We're delighted with our own new girls Muriel and Gladys who have been outside in the fresh air for the very first time today. They were originally battery hens, kept in false light and given a cage the size of an A4 piece of paper to live, eat, sleep and lay on.
If the lovely people at The British Hen Welfare Trust didn't rescue the hens they would simply have had their heads chopped off at 18 months old when they stopped laying so regularly (I looked for some pictures of battery hens but they were too horrible to post...)
So far they have re-homed almost 250,000 hens.
We warned the boys that they wouldn't look very pretty when they first arrived but I really wasn't prepared for how pale and scared they looked. They have had a manicure (love it!) because they have never put their feet on a solid surface before. It obviously felt a little strange for them as they spent most of their first few hours with one foot at a time in the air.
Their little combs have no colour and are flopped over (a fringe?). Their eyes are weirdly pale and they have really scrappy feathers with bald necks...poor little things!
Anyway, they found the smallest, darkest area in the garden and cowered there until bedtime. We've built an area to keep them away from the other ladies for the time being and they have
their own bedroom!
(don't think they're up to coping with a pecking order just yet)
The Orpington ladies stood behind the fence and stared at them - v funny!
They looked so healthy in comparison.We can't wait until they are all in together and hopefully make friends (little bit worried that the ladies are going to be too posh to mix with Muriel and Gladys...)
Will upload some more photos to Flickr, fee x