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Tip to get a poorly ex-battery hen to feed again & a sad goodbye

Helloo :)

I've been kept busy making sure that all the ex-battery hens are healthy. This first couple of weeks is an interesting time for them, getting used to the dramatic change in environment. I've managed so far to spot the ones that need extra care & have separated them off into the hospital wing. Whenever any of them need extra, extra care they come into ICU ( a basket in the yurt!).

We were desperately sad when our one eyed hen, Long John, had to be put to sleep due to a twisted gut & peritonitis (our brilliant vet did a scan initially and then a PM on her). She may have died but the life she had here she made the most of.  Her favourite thing to do was running, flying (well, speed running aided by flapping!) & worm scoffing.  She also had a penchant for pecking the top of my wellies and nesting under my big bum whenever I squatted down to do something in the run. 

Rest in peace beautiful Long John
When she was poorly I held her for hours & she slept in my arms with her fragile little head tucked into me, so as well as freedom she also felt how much I loved her. At least she knew those things before she left.

With Long John being the exception, the other 6 hens we've had in ICU so far have been nursed back to health.

I made this wee film to explain how I got one of the ICU hens to eat and drink again after she'd completely shut down (stopped eating & drinking, only wanting to sleep). I'm sorry to say I don't know why as yet but just look at her now! There's also an introduction to Tiny hen. The most fragile of the hens we brought home. She travelled back with me to our farm on her own in a cardboard box, as I was petrified she might break if I didn't. 

I'm taking all my hospital hens to visit the vet this afternoon. I'm not an expert and want to make sure I don't miss anything. I'll learn a lot from doing this as well as understand better how I can give these trusting and inquisitive feathery beings a good chance at a long life! My vet is brilliant with the hens but I'm still going to encourage him to consider doing the Chicken Vet; vet training day course:

hen xx


  1. Sorry for your loss, it's always hard.
    Thanks for the video, will certainly try that when one of my girls is off her food.

  2. You did great with the icu hens!
    Sorry to hear about Long John but, what a life she had at your place!

    Sandie xx

  3. Lovely bit of sharing. It's fun to meet your in-yurt family.

  4. Love reading your blog. Sorry about losing your chicken. At least she had a good life with you. Hope all the rest are ok.

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  5. Hi Hen,
    I pop in from time to time and love your blog. Sorry about Long John, and congratulations on the battery hens. I have chooks too, four lovely ones, including one that got broody and for whom we found some fertile eggs. She's sitting on 10 of them right now! I loved hearing your voice on the video; nice to connect that with your face and get a fuller picture of you!


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