So I finally got me some ex_battery hens! 6 to be precise & I am in LOVE! They're amazing little beings. Each a character, opening, getting stronger & happier day after day. It was such an experience bringing them to the land & watching those first moments on grass. It didn't take them long to start pecking everything in sight to see if it was food! I am just mesmerised by them.
The Battery Hen Welfare Trust is an extraordinary organisation. Just recently they rescued their 200, 000 hen! Which I think I read is about 1% of all battery hens. Have a look at their website here... http://www.bhwt.org.uk/
So.. let me introduce you to the girls!
This is Speckle. Its not a particularly flattering picture of her but it makes me giggle so here it is...
Actually here she is looking a bit more lovely. As you can see she has speckles on her neck. That is why she's called Speckle, yes. Cunning aren't I? If there's a hen at my feet, which there always is, it's going to be Speckle. Not because of some desire to be my friend but because I'm a messy eater. She's the top of the pecking order.
This is Luna. She has no feathers on her face or head & when she first arrived her comb was pale pink. This picture shows no matter what you do to a being it is perfectly possible to be dignified & strong. She's pretty much at the bottom of the pecking order but not for long. Her feathers are growing back quickly & she's much stronger than she was. We'll soon see who's bottom of the pack!
With the deepest of respect to Emmeline Pankhurst, this is Emmeline. So named because after 30mins of being in the run I made them, she pushed hard against the gate to get free & wouldn't give up. She could see the fields, trees & hedges on the other side & she was determined to explore them. She is always the first to push the boundaries.
Beautiful Mirabel, below, is very quickly becoming a lap hen. She pretty much never leaves my side. If I sit down she snuggles up at my feet for a sleep.
I never knew hens purred. Mirabel hopped onto my lap one day & I stroked her till she fell asleep. It was incredible, just incredible.
This stunning creature is Cluck Norris, or Mrs Norris as she demands to be called. So named because she beats the crap out of my Border Collie, Willow. Disapointingly she hasn't done a roundhouse kick to the head of my dog... but there's time.
Mrs Norris... Mrs Cluck Norris
Last but by no means least, I would like to introduce you to brave, little Beauty. As named by a friend on Twitter - @Smallholder. She is about half the size of the others, has the least feathers & is always taking herself off, away from the intensity of the rest the hens. Beauty is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order, Luna picks on her especially.
It was Beauty that left my heart in pieces when she allowed me to pick her up & stroke her. We then sat together, Beauty asleep squeezed hard against my belly, for an hour or so. I haven't sobbed so hard as I did when Beauty gave me that most precious of gifts... her trust.
I've also been a weavin the old willow. Here's some pics of some recent fiddlings...
Bread Proving Baskets
- Hand sewn by me (!)
I've also, also, also, also enjoyed some time on the North Coast of Devon. It's the most stunning coastline. The trees are what do it for me!
North Devon Coastline
- the sea is in the middle of that photie.
Righty then... Thats enough from me I think. Be back reeeally soon!