Sunday, 18 November 2012

What a difference one year makes


A year ago I went off to the Battery Hen Welfare Trust collecting station in Oswestry to pick up three little ex battery hens and give them a new home.  I was terrified that they wouldn't even survive the journey home as the change could have been so stressful to them. Even seeing daylight was a massive and new experience for them. But they did survive. Hope, pictured above spent the whole journey looking out to her new life while Faith and Charity sat hunched in the darkness of the cardboard box until I got them home.

After a long 2 hour journey we arrived home.  I put them in a temporary pen away from my other girls in case they didn't get on. It was so incredible to see them exploring and experiencing freedom for the first time in their lives. They looked terrible as they had very few feathers on their necks and wings but to me they were beautiful.  Within a week they joined my other girls in the big house and have enjoyed the most incredible year, starting with presents from Father Christmas an easter egg hunt and their own Olympic games. 

One year later they look very different. I only took this picture this morning and as you can see my beautiful little Hope looks like she is on top of the world.   Animals are incredible how they bounce back after such horrible experiences and take pleasure in the simple things in life.

It's been a wonderful year, they have supplied me with fresh free range eggs every day and saved me around £130 due to the fact that I have never had to buy eggs from the supermarket. Considering I gave a donation of £30 when I adopted them, that is an amazing return on my investment and one that continues to thrive inside the chicken coop.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The road to Rio

Hope doing her 'Chicken-Bolt ' pose  

It has been such a wonderful Summer of sport. Even though the weather has not been great, we have so many lovely memories to look back on during the entire Olympics and Paralmpics which have been held in London and end today. I have loved every moment of it all. I am so proud of our humans and of course our animals in the form of our great Equestrian team with their four legged friends that have gone out there to show the world what sport can do in joining people from all nations and all walks of life. 

My ex battery hens didn't have the best start in life but now they are seriously wanting to progress with their own sporting goals and their Olympic prowess is starting to shine through. Hope, who is pictured above is determined to be the female chicken version of Usain Bolt. She even has her winning pose at the end of the track.

In fact they are all getting very competitive with each other and I realise now they are looking forward to the next Olympics in Rio


Perhaps they could be in the female football team?

Or the Gymnastic team?

Track and field?

What ever they may choose, it's about having a dream and believing in it that counts. It's not just about the Olympics, this applies to so many things in life.  It doesn't  matter where we come from, how many legs or arms we have. How tall or short we may be. How well we can see, hear, touch, speak or walk. It's what we do with what we have that makes us special. 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Never forget where you're coming from

I have been having a good delve into my family ancestry just lately and it looks like Blodwyn has been doing the same!   I have blogged previously about my old girls Blodwyn and Bethan and their similarity to dinosaurs and now even my little ex battery hens are showing signs of their ancestry too. 

It's amazing how different an individual breed can be.  Blodywn and Bethan, the two old girls are huge hens, they are not fast but they are very feisty.  They stalk around the garden in a very relaxed manner but seem to have no fear of anything, even my rumbling old petrol mower doesn't scare them and the neighbour's cats appear to be terrified of them.  They always give them a very wide berth if passing them in the garden.  I do wonder if they are giving off some sort of signal to say ' I was once a Tyranosaurus Rex, don't mess with me!'

My latest arrivals, Faith, Hope and Charity, the little ex battery hens are very different.  They are small and still have very few feathers.  They are fast and agile and take every opportunity to use their small frame to chase prey.  They really remind me of the little 'Turky sized' Compsognathus, one of the smaller dinosaurs that were mini bipedal carnivores. These tiny hens will chase even the most harmless butterfly to the death and any slugs and worms in the garden are history once they dig them out with their sharp claws and powerful beaks.

There has been a lot of research around this subject and I am convinced that our feathered friends are almost definitely a link back to their pre-historic relatives.  I shall always have to be on my guard when I am inside or out of the chicken coop!

Click here to find out a bit more

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

'Christus natus est', said the Cockerel

I saw this beautiful stained glass on a recent visit to Oxford. It hangs in Magdalen College Chapel and represents the Nativity.

I found it so beautiful and touching that it was thought on the night of Christ's Nativity, the birds and animals were able to talk and they even spoke in Latin!

I love the fact that the stunning cockerel was at the top of the tree and telling the other animals that Christ was born.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Mystic Hen - The Summer Solstice

It's time to celebrate the Summer Solstice!  I know, we have not seen much of the Sun just lately so most of us don't even feel like it's Summer but we just have to celebrate the fact that it's not freezing cold and snowing!  I had weeks of being in the coop with all that snow and couldn't even get out to scratch around.

This is such a magical time of year for humans and for chickens too so enjoy what bit of sunshine we do have, that way you can re-charge your batteries if it rains again.   

So now for your Hen Horoscope ( Humans may want to take note also, this could apply to you)    

Any Gemini hens out there? This is your time. You are great communicators so get out there and mix with people and do what you are good at.  Just don't try to do too many things at once, concentrate on what is important to you now and you may just find what you are looking for.

                                                                  Gemini - The Twins

Monday, 11 June 2012

A sticky find

The Bitterley Time Team have been at it again! This is their latest find. It's amazing what they dig up when they are left to roam the garden.  Although it may not be worth a great deal of money, I love the fact that they are constantly delving up a bit of history that has lay untouched for years. I believe this style of tin was used in the 1950's so it's certainly getting on for 60 years old. I wouldn't care to use the plasters if there were any inside though!

Bethan in front leads the dig to see what else they can uncover. The great thing is, they do all my weeding too. They cleared the sides of this path within a few minutes and all I had to do was rake it up! 

I should pay them an hourly rate really as they are not just keeping my garden tidy, one day they may just find a hoard of treasure!

Monday, 30 April 2012

I spy five little hens!

It was lovely to let the hens out today after the constant rain we have had recently, and even better to discover that I could still keep an eye on them when I am up in my attic doing a bit of writing.  I've never noticed that before as when I get to my desk, I hardly move until I have finished what I am working on.   

Sometimes I prefer to keep them in until I can be with them as I really worry about what they may get up to. Plus the fact that Mr Fox could visit at any time, or my little ex battery hens may squeeze through places they shouldn't as they are so small compared to Blodwyn and Bethan.

I went out to check them when they moved out of site from my window and they were all sunbathing!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

This way, that way.

'Come on, Eggs this way.'

'Oh what fun, really?'

'He said this way, quick, we have to find the eggs.'

'None here.'

'Actually, they are this way.'

'Where? Where are they? There are no eggs here.'

'OK, I reckon Mr Easter Bunny is playing tricks with those little hens. Think I will go and have a quiet word with him.'

'OK Big ears, why are are you sending those little hens on a wild goose chase? They have never had the fun of an Easter Egg hunt and you are spoiling it for them.'

'OK, don't get your feathers in a twist, I was just having some fun. Really, they are that way.'

' I found one, I found one!'

I found two!

'Hope you are you going to share that?

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

'Ouch! I bet that hurt!

My lovely little hens are still laying like crazy. Think this must be an XXL!

Monday, 12 March 2012

The most beautiful view of all

I went on a beautiful walk this morning. I saw stunning stately homes situated in acres of rolling green pasture and park land.

I enjoyed bird song as I walked the old bridle path, not meeting another person on my entire journey.

I delighted in the far reaching views ahead and wondered what secrets the old walled garden in front of me kept locked inside it's walls.

I saw sparkling cascades and rivers that flowed through stunning woodland.

I crossed the bridge over the river and it felt like I was entering another kingdom.

Because that was when I saw the most beautiful view of all. Well over 1000 little hens enjoying the spring sunshine.

To see these little hens enjoying freedom was so wonderful, I just wish all the hens in the world could live like this.

Monday, 6 February 2012

A new experience

We can all remember how excited we were as children when the first snow appeared. The other day my little ex-battery hens experienced snow for the first time in their young lives. It was so entertaining to watch them trying to work out what this cold white stuff was. Luckily for them, Blodwyn and Bethan soon showed them what to do.

'What on earth is that?'
'Duno, doesn't taste that great'

'It's snow! You don't eat it, you scratch until you find what is underneath'

'The secret is to just have one foot at a time on the ground, that way you won't feel the cold so much'

'Like this?'

'Whooh, this is fun, I like snow!'

'If I run really fast, I won't feel the cold'

' I shall just fly over it.'

Several hours later . . .

'Oooh my feet are cold now, I think I'm getting chilblains'

'Come on, time to go in and get warm'

'That's better, my feet feel all warm and tingly now. That was so much fun!

Glad it's out there and not inside our coop though.'

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Other people's rubbish

Isn't it odd how some folk are absolutely fascinated in other people's rubbish?

My girls had a whole day to free range in the sunny garden but were more interested in what I was throwing away.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy little hens

It's been a wonderful time for my new little ex-battery hens. The weather has been mild and so they have been out in the garden every day enjoying their new found freedom. It's amazing how they are coming on in appearance and also their behaviour. I had them feeding out of my hand the other day, just as Blodwyn and Bethan do. It's as though the old girls are actually teaching their new sisters how to act.

The wonderful thing is that they all seem to be getting on with each other too and enjoy posing for the camera!