Posted in Chickens, Gardens, Pets, Reblog, Self-sufficiency

Posh ladies

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I was looking back at this 2017 post, one of my first ones. The plants in the above picture are no more. My dream of a plant-filled chicken garden hasn’t come to fruition because plants and hens don’t go well together! Although I have managed to plant a few fruit trees which are still uneaten! Mabel and Little Ava have joined the group but Florence (my favourite but don’t tell the others) sadly passed away last year in 2020. And I do still want to rescue ex-battery hens one day.

I wanted to be a heroine and save three lives from certain death, and a previous hellish existence.

Imagine being locked up in tiny A4-size cages with no natural light, no pecking order companions (not unless you count fellow prisoners crammed next to you), no kindliness, no space, not even to flap your cramped wings. You are, essentially, treated and seen as a machine.

Writing the above, makes me feel a sense of guilt, even now.

You see, I didn’t adopt three ex-battery hens.

Instead, I selected three posh bantams – Jemima (white), Dottie (speckled) and Florence (brown barred).

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I dithered for two years, unable to choose between hybrids, bantams and ex-bats. Hybrids were given short shrift as, although I heard they were perfect for beginners, I deemed them too large for my garden. If I was going to have full-size chickens, I would adopt three or four, maybe five, former battery hens.

My heart would plead for me to sign up for one of the various rehoming programmes that would occur on a regular basis. Charities such as The British Hen Welfare Trust would advertise, and I would be thinking, I’m sure the coop would be ready in a month’s time. Yes, I could sign up today for the rehoming date next month…

But my head would impatiently nudge my heart aside and urge me to look at the facts. Despite my rural smallholding fantasies, I had a small garden in the suburbs. The coop outside area was large enough for two or three full-size hens, just about, but the interior – the bedding quarters, nest boxes, perch – may be a tight squeeze for three.

Although they would probably class it as luxury compared to their previous miserable cell.

Perhaps most importantly, my head sternly reminded me I had zero experience of chickens. What if one was ill or died? It was more likely to happen with girls who had a traumatic beginning in life than youngsters who were born and brought up in the best circumstances. So I went for the ‘easier’ option.

I don’t regret getting the genteel pekin ladies, with their flamboyant bustles, flares and bootees.

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But I have not turned my back on the battery girls. Some time in the future, three or four will find a home at Cosy Cottage.

In the meantime, sponsoring a hen for Β£4 a month is always the next best thing… πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”

Facts of the Day

1. Do you have a home for ex-battery hens? Call the British Hen Welfare Trust on 01884 860084 or visit http://www.bhwt.org.uk for information.

2. JB of boyband JLS fame has three ex-bats on his farm and the 600,000th rescue hen has found a home at Kensington Gardens no less!

3. If you can’t rehome, why not sponsor a hen for Β£4 a month? Email info@bhwt.co.uk for details.

Author:

Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is https://mysabbatical2014.wordpress.com/ and the other, more recent one, is - https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/ ☺️

9 thoughts on “Posh ladies

  1. You sound like your dreams were just like mine. I didnt know that my chickens in my previous little city garden would eat any plants and I learned the hard way a few times before I gave up and just enjoyed my girls. They do bring so much fun and the eggs of course are delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had read about chickens and gardens not mixing but it didn’t stop me trying to make their garden look nice with various pot plants and garden plants. That was at the beginning, just before they arrived, but the plants were quickly demolished. But as you say, the chickens are worth it! ☺

      Like

  2. Years ago [2008], in another life and time, my then partner and l rescued 30 ex bats, all layers, and they still laid eggs every day, sometimes twice. Why we have chickens in battery pens and lifestyle l will never know.

    My partner kept skunks and ferrets and so the eggs we didn’t eat ourselves were used to suuplement the diet of the animals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be lovely to have 30 ex-batts. I’ve heard ex-bats still lay a lot of eggs after being rescued. Battery cages are incredibly cruel, there’s no justification for them whatsoever. I give my parents bantam eggs sometimes (when they’re laying regularly), my dad has given the family dogs eggs on occasion which the dogs enjoy very much! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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