You may be wondering what I am watching through this fence...it is the four new additions to our family who have come to stay now that their working life is over. Judith and Leigh heard that the egg laying hens from a farm nearby were going to be slaughtered at the end of the week unless they found new homes. There were 13,000 hens living there and when they reach 17 months old they are no longer wanted for egg laying as the shells become less strong. Well we do have a large garden - three separate gardens even - with a small vegetable and fruit garden, a doggy play garden and a garden with space for hens to wander and scratch and enjoy the sun ( when there is some!) so the peeps set off on Monday for the farm and came home with four hens in two boxes.
For the first day, the hens stayed in the coop and run to get used to the sights and sounds of their new home. They were all a little anxious and two of them did not have many feathers.
On the second morning, the hens were allowed out to explore their surroundings and enjoy a scratch in the earth to look for grubs and grass roots.
They have some corn to peck too and they can get the sunflower seeds that fall from the wild bird feeders on the branches overhead.
As it is cold and damp here in Yorkshire just now, Judith decided to make some fleece tabards to keep the hens warm as they had so few feathers.
She found a pattern and made four tabards for them in dark and light blue.
But the hens were not impressed BOL They screeched and screeched when she tried to put them on! Then Leigh read that the British Hen Welfare Trust does not think that jumpers are a good idea for hens anyway in case they get wet and they might stop their feathers growing properly...so no tabards for the hens after all. They do have a lovely warm nest box though with lots of soft chopped straw.
The hens have been having a busy time getting to know their new home. They have plenty of places to scratch and perch, climb over and under in the bushes and trees.
A little robin came to say hello.
And me and Frida barked hello too!
The hens now have names beginning with B as they are Bovan Brown hens.
I think they will like it here and they have already laid us some eggs!
One of the eggs on a rejected tabard!
Welcome to your new home, girls!