Mini will work in a zoo when she is older but she says she wants a farm. She is really looking forward to egg collecting on the next rehoming day for Little Hen Rescue and hopes that her little friend, Jay will be there to help her too.



LHR will be doing their next ex battery farm hen rescue at the end of January (date to be confirmed with farmer)
There will be 2000-3000 hens looking for permanent pet homes.
Anyone interested in having some rescued ex battery hens please contact Jo @ LHR to book them.

If you are in Lincolnshire and can book and pay Jo in advance, we can transport them back to the PE12 area for collection by yourselves if Norwich is too much of a trek for you as we will be helping on rehoming day.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Rita has got her hen saddle :-)

I set to work straight away with the leather that Joy whom I met thru Freecycle gave to me. I carefully took a bit at a time off to get the right shape then added elastic for under her wings.
See the pictures. Click to enlarge them.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Dearest Rita, lovely bird,
Love is not too strong a word
For the way I feel for you,
And hope you feel it for me too.
I love you more than I can say,
And even more each passing day.

Rita posing in her new leather jacket, lol
We made some photo albums today as we used all our free space on Flikr so have gone to Fotki instead which we have previously used for personal pictures and they're great. Here's the link to our Rosah albums

Oh and we have 2 eggs so far from the other ladies

[Update at 9.30pm- 5 eggs today making 60 this month already from 19 hens]

Nice early start

What a crisp morning, certainly got me woken up at daybreak! (wonder how long I'll last until I flake out)
I popped to Moulton Seas End to meet a lady called Joy who gave me some leather to make Rita a little "saddle/anti peck vest".
Looks like being a lovely day so long as everyone gets wrapped up well. The hens hadn't laid any early morning eggs today.
Back later with an update.
Off now to sort Rita's saddle out.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Joe's been in charge today

It was a really sharp frost this morning and never really thawed out all day.

Joe's done all the hard work today.
Defrosted water bottles, mucked the chooks n ducks out (although not as good as I would so I sent him back again) I told him, if he's be happy to sleep there, it's done correctly.
He's chased Rita around scooping her poops up and been an all round good teenager. He's hardly complained at all, except that his back ached but he had a bath to soothe it (he had a bath yesterday too, very strange, maybe there's a girl on the horizon as he's usually aquaphobic)
The family got back around 9.30pm from the children visiting Grandma & Grandad in Nottinghamshire, to be greeted by the collie chorus who heard the car pull up..

5 eggs today although one broke in Joe's hand.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Our pet Pekin Bantams & Dolly

The Pekins have settled in really well and the kids adore them.
They make such nice pets and are only about 9 inches tall and they have the most delightful feathered feet.
Amber and Fenella haven't laid any eggs yet but we're hoping they will be fertile if they do, then we'll have our own little family of them as Amber is broody.




Dolly the pony had her booster jabs today for flu and tetanus and also had her teeth done this morning. She was really well behaved but I suppose at her age she's had it done a fair few times in the past and knows what to expect. Ruth had also put on her quilted leg warmers to keep her joints nice and toasty warm in this bitter cold weather and also held Dolly while Eve, the vet filed away at Dollys teeth. I propped myself up on the barn as I'm on both crutches and in a crappy way today.

We've moved a large guinea pig cage that has a run below it next to the hen pen for when Rita's feathers are back. She will be able to associate with the flock without being menaced and replucked. I've posted a wanted message on Lincs-Pets4Life if anyone has a hen saddle I could have or borrow. It may protect her from the vicious mob.

Our ex batts, ex barn hens and free rangers managed to lay they grand total of 2 eggs today!

Some of the guinea pigs in our care & rabbits for rehoming

We have a black buck rabbit (Jack) awaiting a new experienced home. He doesn't much like people and certainly not our hands going into his cage.
He was found on the road in Spalding a long time ago and has been with us since but I am allergic to rabbits and have to wear a dust mask with them and would love someone else to have him who could get him friendly. I would say he is NOT suitable as a child's pet.
We also have a (2 year old approx) white buck rabbit awaiting a home. (Sparky) He was born here, his family went to new homes but he was left behind and has been here since. He isn't getting handled as much as he should do, due to my asthma.
Contact us for more details.





All our cavies are in same sex pairs, even the males. We have found that there is ALWAYS a compatible friend for company and if the animals are introduced correctly, there is no need for unnecessary neutering (which is a major operation in a guinea pig when you compare it to neutering a dog and the anaesthetic risk is high too). We usually pair an older boar with a baby boar and there seem to be no squabbles even when the baby reaches adolescence as he will assume that the other is "boss"
The ONLY guinea pigs we ever had a problem pairing up were some satins that we rescued from a breeder who was giving them up, a long time ago (of which almost all had osteodystrophy) Even the female satins had attitude problems and were the worst guinea pigs we have ever rescued regarding health & temperament which was such a shame as they looked stunning.

Some of our ladies are in pairs or trio's.
Most cavies we have in our care at present are elderly and have been gifted to us to care for for life. Some are for rehoming though so if interested, please let us know.