Last week the local paper featured 700 hens looking for new homes (click here). Tthey had spent their first year on a farm as 'free range' layers but, now that their most productive days were past, they were destined to end up as pet food. This is common practice on farms, where profits come first, but these hens are still quite capable of laying well and for some time to come. We decided that we could accommodate two.
Although classed as free range it is more likely they were all kept in a very large barn with a door at one end, which they probably didn't use! Our two seemed to have no concept of outdoors and for the first four days we had to physically put them into the hen house when it got dark. They were quicker at perfecting the art of scratching about and discovering interesting treats in the undergrowth. They've also got into the swing of going to bed at night now.
They look a bit scabby (especially when you see the other three next to them!) but the feathers will come back in, they were also a bit on the thin side but should soon look better. So far, we have kept them separate from Hilda, Doris and Maud but will probably put them all in together soon.
Let's hope they all get on, we don't want feathers flying - Mildred and Mavis can ill afford to lose any more!
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