Here's a now rather oldish image of them enjoying their first time truly in the sun. I think it was taken late March this year and the ground was still too wet for them to enjoy a dust bath so they stretched out on the paving near the old tennis court and, I think, enjoyed their first taste of true freedom. You can see that they are still in pretty tatty condition. Ellen is at the front of the photo, Betty to the right behind her and Miss Marple is to the left of Betty.
|From Hens clematis and pear trees|
Here's Gretchen - she's very sweet and probably can't quite believe that a) she can stretch out rather than being cramped in her cage and b) she's free to do whatever she wants... I've rather cropped her jaunty little tail feather which looks like a feather sticking out of a 'Robin Hood' type cap!
Back when these photos were taken, the new girls were still being kept away from the other hens as I was very concerned about the strong territorial instincts of the existing hens. The two groups are now being permitted to mix together during the daytime but they are still not very keen on each other. I guess before too much longer I will put the four new ones in with the others at night and hopefully that should sort the problem out. Why haven't I done it before now, I hear you ask. Well, because the older ones try to keep the weaker ones away from the food and so they become even weaker...
Miss Marple (above) was very badly damaged on arrival. Very, very bruised and she still holds her right wing in a rather peculiar fashion, although she is now able to use it quite well. She is such a character! As soon as she sees either of us, she comes running full tilt towards us, chattering away and weaving herself through and around our feet. She's so tiny that utmost care has to be taken not to hurt her whilst we try to walk with this little thing scurrying along between our feet...
There is no doubt in my mind that these little creatures very definitely know that they have been given a new and different life.
This photo above shows you that they were still in quite poor condition, feather wise. They are slowly improving and growing new feathers to cover their little pink tummies. They are becoming so much stronger and I know it won't be too much longer before they fully integrated with the other girls.
I hope you are enjoying warm weather and sunshine! With warm wishes to you, Vxx