Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Girl's First Day of Freedom!

Everything was ready - the house, large run, feed, grit - everything... I can't remember being so excited!
After calling Linda to register for 3 ex-batts, she put me in touch with a lovely lady called Juliette, who collected my hens along with her 6 from Linda and Robert, and they finally arrived with me on Monday, 7th June 2010.

They settled in pretty much immediately, and although Mark and I already had the names in mind for them, each of them had a character which fitted their names perfectly, so they chose their own :)

They couldn't believe they were finally free to move around - for the first time, they had solid floor under their feet - no more wire mesh.. they had grass to stand on, dirt to dustbathe in, food and water readily available, and the freedom to wander around and do whatever they wanted to do. They were all hypnotised by the sun, and the sky - they'd never beed outside the factory before.

After a week in a 3 metre run, and going FR as soon as I got home to stay out there with them, Joan and Peggy were bullying Betty, so my hubby went out and bought two large runs for them so they had more space during the day. The change in the girls is amazing, and they're all alot happier and getting on better.

They're eating and drinking for England, pecking happily at the grass, and are already on pellets. I've wormed them , and their feathers are already beginning to grow back :D

They adore mealworms, so after getting through a packet of the dried ones, I've ordered them some live ones for this week - they should love those, and they've got another packet of dried until the wigglies arrive :)

On the evening of the third day, they decided it was time for bed at 9.15pm, so off they trotted, with Joan making sure everyone got in safely!

Joan is the top hen, with Peggy taking spot #2 in the pecking order, with poor old Betty at the bottom. However, since I'm a sucker for the small and weak, I've been helping Betty dig for worms, so she's become my shadow and follows me round every time she sees me with a trowel, lol :)

Here (hopefully, if I can do it right) are some photos of the gorgeous girls, and their extended run - we were going to build an open top one, but since Mr Fox came to eye them up on Sunday, we've decided against it, and their house and runs are totally fox-proof now :)

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The girl's day run

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Joan :) ♥ She looks a bit off-colour, due to her trying to eat a wasp yesterday morning!! She's back to normal now thank goodness :)

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Betty :) ♥ She was the only one to come up towards the camera, and seems to love having her photo taken, the poser!

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Peggy :) ♥ Just about to dig yet another 6 inch deep hole by the shed! As soon as I fill them in, she comes running back to dig it all up again, lol!

I love my girls to pieces already - and since arriving Monday, we've had 18 eggs in a week!! They're funny little ladies, with massive characters and I'm totally besotted with them... and as I love to let them out to free range, I've spent 75% of this weekend sitting out with them so they can forage and dustbath in the flower beds with me keeping a very careful eye over them to protect them from Mr Fox, and they get at least 2 hours out of their runs every evening during the week so they don't get bored. Bought them some parrot toys today and some seed and grit blocks, so hopefully they should give them something to do.

Thanks to Linda. Robert, and all the volunteers for everything you do, for all the hens you save, and for letting us lucky ones adopt them to give them (and us!) a very happy life xx

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