And along came the waifs and strays!
So that is how it all began, with the rescue of a hundred traumatised hens. But not for long!
Amazingly, every one of them survived. However, we did spend a lot of time back and forth the vets, hens in tow, until health was restored. When this was achieved, we found a few ‘adoptive’ families, though we did keep a large number of girls ourselves, Sandwich and Featherpin included. I have to add that Featherpin’s journey was a long one and a story in itself.
Although it was summer, some days were chilly and hens without feathers were at risk. They tend to get upper respiratory problems which are better prevented than the struggle to cure. An aunt of a friend of mine came to their rescue and kindly made a pile of coats. These were hand knitted and came in various colours. In many ways, these helped to save their lives.
Stepping out of their new home, and into a garden complete with grass and a pond, must have felt like a miracle to them. They had never seen grass, let alone stepped on it. Almost all of them hesitated and wondered what to do. But with our encouragement, they came out into the new world. It certainly seemed like a miracle to me and my kind and unassuming husband. I remember looking at him and wondering what he was thinking. He kept rubbing his chin and this he does, only when he is deep in thought and I mean very deep. It unnerved me!
But I needn’t have worried, despite the fact our home was now under attack. It took a few days for them to settle in and when they did...Oh, how our lives changed. Even going to the shop took some preparation. You see, we weren’t fully fox proof at that time and I could only imagine what the gossip was in the beech woods close by. It probably went something like this.
‘Have you heard about the new superstore?’
'It’s the last building in the village, the one on the hill!’
‘Anything tasty on offer?’
‘Hens! Featherless hens, ready to eat!’
So now you can see why my kind and unassuming husband continued to rub his chin. He was thinking fox!
Time is a great healer, so they say, and it was certainly true for our new hens. So what became of Featherpin? Did Sandwich have a chick of her own? And who on earth was Gilbert? And what about the posh chicks, already installed on the far side of the pond?
So many things to do today at our home for waifs and strays, so will continue again tomorrow. Thank you all for reading my tales...please call again!